I'm trying to install gcc 4.8.1 at the moment. Currently 4.8.2 and 4.9.1 are installed. I downloaded an 4.8.1 from here http://gcc.cybermirror.org/releases/gcc-4.8.1/ . After extracting the files I did a ./configure and then tried make. At the end of make, I get this error

/usr/include/linux/errno.h:1:23: fatal error: asm/errno.h: No such file or directory
 #include <asm/errno.h>

I am new to linux so I do not know how to find or add this header file.

Edit: Steps I made:

  1. Extract gcc-4.8.1.tar.gz to a folder
  2. Open terminal window
  3. cd gcc-4.8.1
  4. ./configure --build=x86_64-linux-gnu
  5. make -j4

I don't know what I did differently but it finally compiled. After that I did make install. My question now how do I use this instead of 4.8.2 which using the command gcc-4.8 still defaults to.

  • Please tell me you did not do sudo make install. It's highly recommended when building stuff from source that you use --prefix flag (and with GCC, the --program-suffix flag) while configuring. Since you haven't, try running /usr/bin/gcc.
    – muru
    Sep 29, 2014 at 23:46
  • @muru Thank you so much for your help! I have managed to use 4.8.1 now. I didn't realize I needed to purge 4.8.2 first. Also, I did use sudo make install. Is there a reason not to?
    – Meenor
    Sep 30, 2014 at 1:14
  • Well, you configured GCC without giving a suffix. So while /usr/bin/gcc should normally be handled by Ubuntu's package system, it has now been overwritten by the one you compiled.
    – muru
    Sep 30, 2014 at 13:04

2 Answers 2


I got the same error on ubuntu-xenial 4.4.0-75-generic.

I found I had a /usr/include/asm-generic folder, but no /usr/include/asm, which gcc was looking for.

Creating a symlink solved it for me.

sudo ln -s /usr/include/asm-generic/ /usr/include/asm

Fair warning: Although, sometimes, one has to do this kind of trickery, it's not always a good idea just because it works. I'm doing this in a virtual machine, which I can recreate by running a simple script, and that is why it's no big deal if I break something.

  • 1
    This symlink worked for me. Though I wish the maintainers of this stuff would just fix it. It's been broken for about 7 years now.
    – swpalmer
    Jun 17, 2021 at 19:59

The asm/errno.h header is provided by a variety of packages. Odd that gcc would require it, but you can try:

sudo apt-get install linux-libc-dev

You also need to tell GCC to look for an architecture and OS specific location for the headers:

../configure --build=x86_64-linux-gnu 

(or i386-linux-gnu for 32-bit Ubuntu).

It's highly recommended when building stuff from source that you use --prefix flag (and with GCC, the --program-suffix flag) while configuring. Since you haven't, try running /usr/bin/gcc.


tar xf gcc-4.8.1.tar.gz 
mkdir gcc
cd gcc
../gcc-4.8.1/configure  --build=x86_64-linux-gnu --prefix=/usr/local --program-suffix=-4.8.1
make -j
sudo make install

Now your GCC binaries will be installed to /usr/local/bin/, and other things in other folders in /usr/local.

For example:

$ /usr/local/bin/gcc-4.8.1  # or simply gcc-4.8.1, since this folder is in your PATH

Note how I'm running configure and make from a different directory, outside of where the GCC source is? That's how the GCC docs recommend that GCC be built.

  • Hi I just tried installing that but it said it was already installed.
    – Meenor
    Sep 29, 2014 at 19:39
  • Sorry, I'm not sure how to specify those. Could you give me an example of how I would go about doing that?
    – Meenor
    Sep 29, 2014 at 19:46
  • Do you have linux-headers installed?
    – chili555
    Sep 29, 2014 at 20:14
  • muru, I tried that but I'm still getting the same error.
    – Meenor
    Sep 29, 2014 at 20:44
  • @muru, Yeah I did use make clean. I also tried deleting the folder, reextracting the files and repeating the steps. No success.
    – Meenor
    Sep 29, 2014 at 20:49

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