How NOT to inline functions INSIDE a function (limit stack frame size) ?

Xavier Roche
Wed Jul 11 12:48:00 GMT 2012

Hi folks!

Is there a way, for a given function, to tell GCC NOT to inline any code 
inside this function ?

I do not care about inlining the function itself [ie. this is not 
related to __attribute__((noinline)) and/or the asm("") trick.] 
elsewhere or not, I just want to ensure that the function will not have 
calls inlined in it, because additional inlined variables on stack will 
increase the total function stack frame size.

The reason behind is for recursive functions calling other functions on 
terminal recursion calls: I have a function with a huge stackframe, 
causing recursion to overflow, only for "leafs" terminal calls or 
intermediate calls without recursion.

Ideally, I'd like my fonction to have only the return address on the 
stack for each call, and the two or three arguments really used, not the 
other inlined function's variables.

I can't seem to find any relevant attribute/buitin in the GCC manual for 
that though.

Really trivial sample (do not try to understand the goal of the "foo" 
functiopn, it does not have any):

gcc -DSTATIC_DISP test.c -o test.S -S -O
gcc test.c -o test-not-static.S -S -O

Without inlined function:

         subq    $8, %rsp	.

With inlined function:

         pushq   %rbx
         subq    $48, %rsp	; outch my stack!

Sample code:

#define STATIC static
#define STATIC

STATIC int disp(int c) {
   char bar[32];
   sprintf(bar, "%d", c);
   sscanf(bar, "%d", &c);
   return c;

extern int foo(int bar);

int foo(int bar) {
   if (bar == 0) {
     return 0;
   bar = disp(bar);
   if (bar % 2) {
     int c = foo(bar / 2);
     if (c % 2) {
       return c;
     } else {
       return c*2;
   } else {
     int c = foo(bar / 2 - 1);
     if (c % 2) {
       return c;
     } else {
       return c*2;

If anyone has any suggestion or insights, please let me know.

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