Unfortunate dynamic linking for everything

Colin Percival colin.percival at wadham.ox.ac.uk
Tue Nov 18 16:22:40 PST 2003

At 17:06 18/11/2003 -0700, Scott Long wrote:
>Our rationale for encouraging Gordon is as follows:
>1.  4.x upgrade path:  As we approach 5-STABLE, a lot of users might want
>     to upgrade from 4-STABLE.  Historically in 4.x, the / partition has
>     been very modest in size.  One just simply cannot cram the bloat that
>     has grown in 5.x into a 4.x partition scheme.  Of course there is the
>     venerable 'dump - clean install - restore' scheme, but we were looking
>     for something a little more user-friendly.

   Of course, making / dynamic results in added complication of removing 
old libraries from /usr/lib, now that some of them have moved to /lib...

>3.  Binary security updates: there is a lot of interest in providing a
>     binary update mechanism for doing security updates.  Having a dynamic
>     root means that vulnerable libraries can be updated without having to
>     update all of the static binaries that might use them.

   As far as I'm concerned, this is a non-issue.  Identifying which static 
binaries need to be replaced is now a solved problem, replacing them is 
easy, and if binary patches are used, there is effectively no impact on 
bandwidth usage either.

   On the issue of performance, however: I know people have benchmarked 
fork-bombs, but has anyone done benchmarks with moderate numbers of 
long-lived, library-intensive, processes?  It seems to me that dynamic 
linking could have caching advantages.

Colin Percival

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