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Compiling HHVM with GCC 4.9/5.2 and Boost

For my development environment I prefer using Debian unstable, as it usually has the latest and greatest things available. This tends to work a lot better with living-on-the-edge software like HHVM. However, in this case, GCC 5.2 was a little bit too living-on-the-edge for HHVM. Some system libraries were 'suddenly' compiled with GCC 5.2, which did not interact well with HHVM's GCC 4.9 (or even GCC 5.2) compiles. It mostly has to do with that GCC 5.1+ employs a new ABI for C++ compiled objects.

As I'm currently working on a MongoDB extension for HHVM, I really needed my own HHVM compiled β€” with debugging symbols. I could also not use HHVM's nightlies or binaries, as their Debian packages depend on versions of libraries that my Debian install no longer provides.

HHVM uses google-glog for some logging stuff, and this was the first library that caused issues when linking. The error message was:

../../../third-party/folly/libfolly.a(dynamic.cpp.o): In function `std::string* google::MakeCheckOpString<unsigned long, unsigned long>(unsigned long const&, unsigned long const&, char const*)':
        /usr/include/glog/logging.h:672: undefined reference to `google::base::CheckOpMessageBuilder::NewString()'
../../../third-party/folly/libfolly.a(Format.cpp.o): In function `std::string* google::MakeCheckOpString<int, int>(int const&, int const&, char const*)':
        /usr/include/glog/logging.h:672: undefined reference to `google::base::CheckOpMessageBuilder::NewString()'
collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status
hphp/tools/bootstrap/CMakeFiles/gen-class-map.dir/build.make:123: recipe for target 'hphp/tools/bootstrap/gen-class-map' failed
make[2]: *** [hphp/tools/bootstrap/gen-class-map] Error 1
CMakeFiles/Makefile2:945: recipe for target 'hphp/tools/bootstrap/CMakeFiles/gen-class-map.dir/all' failed
make[1]: *** [hphp/tools/bootstrap/CMakeFiles/gen-class-map.dir/all] Error 2
Makefile:106: recipe for target 'all' failed
make: *** [all] Error 2

I promptly filed an issue, which wasn't going anywhere fast enough.

But the hints in the comments were good enough for me to try and find a solution.


To sort out google-glog and get a GCC 4.9 compiled version installed, I first removed the system version with apt-get remove libgoogle-glog-dev libgoogle-glog0v5. I then downloaded the source package through apt: apt-get source libgoogle-glog-dev. To compile, I ran:

  • Make sure we use the 'old' compiler:

    • export ASM=`which gcc-4.9`

    • export CXX=`which g++-4.9`

    • export CC=`which gcc-4.9`

  • cd google-glog-0.3.4

  • ./configure

  • In the generated Makefile, I changed the ACLOCAL define to aclocal-1.15 (line 613) and the AUTOMAKE define to automake-1.15 (line 629). For some reason, they were both -1.14 which isn't installed.

  • make

  • automake --add-missing to silence a warning about some installer

  • make -j 20

  • sudo make install


Boost was a bit trickier, as it's build system is "novel". I did not have to remove the packages that I installed with APT though, and HHVM's build system was clever enough to pick up on my newly compiled libraries which I installed in /usr/local.

  • Download Boost: wget

  • Extract: tar -xvjf boost_1_59_0.tar.bz2

  • Change into directory: cd boost_1_59_0/

  • Run ./

  • mkdir tools/build/v2

  • Setup our new (old) compiler as toolset (found on StackOverflow): echo "using gcc : 4.9 : /usr/bin/g++-4.9 ; " > tools/build/v2/user-config.jam

  • Compile: ./bjam --toolset=gcc-4.9 -j 16

  • Install into /usr/local: sudo ./b2 install --prefix=/usr/local --toolset=gcc-4.9

  • sudo ldconfig

That sorted out Boost.


I then compiled HHVM in my normal fashion, ensuring I was using GCC 4.9:

  • export CC=`which gcc-4.9`

  • export CXX=`which g++-4.9`

  • export ASM=`which gcc-4.9`

  • Check out the 3.9.1 release: git checkout 3.9.1 && git submodule update --recursive

  • Clean things up: git clean -dfx -f && git clean -dfx -f third-party

  • Configure (make sure it picks up the new 1.59 version of Boost that you just compiled yourself):

    cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local/hhvm/3.9.1 .

  • make -j 20

  • make install

Et voilΓ‘, a working HHVM compiled with GCC 4.9 on the latest Debian unstable.


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