Re: [AMBER] DihedralSearch.cpp:53: error: unknown escape sequence '\*'

From: Jason Swails <>
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2013 10:34:44 -0400

On Thu, Jul 4, 2013 at 9:56 AM, Marek Maly <> wrote:

> Hi Jason,
> just for the curiosity.
> Which is the easest way to upgrade gcc on RedHat like distributions
> (in my case CentOS).
> When I try to use yum for those purposes e.g. using commands
> yum upgrade
> OR
> yum install gcc.x86_64
> etc.
> I get just gcc-4.4.7.
> So maybe I have to download some proper gcc/yum repository which can yum
> use to
> download and install the latest stable gcc ?

In my experience, package managers tend to avoid allowing this. I have
experience with several -- aptitude (Debian/Ubuntu), yum (RHEL, Fedora,
CentOS), zypper (SUSE), MacPorts (OS X), and portage (Gentoo). Only
portage and MacPorts provide simple mechanisms for maintaining multiple
installations and versions of GCC on them. The goal of the Gentoo and
MacPorts project is to keep as up-to-date as possible with software

The other OSes, however, are built with stability in mind. Typically
updates to those software repositories are bugfix-release only, and the
provided versions are often old (and very well-tested and stable). As a
result, they tend not to offer many GCC versions that can be installed and
maintained side-by-side (most I think offer only one). Therefore, if you
want the latest compilers you are stuck with either upgrading your OS to a
version that provides the compiler version you want or building them

Of course there is still the way to install gcc "manually" and then reset
> properly symbolic links g++,cc,gcc,c++ in /usr/bin directory so that
> they point to the new version of gcc binaries. But I guess there should be
> also some automatic/more comfortable way to do this. I am just confused
> that default yum behavior do not allow this.

As I said, MacPorts and Gentoo's Portage provide easy means to do this:

Mac OS X:
sudo port select gcc mp-gcc4X

gcc-config <#>

In general, though, unless a newer compiler implements functionality that
you require (from C++11, for instance), there's very little reason to go
through the trouble of upgrading. The GCC project focuses on implementing
new features of the language standards in a stable product moreso than on
optimization performance.


Jason M. Swails
Quantum Theory Project,
University of Florida
Ph.D. Candidate
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Received on Thu Jul 04 2013 - 08:00:02 PDT
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