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IBM XL C/C++ Advanced Edition 6.0 for Mac OS X

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[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us
IBMXLC-MacOSX-6.0.dmg (47.46 MB)
MD5: bc6965da0b01119e68561b26fa0f3cd0
For Mac OS X
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us
This app works with: QEMU

Shortly after the introduction of the first PowerMac G5, in October 2003, IBM released a preview version of its XL C and Fortran compiler suite for the Mac OS X.

The final version of the compiler was released by IBM in January 2004 with the then brandnew G5 processor in mind, but is also working on G4 processors. Because of IBM's knowledge of its own PPC processors, the compiled code for the G4 and G5 is much faster than the same code compiled with the standard gcc 3.3 compiler, as supplied by Apple, while being source- and binary-compatible to it (same situation as for the x86 processor series with Intel compiler vs. Microsoft compiler).
The compilers had to be ordered at IBM.

After Apple's announcement to switch from PPC-based to x86-based Macs in 2005, the IBM compilers were not longer available (there are now Intel compilers for C/C++ and Fortran available for Mac OS X instead). They were discontinued and are to be considered abandonware (latest versions of the compilers are for AIX, Linux and mainframes only (XLC: 12.1, XLFortran: V14.1)):
IBM's Announcement of Product Discontinuation

Information PDF

All the Manuals are available here: C/C++ compiler.

Updates are still available on the IBM FTP server:

The Runtime environments are available here:
C/C++ compiler

The compilers worked for Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar and Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, I found a workaround:

MacOS X 10.4, 10.5. MacOS X 10.5 requires you to create a dummy crtbegin.o in /usr/lib. You can use "cat /dev/null | gcc -arch ppc -arch i386 -arch ppc64 -x c -o crtbegin.o -c -" and copy the resulting object in /usr/lib.

Here is a report about the possible speed-ups versus the standard gcc compiler:
"Current GCC vs XLC performance comparisons show optimized GCC vs optimized XLC compiles showing improvements of anywhere from 11% to 51% on SPECint2000 scores. For floating point performance, the difference is even more extreme - more of the numbers are over the 50% mark than under; the G4/G5 have always had stronger floating point, and now the compiler backs that up with the appropriate optimizations to make use of the unique features of the architecture that enables that to be true."

See here for the Fortran compiler sister product.

Architecture: PPC

Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger with workaround


Jatoba's picture
by Jatoba - 2020, May 13 - 9:16am

@rjamorim Wow! Savior! Laughing out loud Thank you so much!!!

Would you also happen to have the FORTRAN counterpart?

rjamorim's picture
by rjamorim - 2020, May 13 - 2:33am

So you want IBM XLC 6?

Enjoy! And please mirror it soon, I'd rather not leave it at my server for a long time

Kitchen2010's picture
by Kitchen2010 - 2013, July 17 - 10:30am

If you have the preview or final version of this compiler, please upload this.

I set up this page for saving all the information, that I collected in this search thread, for future reference.

Zaiphaic's picture
by Zaiphaic - 2013, July 17 - 10:18am

Perhaps I’m blind, but where’s the actual compiler? Listed are manuals and updates, but not the compiler suite itself, right? (Same for the Fortran-compiler)