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Glibc-based GNU/FreeBSD system

From: Robert Millan
Subject: Glibc-based GNU/FreeBSD system
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 03:22:01 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i


I'm working on the Debian GNU/FreeBSD project [1] to build a system based on
a FreeBSD kernel with Debian/GNU userland.

After Bruno Haible's announcement of his Glibc port [2] to the FreeBSD kernel,
we've been playing around with it to see if we can use Glibc as the base
for Debian GNU/FreeBSD.

I recently bootstrapped the GNU toolchain into a self-hosting build environment
with Glibc 2.3, GCC 3.2.3 and binutils' cvs. For those of you interested on
playing with it, there's a tarball here:


(see also the patches/ dir, which contains updates of Bruno's patches
for GCC, binutils and others.)

The question if we use Glibc for this porting effort partly depends on wether
Bruno's Glibc port will be supported by the Glibc team in the future.
(I heard there are a few Glibc hackers interested on it, including Bruno
of course)

In particular, there are a pair of glitches i couldn't sort out. It'd be
interesting if any of you could lend a hand with them, or at least provide
some indication on what is the reason of the problem:

- dynamic executables don't work. Glibc's dynamic
  linker triggers a "ELF file OS ABI invalid" error
  (in [glibc]/elf/dl-load.c) when loading an
  executable that is linked against Glibc. i'm
  not sure wether the problem is in ld.so, binutils
  or libc.so itself.

  (the workaround i used for now is to link
  everything staticaly, by either using [BOOT_]CFLAGS
  variables or a /usr/bin/gcc wrapper.)

- getpw{nam,uid} always fail (return NULL, errno=success)
  this could be a problem in NSS, since other
  NSS services are broken also (hostname resolving)

[1] http://www.debian.org/ports/freebsd/
[2] http://www.haible.de/bruno/gnu-freebsd/

Robert Millan

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