Subject: Re: utmp file format change
To: Jun-ichiro itojun Hagino <>
From: Noriyuki Soda <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 08/23/2001 04:17:46
>>>>> On Wed, 22 Aug 2001 17:38:30 +0900,
	Jun-ichiro itojun Hagino <> said:

> 	I really would love to see utmp/wtmp file format to be updated before
> 	1.6, so that it would be able to accomodate full IPv6 numeric address
> 	as well as longer host names.

> 	- openbsd bumped UT_xx (file format changed), with no backward
> 	  compatibility supplied for older log files.

I suppose why they could choose this approach is because OpenBSD has
different goal from NetBSD.
For example, OpenBSD changed major number of libc 15 times since their
first snapshot, and NetBSD never changed libc major number after
NetBSD-1.0 release (Solaris never changed lib major number, either).
In other words, NetBSD (and Solaris) has higher goal about binary
compatibilty, and OpenBSD doesn't pay enough attention about it.
(Another example about this is that they didn't change a.out magic
 number, when OpenBSD is split from NetBSD.)

> 	- Solaris uses struct utmpx, instead of utmp.  which does not look very
> 	  good to me.

The reason that Solaris and other (almost all) commercial UNIX keep
old utmp format (and use other file like utmpx for extended
information) is binary compatibility for third party applications.

This is certainly ugly, but this is the only way to keep ABI for 3rd
party programs which access old utmp format. And I believe NetBSD
should make efforts to keep binary compatibility just like Solaris and
other commercial UNIX.

locale database is another thing that we have to mind...

I'm away from net since today to Aug 29.