Linux a.out binaries

Daniel O'Connor doconnor at
Thu Apr 18 03:54:17 UTC 2013

On 18/04/2013, at 13:09, Jeremy Chadwick <jdc at> wrote:
>> I presume it has rotted and was removed, does anyone know when?
> Good lord, the number of possibilities here are almost endless.  You
> can't be serious...


I don't think this is any worse than trying to run FreeBSD 1.0 binaries on -current :)

> My first inclination is to ask you if that FreeBSD system is amd64 or
> i386.  Your Linux a.out binaries are i386.
> If the FreeBSD system is amd64: I don't think this is going to work;
> I see nothing in /sys/amd64/conf/* that indicates a.out is supported.
> Sure, 32-bit binaries might be (with COMPAT_FREEBSD32), but that's
> architecture, not format.

Yeah, I wondered if that was the case. It is an amd64 system.

> If the FreeBSD system is i386: /sys/i386/conf/NOTES mentions a kernel
> option called COMPAT_AOUT, which **is not** enabled in GENERIC.  And of
> course don't forget COMPAT_LINUX.
> Also worth noting is the BUGS section of a.out(5).

It's looking like running it inside a FreeBSD 4 VM is the easier solution :)

Thankfully it doesn't get much use these days now the person who needs it can run GDL.

Daniel O'Connor software and network engineer
for Genesis Software -
"The nice thing about standards is that there
are so many of them to choose from."
  -- Andrew Tanenbaum
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