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Re: "but ./configure makes it look so easy", or why cross compiling isn't always trivial

Peter Kourzanov <peter.kourzanov@xs4all.nl> writes:
> Peter Samuelson wrote:

>> Of the six or so packages I'm involved with, three of them need more
>> than just '--host'.  (And two of the others are arch:all, so there's no
>> need to cross-compile them anyway.)  If that's representative, you're
>> looking at a *lot* of work by a *lot* of people to realise your dream.

>> Well, that or a *lot* of work by you, to write and submit patches for
>> all these packages.

> Yes. But if I can convince maintainers then I suppose this can become
> *less* work for a *lot* of people:-)

It is often not at all trivial to redo the build process to avoid having
to build and run programs.  The amount of work that the GCC maintainers
put into this is significant.  I'm afraid that for many other packages,
people are going to question whether the amount of work required is really

You'd probably be best off picking a subset of packages that make sense to
cross-compile and focusing on them rather than hoping for the entire
distribution.  The entire distribution includes things like the full
Mozilla suite, and it would surprise me if cross-compiling such things was
really on anyone's radar or will be.  (Apologies if Mozilla has put a ton
of work into that already -- I'm fairly sure that the example could be
replaced by dozens of other large packages if need be.)

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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