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

> On Mon, Mar 11, 2019 at 9:26 AM Måns Rullgård <> wrote:
>> Anyone running an Alpha machine likely also has some old OSF/1 binaries
>> they may wish to use. It would be a shame to remove this feature, IMO.
> If that's the case then we'd have to keep a.out alive for alpha, since
> that's the OSF/1 binary format (at least the only one we support - I'm
> not sure if later versions of OSF/1 ended up getting ELF).

The latest version I have is 5.1, and that uses ECOFF.

> Which I guess we could do, but the question is whether people really
> do have OSF/1 binaries. It was really useful early on as a source of
> known-good binaries to test with, but I'm not convinced it's still in
> use.
> It's not like there were OSF/1 binaries that we didn't havce access to
> natively (well, there _were_ special ones that didn't have open source
> versions, but most of them required more system-side support than
> Linux ever implemented, afaik).

I don't have any specific examples, but I can well imagine people
keeping an Alpha machine for no other reason than the ability to run
some (old) application only available (to them) for OSF/1. Running them
on Linux rather than Tru64 brings the advantage of being a modern system
in other regards.

For anything open source, there's little reason to keep the Alpha at

Måns Rullgård

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