ABI for i386 binaries under FreeBSD-amd64

David Naylor blackdragon at highveldmail.co.za
Tue Oct 30 01:03:42 PDT 2007


I have seen that recently on the mailing list there has been a discussion on
running i386 FreeBSD binaries under an amd64 system.  As far as I have been
able to read there does not appear to be anyway of achieving this except
though either a chroot/jail or vitalization.  I think this is a short fall
of FreeBSD currently as there are still proprietary i386 programs for
FreeBSD that people may want to use under FreeBSD.  For me it is the Unreal
Tournament series that all have i386 binaries (running under Linux ABI).  (I
do not think this short fall is of any major significance as the majority of
programs people use can be compiled under ports.  Thank you for such a
wonderful infrastructure, truly a jewel for FreeBSD).

Onto my questions (most appropriate since this is the freebsd-questions
mailing list :-):
1) Is it possible to set up something along the lines of the Linuxulator for
i386 binary support including a ghost file hierarchy under
/compat/freebsd-i386 (or something more appropriate)?  This should not be
too hard as the kernel already has i386 support.
2) Could the above also be extended to give support for running i386 and
amd64 Linux binaries under FreeBSD (with an additional directory hierarchy
under /compat?)?
3) With the appropriate files under /compat would it be reasonably easy to
set up a cross-architecture build system with ports, where all
cross-compiled ports are installed under /compat?

Could someone please add the above ideas to the Project Ideas page provided
they are of sufficient quality.

Thank you for listening to me.


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