[linux-elitists] (forw) PUBSW: Red Hat 9 *not* supported

Ben Woodard ben@zork.net
Mon Oct 13 17:15:47 PDT 2003

What is PUBSW?

The really big change that is a bit of a challenge for some people to
get over is NPTL, the native posix threading library. The change that
this brings into glibc is rather substantial However, the payoff is also
quite substantial. We are not just talking something as optional as
performance here. Basically, NPTL fixes linux so that it actually does
implement the posix pthread standard and it does it well.

I've spent a lot of time helping to sort out issues that have popped up
by moving to NPTL and I know that it is not easy. Some of the issues are
amazingly subtle. I've really learned quite a lot digging into the
esoteric details of the posix standard.

I know I have been a SA and I hate it when I have to do more work
because something underneath me changes. However, I think that painting
this as a black and white issue where Red Hat is wrong for departing
from the way that other people do things is kind of unfair. In
evaluating the changes and the work necessary to adapt the software to
support them, you need to at least take into account the benefits of
supporting NPTL. 


<disclaimer>I work for Red Hat</disclaimer>

On Mon, 2003-10-13 at 16:40, Rick Moen wrote:
> ----- Forwarded message from Russ Allbery <eagle@windlord.stanford.edu> -----
> From: Russ Allbery <eagle@windlord.stanford.edu>
> Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 15:55:10 -0700
> Organization: ITSS Infrastructure Operations, Stanford University
> To: sulug-discuss@lists.Stanford.EDU
> Subject: PUBSW: Red Hat 9 *not* supported
> Linux users and administrators,
> Please be aware that pubsw software is not supported on Red Hat 9
> (including the most current versions of SULinux).  Much of it may work,
> but much of it definitely does not work (particularly but not limited to
> any software built against X libraries), and we do not yet have an
> estimated date for when we will be able to support Red Hat 9.
> Unfortunately, the lack of backward compatibility and the degree of change
> in Red Hat 9 is considerably worse than we had originally anticipated.  We
> had originally thought that the only change we had to worry about was
> patching and rebuilding old packages with errno or resolver library
> problems (for which Red Hat 9) also has a workaround.  We have since
> discovered that the glibc changes in Red Hat 9 have also broken the pubsw
> X libraries as well as various other shared libraries on which pubsw
> software relies.  There is not one simple cause for the breakage; Red Hat
> appears to have made multiple changes to glibc that are not backward
> compatible with programs built with earlier versions.
> These problems seem to be Red Hat-specific.  Other Linux distributions may
> not be affected even if using the same version of glibc.  Debian testing
> and unstable, for example, continue to run pubsw software without
> difficulties.
> There is, as yet, no estimated time for Red Hat 9 support.  The amount of
> work that needs to be done to support Red Hat 9 is fairly extensive, in
> some cases requires patching the original software (not just rebuilding
> it), and may require building a separate software tree solely for Red Hat
> 9.  No resources have as yet been assigned to this work.
> In the meantime, users of Red Hat 9 who need pubsw software will need to
> look for alternatives.  Many packages in pubsw are also available as RPMs
> that can be installed locally, Red Hat 7.3 (or Red Hat 8) continue to work
> correctly with all pubsw software, or one could switch to a different
> Linux distribution with better backward compatibility.
> -- 
> Russ Allbery <eagle@windlord.stanford.edu>
> Technical Lead, ITSS Infrastructure Operations, Stanford University

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