tech-toolchain archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Old Index]

Re: GNU tools netbsd vs netbsdelf

[ Majordomo won't reply to me, so I hope I'm subscribed to the list now
  and that my message will go through -- I'll try resending if it doesn't. ]

Hi, thought I'd chime in with my own perspective since I was CCed.

First up, I just want to clarify that we're not saying you have to
change anything.  As the person who's been doing most of the work on
this (adding support for NetBSD to our package manager / collection,
which I'm doing because I like NetBSD), it's important to me that the
work I've been doing is about changing Nixpkgs to work better for
NetBSD, not changing NetBSD to work better for Nixpkgs.

I'm happy enough with what we have now, which is a special case that
says "if the user asks for a NetBSD build, and it's for an
architecture where binutils would default to a.out, override it to
force it to ELF".  The only reason we do that in the first place is
that binutils doesn't support NetBSD a.out any more.

As far as I'm concerned, the only reason to bring this up at all is to
check with you folks is to check whether there's an improvement to be
made to binutils here that we could volunteer our time to help with.
If there's not, and you're happy with the current situation, that's
okay and we won't bother you any further. :)

With that in mind, I'd like to explain what I think the room for
improvement here is from the perspective of a binutils user, rather
than a Nixpkgs developer:

I recently wanted to cross-compile a program to an i686 NetBSD system.
I tried building an upstream GNU cross toolchain with
--host=i686-unknown-netbsd, and I got an error saying that the
platform was unsupported.  That surprised me, so I asked a NetBSD
developer I know for help, and was told that i*86-unknown-netbsd means
a.out to the GNU build system by default, and that the scary message
from binutils just meant it didn't support NetBSD a.out, and if I
changed it to "netbsdelf" it would be fine.  So, the question this has
raised for us is, is it maybe time to get GNU to update this default,
so cross-compiling for i686-unknown-netbsd would have got me what I
intended?  As I understand it, (please correct me if I'm wrong), ELF
has been the predominant executable format on NetBSD for a long time
now, and the GNU source code implies they meant for the default to be
changed at some point.

That's really it -- is it worth trying to get that updated in GNU?
Would there be any drawbacks to it?

It just seems to me like changing the default here would make sense
for everybody, so I wanted to ask to find out if that's true.

Alyssa Ross

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: PGP signature

Home | Main Index | Thread Index | Old Index