Waiting for unit compilations to finish during development, particularly with G++ and heavy optimizations can be quite time consuming. A run of make distcheck escalates the problem, because all files during a dist need to be rebuilt. Small errors triggered late in the dist build might require several time consuming restarts of the build process.

With ccache, a tool exists that can majorly speed up this process. I’ve been using it successfully for several years now. A related development aid is colorgcc which is a colorization wrapper for gcc. This also is under heavy use for my development. It turns out that some tweaks are needed to get it working together with ccache though.

Here’s how to use the tools in combination to speed up regular project builds and also distcheck:

Finally, you might want to tweak the colors of colorgcc’s output which can be adjusted in /etc/colorgcc/colorgccrc. FYI, here’s the color setup I prefer to use in a black terminal window:

srcColor:             bold white
introColor:           bold magenta
warningFileNameColor: cyan
warningNumberColor:   bold cyan
warningMessageColor:  yellow
errorFileNameColor:   cyan
errorNumberColor:     bold cyan
errorMessageColor:    bold yellow

UPDATE: Fixed ccache default dir thanks to anonymous.

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