[c++] What is difference between sjlj vs dwarf vs seh?

I can't find enough information to decide which compiler should I use to compile my project. There are several programs on different computers simulating a process. On Linux, I'm using GCC. Everything is great. I can optimize code, it compiles fast and uses not-so-much memory.

I do my own benchmark with MSVC and GCC compilers. Later one produces slightly faster binaries (for each subarchitecture). Though compile time is much more than MSVC.

So I decided to use MinGW. But can't find any explanation about exception handling methods and their implementations in MinGW. I can use different distributions for different operating systems and architectures.


  • Compile time and memory are not important for my usage. Only important thing is runtime optimization. I need my programs to be fast enough. A slow compiler is acceptable.
  • OS: Microsoft Windows XP / 7 / 8 / Linux
  • Architecture: Intel Core i7 / Core2 / and a very old i686 running XP :P

The answer is

SJLJ (setjmp/longjmp): – available for 32 bit and 64 bit – not “zero-cost”: even if an exception isn’t thrown, it incurs a minor performance penalty (~15% in exception heavy code) – allows exceptions to traverse through e.g. windows callbacks

DWARF (DW2, dwarf-2) – available for 32 bit only – no permanent runtime overhead – needs whole call stack to be dwarf-enabled, which means exceptions cannot be thrown over e.g. Windows system DLLs.

SEH (zero overhead exception) – will be available for 64-bit GCC 4.8.

source: https://wiki.qt.io/MinGW-64-bit

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