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Formally, with versions starting from 3.4, GCC/libstdc only guarantees C 98/C 03 ABI stability and not more. GCC only makes C 11 ABI stability guarantees beginning with version 5.1.
This means that switching (even minor) versions of gcc (say from 4.7.3 - packages).
Please note that downgrading GCC might have unwanted side effects.
Refer to the troubleshooting section for some commonly reported issues.
If you are upgrading to GCC 4.1, or GCC 5.1, you would probably encounter ABI issues.
To prevent this, the So why is this only needed up to GCC 4.1/5.1?
To fulfill its function properly, the version information in them.
An ABI, or Application Binary Interface, is a set of conventions used by all tools that deal with binary representation of programs, including compilers, assemblers, linkers, and language runtime support (source: GCC Binary Compatibility).
Update: Some of the techniques used in Dolt have since gone into upstream libtool.
Some software problems are inherently difficult to diagnose and yet could be solved by simply rebuilding one or more appropriate packages.
If such a problem has arisen following a GCC upgrade and persists after using the revdep-rebuild approach described above (and after rebuilding any other obviously relevant packages), a complete system rebuild may be the answer.
Some people swear that they need to rebuild every single package on their system when a new GCC version is made available.
Of course, that doesn't make sense, since there are many applications that are not using GCC for their build and install process anyhow, so they would never be affected by such changes.