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Re: glibc vs BSD libc

On Tue, Jan 21, 2003 at 08:50:46AM +0100, Michael Ritzert wrote:
> Momchil Velikov <velco@fadata.bg> schrieb am 20.01.03 15:20:56:
> > 
> > >>>>> "Atifa" == Atifa Kheel <atifa_kheel@yahoo.com> writes:
> > 
> >     Atifa> e)Other Streams(like string streams,Obstack streams,etc)
> >     Atifa> glibc: Supported
> >     Atifa> BSD libc: Not Supported.
> > 
> Why is it important for debian BSD to sum up the differences in BSD libc
> and glibc? What I have learned from this thread (and from porting apps
> from linux to NetBSD and Solaris):
> - there are differences between the libcs of these systems.
> - sometimes they hurt during ports, most of the time, they don´t hurt
> - the dominance of glibc-based linux has forced IBM and SUN to supply linux
>   programming interfaces. This might happen in the BSD world in the future.
> - for the debian/BSD project on the sparc it seems to be better to stick to
>   BSD libc (we keep in track with alpha and intel ports)

Er. Please do. It's insane enough already; tracking different libcs on
different architectures of the same 'OS port' is liable to become flat-out

> So, coming back to the main topic: how did the NetBSD/intel people
> overcome these difficulties caused by bsd libc/glibc?

Most of the difficulties are non-portable code (such as code that uses GNU
extensions *without* wrapping them in suitable #ifdefs, or doesn't provide
any alternative to them). Generally, at least so far, the patches are not
terribly difficult, and we just submit them to the maintainer (and request
forwarding it upstream, if applicable). Folks tend to be just fine with
having their code be more portable if someone else is doing the scutwork of
making it so. :)

Honestly, I personally generally find far more difficulties in handling
stuff that assumes a primarily glibc/Linux environment at the core
(base-passwd and PAM spring to mind). These can also be fixed, but finding
some sane and resaonable way is often non-trivial. Though the last I'd
heard, the PAM maintainer was quite happy to work with us, as soon as we
got to the point that we had the things it depends on, and I haven't really
done much on base-passwd integration due to other issues (that is to say,
base-passwd and PAM are some of the *least* critical, and in the case of
base-passwd, I would prefer to patch our libc to handle things more like
what Linux expects, instead of making base-passwd cope with pwdb stuff).
Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org>

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