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Re: Latest libc6?

> I just recently got started with Debian-sparc using an old base1_2.tgz
> as ground and then upgrading manually until I got to a 2.0 debian.
> This was because I didn't know that there was a base2_0.tgz (atleast
> not that I could find on ftp.debian.org), so my first question is;
> where are the standard ftp-places to look for new updates on packages?

Welcome to the world of fun that is Sparc/Linux libc6.  Unfortuantely, there
aren't standard ftp sites for new packages; the ones on ftp.debian.org are
usually it.  From time to time one of the gcc/libc6 guys on this list will
make a new set of packages and offer them from a private ftp site until he's
convinced that they work well enough to stick on ftp.debian.org.  If that
happens there's always a posting to this mailing list.

> My second question is about libc6. I've read old archives of
> debian-sparc and can conclude that there is some problems with the
> glibc2. I'm currently running libc6-2.0.92-980301 out of
> ftp.debian.org so the question is; is this the one I should use, and
> if not, where is the newer?

As implied above, ftp.debian.org contains the latest Debian libc6 packages.

> I got _a lot_ of programs segfaulting on Symbol '_IO_2_1_std{out,err}'
> and I believe this to be caused by problems with libc6.

Yes, this is a libc6 problem.  For details, see below.

> Hmm, as I look at it now I see that I have a libc6 2.0 and the symbol
> implies something like libc6 2.1..
> Could someone please clear this up for me? I'm eager to get to work on
> debian-sparc but you can only do so much with a semi-working computer

Okay, here's the deal: GNU's libc6 (glibc v2.0) does NOT support sparc boxes.
At all.  Because of this there is no RedHat 5.0 for sparc (they don't want to
hack out libc6 to make it work).  The folks at GNU have promised that glibc
v2.1 will have full sparc compatibility.  However, 2.1 is still in development.
The Debian people, being the smart, insane little programmers that they are,
are working with the glibc people on backporting sparc patches from glibc 2.1
to 2.0, thus making a sparc-capable libc6.
    A little while ago the GNU folks came out with a big set of changes to
v2.1, which (once applied to 2.0) produced a version of libc6 that was binary
_incompatible_ with previous releases (namely those prior to 980301).
Programs linked against the older libc6 may or may not work.  As you may have
already guessed, they changed the size of the stdout and stderr symbols in the
library (or something related to them; I'm not a libc person so I'm glossing
over a bunch of issues here).  Some packages, like cron, still work, they
just display warnings.  Others, like vim, have problems.  Some, like libpaper,
just don't work.  When the developers have time they will occaisionally
recompile a package against the latest libc6 (980301) and upload the result to

    If you've read through the long-winded summary above, congradulations.
Here's the status of a few important packages:

1) kernel:	Works!
2) libc6:	Seems to work; once in a while a bug is found
3) gcc:		Works, still a few unsolved bugs (like not being able to
		initalize a global file descriptor to stdin or stdout, as is
		done in several X programs)
4) X11:		Sort of working.  I made some packages for Xsun a while back.
		They have some installation problems but the binaries seem to
		work.  Check the archives for where to get them on your side
		of the pond; I also keep copies at
5) miscompiled packages:
		Someone (who is a registered Debian developer) needs to go
		back an recompile anything that has IO symbol problems with
		the latest libc6.  Currently I don't think people are working
		on this.
6) SILO:	Someone is working on making it compile with libc6.  Check the
		archives for details.
7) missing packages:
		Someone (again, a registered Debian developer) should go
		through the hamm source tree compiling stuff that isn't already
		built for sparc.  There will be some errors and package
		maintainers will have to be contacted.  Work on this seems to
		have dropped off.
If you can do work on any of the areas above I'm sure the Debian Sparc team
would love to have you.  If not, you can still test all the packages currently
available and help find bugs.  Hopefully, this (rather long, sorry about that)
email answers all your questions; if you have more, post them.

Mike "No .sig for you" Shuey

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