Incremental Linking with Gold

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The gold linker now supports a form of linking where an existing binary can be updated in place, with the linker processing only relocatable input files that have changed since the last link. When only a small number of files have changed, incremental linking can result in dramatic improvements in link time. This talk will describe how incremental linking in gold works, and will discuss the tradeoffs and limitations of incremental linking. Gold is an ELF linker created by Ian Lance Taylor as a much faster replacement for the binutils linker for ELF-based targets. It has been in production use for the x86 and ARM platforms at Google for over three years. The incremental linking support is based on Ian's design.