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Re: Glibc-based Debian GNU/KNetBSD

On Tue, Dec 02, 2003 at 10:03:11AM -0500, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org> writes:
> > While I'd dearly love to see a bit more de-coupling of NetBSD kernel and
> > libc (so that they don't have to be in quite such lockstep, though I'm more
> > worried about the process utilities that must be *exact* matches), I don't
> > claim that managing it would be trivial, and may not even be practical (or
> > at least, might not be feasible short of 3.0).
> BTW, NetBSD gets a lot out of the tight integration of the libraries
> and kernel. What we get is completely seamless integration -- and that
> buys us quite a bit.
> In general, I can see why one would want to combine the advantages of
> Debian and NetBSD, but I can't see why one would want to produce
> something less functional than either. I think if you replace too much
> of NetBSD in doing what you're trying to do, you just end up with a
> crippled Linux rather than something synergetic.

A clarification: when I say 'decouple', I don't really mean "make it
possible to be an arbitrary libc on top"; I mean, more, "decouple the very
tight versioning limitations" - one of the few places that Glibc+Linux
beats NetBSD's kernel+libc is that Glibc can run on 2.2, 2.4, 2.6, probably
2.0 (thoguh I think modern Glibc has issues with that, anymore) - all with
just a reboot.

Even when the Linux kernel is newer than the Glibc, it copes fairly well;
most of what's missing is new, better-optomized functionality from the
kernel that the libc can't take advantage of until it's upgraded.

This may be possible under NetBSD as well (especially with a generous
helping of COMPAT option enabling), but given the number of dire warnings
the manuals all bear about building things in the correct order, I'm not
willing to trust that it's flexible enough to start doing interesting
things with.

Granted, this is much less of an issue for this port, compared to Linux,
since it's fairly straightforward to figure out what kernel version things
have to be build against; it's just inconvenient for users building their
own kernels from other sources, at times.
Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org>                                        ,''`.
Debian GNU NetBSD/i386 porter                                        : :' :
                                                                     `. `'

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