Red Flag Linux, the upstart commercial Linux distributor based in China, says that it is the first of the Linux distributors to use the C++ Compiler 8.0 for Linux to actually compile its Linux operating system. Specifically, Red Flag Server 4.1 was compiled and tuned with the Intel tools, and moreover, the compiled server will include a 60-day evaluation copy of this Linux compiler from Intel.
The Intel compilers are said to offer better performance on Xeon and Itanium processors than the open source gcc compilers. The Intel compiler set includes C++ and Fortran for both Windows and Linux platforms. Neither Novell or Red Hat use the Intel compilers to compile their Linuxes.
But if the performance advantage is really there, then it probably won’t be long before they do – provided the compiled code will work on Opteron chips, that is.