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Re: same old problem, C compiler cannot create executables

On 31/12/2011 23:51, Douglas Pardoe Wilson wrote:
> Searching, I have found many people on many forums complaining that Cygwin
> produces a "C compiler cannot create executables" messaage. As so many people
> have reported, the config.log file contains nothing useful. Surely after all
> these years people should have a real solution to this problem.

  You haven't quite understood what you've been looking at.  Your searches
will have shown you that error message cropping up many times (on every
platform that uses configure scripts, not just Cygwin), because this is the
way configure reports /any/ problem that prevents it working out how to drive
the compiler.  However it's not one single problem at all: it's one symptom
that can be caused by many different underlying problems, and almost every
time the config.log file does contain enough information to diagnose the
problem, or failing that to reproduce it at the command-line for further

  Among the many underlying problems that can cause this message to be
reported are environment and configuration problems, such as having the PATH
wrong or not having GCC installed, disk full errors, incorrect permissions,
missing libraries or dependencies, and bugs or non-portable assumptions in the
configure script templates for individual projects.

  It would probably be possible to improve autoconf so that it could generate
configure scripts that try and diagnose some of the more common sources of
problems running the C compiler, and perhaps be able to emit more helpful
error messages in some cases, but in the majority of cases it's going to
require manual intervention to diagnose and solve anyway, and as things stand
configure just throws up its hands and says "I give up.  You figure it out".

  Are you experiencing an occurrence of this problem yourself right now in the
course of building something, or was this just a general observation?  It is
unfortunate that, because this one error message is generated for so many
different reasons, it's not easy to know when googling a solution whether the
one you've found is related to what's gone wrong in your particular
circumstances or not.


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