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Improve compile time on multi-core Linux systems

  • Friday, February 12 2010 @ 08:51 PM UTC
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While compiling a piece of software from source the other day, I noticed that my CPU was only at about 50% utilization.  This reminded me that the build tools can be set to execute multiple operations simultaneously.

The CONCURRENCY_LEVEL environment variable is used by many tools to determine the number of concurrent jobs to run:

 export CONCURRENCY_LEVEL=3

 It is also possible to tell "make" directly how many simultaneous jobs to run:

 make -j 3

 make --jobs=3

 On a sample dual-core system, this improved my emacs compile time from 2m36s to 1m31s.

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