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Title: Extension modules fail to build on OS X 10.6 using 2.x/3.x
Type: Stage:
Components: Extension Modules, macOS Versions: Python 3.1, Python 2.6
Status: closed Resolution: accepted
Dependencies: Superseder:
Assigned To: ronaldoussoren Nosy List: barry, benjamin.peterson, ned.deily, ronaldoussoren
Priority: release blocker Keywords:

Created on 2009-09-21 11:05 by ned.deily, last changed 2022-04-11 14:56 by admin. This issue is now closed.

File name Uploaded Description Edit
issue-6957-force-gcc-4.0.txt ned.deily, 2009-09-26 09:29
Messages (9)
msg92930 - (view) Author: Ned Deily (ned.deily) * (Python committer) Date: 2009-09-21 11:05
Potential 2.6.3 release blocker

On OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), if you attempt to install a package with a 
extension module using a Python from a OS X installer (say, 
2.6.x or 3.1.x), the c compilation steps will likely fail in one of two 

1. Recent installers are built using the OS X 10.4 SDK so 
that one installer image will work on 10.4, 10.5 and now 10.6 (in 
theory, 10.3.x as well).  Building of extension modules also require gcc 
and the SDKs, which are included as part of Apple's Xcode tools.  
However, with 10.6 Xcode, the 10.4 SDK is not installed by default so 
the extension module build will fail due to missing include files. Once 
the problem is known, it can be solved easily by installing the SDK from 
the release DVD that comes with the system or upgrade.

2. Even with the 10.4 SDK installed on 10.6, the compilation fails with:

/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.4u.sdk/usr/include/stdarg.h:4:25: error: 
stdarg.h: No such file or directory

This can be especially baffling to those unfamiliar with nested include 
files because the base file stdarg.h does exist in that directory.

The root cause here is that Snow Leopard now uses gcc-4.2 by default but 
the 10.4 SDK does not include headers for 4.2. The solution is to force 
use of gcc-4.0, the default on 10.4 and 10.5 and included in 10.6, by 
defining the CC environment variable:
  $ export CC=/usr/bin/gcc-4.0
  $ python install 
  $ easy_install xxx

Even for experienced developers, these can be non-trivial problems to 
resolve although the solutions, once known, are easy to implement.  
Unfortunately, all types of python users can run into these issues 
simply by trying to install and use a package that includes an extension 
module.  There are a growing number of hits on the web from people 
trying to install popular packages such as MySQLdb, PIL, and lxml using 
a Python on 10.6.  Note this isn't a problem for users of the 
Apple-supplied Pythons (2.6 and 2.5) on 10.6 since they do not use the 
10.4 SDK.

There are two separate issues here I think:
1. What, if anything, to do for users of installers already out in the 
2. What to do to mitigate the problems for yet-to-be released installers 
(e.g. 2.6.3)?

Documenting and publicizing the problems somehow may be the only viable 
option for 1.  For 2, there is the possibility of some additional 
actions, perhaps a warning in the installer readme or some such.  It 
probably would make sense to contact the maintainers of such packages so 
that they can add something to their web pages and documentation.
msg92973 - (view) Author: Ronald Oussoren (ronaldoussoren) * (Python committer) Date: 2009-09-22 06:04
It should be possible to tweak distutils to do the right thing for 
upcoming releases, distutils already contains some special code to allow 
building extensions for a univeral build on 10.3.9 (where the compiler 
doesn't support universal builds at all) and we could extend that for 
the compiler version on SL.

Implementation sketch:
* Record the compiler version during build (using configure)
* Store the compiler version as a variable in
* Teach distutils to read that variable and adjust the compiler 
  path ($CC,$LD,...)

This bit would only be active on OSX.
msg93005 - (view) Author: Ned Deily (ned.deily) * (Python committer) Date: 2009-09-22 17:50
Tweaking distutils as you propose sounds like a good idea to help with 
future releases.  Also, the proposed installer variant to support 64-bit 
would not have this problem as it would only work with 10.5 and above.  
(Perhaps there's a warning in all this that trying to support too many 
releases with one installer is not a good thing.)
msg93009 - (view) Author: Ronald Oussoren (ronaldoussoren) * (Python committer) Date: 2009-09-22 19:10
There is a much easier solution for the 2.6.3 release: ensure that CC=gcc-
4.0 when building the installer.

