Subject: Re: libtool and a.out
To: Nick Hudson <>
From: Todd Vierling <>
List: tech-toolchain
Date: 06/21/2000 23:01:32
On Wed, 21 Jun 2000, Nick Hudson wrote:

: # 'none' -- dependencies not supported.
: # `unknown' -- same as none, but documents that we really don't know.
: # 'pass_all' -- all dependencies passed with no checks.
: # 'test_compile' -- check by making test program.
: # 'file_magic [regex]' -- check by looking for files in library path
: # which responds to the $file_magic_cmd with a given egrep regex.
: # If you have `file' or equivalent on your system and you're not sure
: # whether `pass_all' will *always* work, you probably want this one.

a.out shared objects on NetBSD *do* support interlibrary dependencies, and
path--this was "rediscovered" some time ago (see tech-pkg archives in early
1999), and I verified it just now by randomly linking one a.out shared
object against another on i386, and then running "ldd" on a binary linked
only with the shared object with the dependency.

To my knowledge, this can be set safely to "pass_all" on all current NetBSD
platforms for which shared libraries exist (and that goes for O*BSD
platforms, which branched from the NetBSD codebase after the necessary
support for a.out went in).

Better, though, this could probably be "test_compile" so systems that may,
for whatever reason, still be running a system somewhere before 1.1something
when the support went in, will work.

Again, file(1) is NOT part of the ABI and should _never_ be used to check
for ABI features.  That's why the toolchain can compile test programs.  8^)

-- Todd Vierling (