Mono support two compilation engines, a fast, JIT-friendly compilation engine which does not generate very fast code, and a slower compilation engine based on the LLVM optimizing compiler that produces superior code.
For example the SciMark score goes from 609 to 851.
This extra performance comes at a cost: it consumes more time and more memory to JIT compile using LLVM than using Mono’s built-in JIT, so it is not a solution for everyone.
Compiling LLVM support for Mono
You need to install both LLVM and Mono from git, as follows:
Get and install Mono and LLVM like this:
Alternatively, you can try our LLVM branch which removes some restrictions so more methods can be compiled with LLVM:
git clone git://github.com/mono/llvm.git cd llvm ./configure --prefix=/mono --enable-optimized --enable-targets="x86 x86_64" make && make install
Use ‘git checkout mono’ when compiling against mono HEAD.
Then get Mono as usual:
git clone git://github.com/mono/mono cd mono
Since I am using the non-standard prefix for the LLVM installation
/mono), we need to make sure that we add
/mono/bin to the
that the configure script can detect the llvm installation:
export MONO_USE_LLVM=1 PATH=/mono/bin:$PATH
The next step is to run the configure script, the one flag that matters here is one of:
You can either link LLVM into your mono executable, or you can split it in a separate shared library (for example for Linux distributions that might want to ship both a slim Mono by default).
./autogen.sh --prefix=/mono --enable-llvm=yes make && make install
Now you have an LLVM-powered Mono. By default, the mono JIT is used to
compile code, to make the runtime use LLVM, pass the ‘–llvm’ command
line option, or add it to the
MONO_ENV_OPTIONS environment variable.
LLVM generates better code at runtime, but also takes longer to
execute. This is why you need to explicitly tell Mono’s runtime to use
the LLVM backend. This is achieved by either setting the environment
MONO_USE_LLVM or by passing the –llvm command line option to
LLVM is not able to support some of the features that Mono needs, so in those cases the JIT compiler will still fall back to Mono’s JIT engine (methods that contain try/catch clauses or methods that do interface calls).