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SubjectRe: [PATCH] x86: Deprecate a.out support
Linus Torvalds <> writes:

> On Mon, Mar 11, 2019 at 2:34 PM Arnd Bergmann <> wrote:
>> The main historic use case I've heard of was running Netscape
>> Navigator on Alpha Linux, before there was an open source version.
>> Doing this today to connect to the open internet is probably
>> a bit pointless, but there may be other use cases.
> The _really_ main version was that I decided to make my life easier
> for the initial alpha port by trying to run basic (tested) OSF/1
> binaries directly.
> Netscape may have been one of the binaries people actually ended up
> using, but it's probably not a reason any more, since the internet has
> moved past that anyway.
>> Looking at the system call table in the kernel
>> (arch/alpha/kernel/syscalls/syscall.tbl), we seem to support a
>> specific subset that was required for a set of applications, and
>> not much more.
> Yeah, it never supported arbitrary binaries, particularly since
> there's often lots of other issues too with running things like that
> (ie filesystem layout etc). It worked for normal fairly well behaved
> stuff, but wasn't ever a full OSF/1 emulation environment.
> I _suspect_ nobody actually runs any OSF/1 binaries any more, but it
> would obviously be good to verify that. Your argument that timeval
> handling was broken _may_ be an indication of that (or may just mean
> very few apps care).

Does it count if I fire up an Alpha and run a few OSF/1 binaries right
now? :-)

Måns Rullgård

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