That requires minimal changes to the build machinery and should be safe 

The only change to distutils I do want to make for 2.6.3 is to detect
compilation with an SDK that is not present and remove the -isysroot 
option in that case.
msg93011 - (view) Author: Ronald Oussoren (ronaldoussoren) * (Python committer) Date: 2009-09-22 19:31
r75022 (trunk) and r75023 (2.6) add the other half of my proposal: 
distutils will ignore -isysroot SDKPATH when SDKPATH is not present on the 
current system.

That combined with explicit compilation using gcc-4.0 should solve these 
build issues with the OSX binary installer.
msg93155 - (view) Author: Ned Deily (ned.deily) * (Python committer) Date: 2009-09-26 09:29
Explicitly defining CC during the installer build does seem to fix the 
extension build problem, at least for well-behaved extensions.  I 
successfully tested building simplejson (using both easy_install and 
direct installs) and MySQLdb, both on 10.6 using a fat 
installer built on 10.5 with DEPTARGET=10.3 and 10.4u SDK, test cases 
that previously failed.

I've attached a patch to to support setting CC to 
appropriate values for distutils based on the value of deployment 
target: gcc-4.0 for DEPTARGET in [10.3, 10.4, 10.5], gcc-4.2 for 10.6.

The patch also includes changes to the build process itself to use the 
appropriate gcc, including the recipes for the 3rd-party libs.  This is 
in support of building installers on 10.6 with gcc-4.0 and 10.4u SDKs 
(however, there are still problems with this - see below).

It also includes fixes for two unrelated build problems noted during 
testing: (1) the doc html files are installed in the wrong location in 
the framework (this was fixed in 3.x but not yet backported); and (2) 
the recently changed test for 10.4 or later was off by one (causing 
building to fail on 10.4 systems).  Those fixes should go into 2.6.3 

There are some open issues with the patch:

1. Should CXX (the distutils environ value for the c++ compiler) also be 
set? There are multiple paths through configure involving CC and CXX.

2. I chose not to implement a --cc argument to 
figuring it would be safer to hard code the appropriate CC values into 
the script for the time being.

3. While the script as is does not cause regressions for installer 
builds on 10.5 or 10.4 (that is, assuming the remaining builds and tests 
in progress complete normally - I'll update the status when they 
finish), as it stands I am still not able to build "standard" fat 
installers using the 10.4u SDK on 10.6.  There seem to be problems up 
front in configure: a number of build options are coming out differently 
when using 10.4u on 10.6 than on 10.5, presumably causing the cc compile 
errors.  It's not a release-blocker problem, anyway, since the plan is 
to build the installer on 10.5 but we do need to get a better idea 
what's going wrong there.  (Unfortunately, I don't expect to have time 
to investigate this further prior to the 2.6.3 release.)
msg93162 - (view) Author: Ned Deily (ned.deily) * (Python committer) Date: 2009-09-26 16:23
> (that is, assuming the remaining builds and tests 
in progress complete normally - I'll update the status when they 

No regressions noted:
- DEPTARGET=10.3, 2-way i386/ppc, built on 10.5:
     regrtest on 10.4 ppc, 10.5 ppc, 10.6 i386
- DEPTARGET=10.3, 2-way i386/ppc, built on 10.4:
     regrtest on 10.4 ppc, 10.5 ppc, 10.6 i386
msg93321 - (view) Author: Barry A. Warsaw (barry) * (Python committer) Date: 2009-09-29 19:31
Please apply this for 2.6.3rc1
msg93322 - (view) Author: Ronald Oussoren (ronaldoussoren) * (Python committer) Date: 2009-09-29 19:35
Committed in r75147 (trunk) and r75148 (2.6)
Date User Action Args
2022-04-11 14:56:53adminsetnosy: + benjamin.peterson
github: 51206
2009-09-29 19:35:28ronaldoussorensetstatus: open -> closed

messages: + msg93322
2009-09-29 19:31:11barrysetpriority: release blocker
resolution: accepted
messages: + msg93321
2009-09-26 16:23:08ned.deilysetmessages: + msg93162
2009-09-26 09:29:36ned.deilysetfiles: + issue-6957-force-gcc-4.0.txt

messages: + msg93155
2009-09-22 19:31:52ronaldoussorensetmessages: + msg93011
2009-09-22 19:10:45ronaldoussorensetmessages: + msg93009
2009-09-22 17:50:11ned.deilysetmessages: + msg93005
2009-09-22 06:04:15ronaldoussorensetmessages: + msg92973
2009-09-21 11:12:10ned.deilysetnosy: + barry
2009-09-21 11:05:58ned.deilycreate