Serious compatibility breakage in -current.

Kris Kennaway kris at
Fri Nov 30 07:55:08 PST 2007

Dag-Erling Smørgrav wrote:
> "Carl Shapiro" <carl.shapiro at> writes:
>> The switch from SIGBUS to SIGSEGV is well motivated.
> Is it?  I see no mention of it in the commit log for the revision that
> actually implemented the change.  David argued on -CURRENT that it is
> more POSIXly correct, provided that he interpreted POSIX correctly; how
> do other operating systems behave in this case?

Apparently Linux uses SIGSEGV (there was an old commit by eivind to 
i386/i386/trap.c that translated the signal for emulated binaries).  So 
in principle this might help some Linuxy code to not crash when compiled 
on FreeBSD, although it is balanced by the code that now crashes when 
compiled on FreeBSD 7.0 because it used to be correct until the signal 

Unfortunately this is creating a bit of a compatibility nightmare, 
because no matter what we do there are some applications that will not 
run on 7.0 without changes.  The best case scenario seems to be to 
require new source code that expect SIGBUS to change to SIGSEGV (which 
requires someone to identify and fix the code in ports; there are 
certainly more of them), and try to automatically enable a compatibility 
shim when running old binaries that reverts to the old signal.  Kostik 
is working on that approach.  Probably the SIGSEGV change should be 
clearly documented somewhere so that application writers will have a way 
to learn about the change.

(We can't revert the kernel change and go back to sending SIGBUS because 
it is far too late in the release cycle to identify and revert the ports 
that already caught up to expecting SIGSEGV, so we'd be breaking a 
different set of applications instead).


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