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Xref: sparky comp.unix.bsd:7373 comp.os.linux:13332
Newsgroups: comp.unix.bsd,comp.os.linux
Path: sparky!uunet!!!!agate!boulder!ucsu!rintintin.Colorado.EDU!ngoh
From: ng...@rintintin.Colorado.EDU (NGO HIEN D)
Subject: Binary compatibility question...
Message-ID: <1992Oct13.223537.11949@ucsu.Colorado.EDU>
Sender: ne...@ucsu.Colorado.EDU (USENET News System)
Organization: University of Colorado, Boulder
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1992 22:35:37 GMT
Lines: 20

I am unable to find the info I need through the FAQ's and
scanning the newsgroups, so that leaves me the post-and-ask-a-
possibly-trivial-or-completely-obvious-question method :).

I need to run a specific piece of software on either 386BSD or
Linux that is only distributed in binary form... it's a commercial
product.  My question is: is either Linux or 386BSD "88 Open
Compliant?"  The tech-guy popped this term on me and I was
unaware of any such compatibility standard (wouldn't be a first.)

There is another option to run this program, however.  They have
a Xenix version also, and I know that under Linux there is a
Xenix emulator.  How complete is this emulator?  The latest
version on tsx-11 is still the early alpha.

| Hien D. Ngo                               |
| Computer Science Undergraduate                                           |
| University of Colorado at Boulder                                        |

Xref: sparky comp.unix.bsd:7467 comp.os.linux:13467
Path: sparky!uunet!mcsun!!hydra!klaava!torvalds
From: torv...@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Torvalds)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.bsd,comp.os.linux
Subject: Re: Binary compatibility question... [Summary]
Message-ID: <1992Oct15.092205.28084@klaava.Helsinki.FI>
Date: 15 Oct 92 09:22:05 GMT
References: <1992Oct13.223537.11949@ucsu.Colorado.EDU> 
<> <1992Oct14.193014.537@ucsu.Colorado.EDU>
Organization: University of Helsinki
Lines: 25

In article <1992Oct14....@ucsu.Colorado.EDU> 
ng...@rintintin.Colorado.EDU (NGO HIEN D) writes:
>From: Cameron Spitzer 764-6339 <>
>There *is* an "Application Binary Interface" for System V on the [34]86.
>I was real disappointed to find out Linux doesn't use it.  Don't know why he 
>doesn't either.

The simple reason linux isn't even close the the intel ABI is that I
simply hadn't got a clue about how it looked - intel never contacted me
about it :-) and I certainly didn't want to go to any unnecessary
trouble over it. 

As it turns out, the linux-ss project might be helped by linux following
the intel ABI or at least being a bit closer (ie lcall 7,$0 for system
calls), so I might put in some hooks for it - I'll take a look at the
xenix emulator when I get some time. 

Making linux run most normal i386 ABI binaries would probably be pretty
simple: you'd just need a simple wrapper around the system calls
mechanism.  To get more complete support, the signal handler stack frame
would have to be changed etc, but very few programs care about that


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