New op­por­tun­it­ies in the linuxu­lator

Last week­end I com­mit­ted some dummy-​syscalls to the linuxu­lator in FreeBSD–cur­rent. I also ad­ded some com­ments to syscalls.master which should give a hint which linux ker­nel had them for the first time (if the linux man-​page I looked this up in is cor­rect). So if someone wants to ex­per­i­ment with a higher com­pat.linux.osrelease than 2.6.16 (as it is needed for a Cen­tOS based linux_​base), he should now get some ker­nel mes­sages about un­im­ple­men­ted sy­scalls in­stead of a si­lent fail­ure.

There may be some low-​hanging fruits in there, but I did not really verify this by check­ing what the dummy sy­scalls are sup­posed to do in linux and if we can eas­ily map this to ex­ist­ing FreeBSD fea­tures. In case someone has a look, please send an email to emulation@​FreeBSD.​org.

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New Cen­tOS linux_​base for test­ing soon­ish

It seems my HOWTO cre­ate a new linux_​base port was not too bad. There is now a PR for a Cen­tOS 6 based linux_​base port. I had a quick look at it and it seems that it is nearly us­able to in­clude into the Ports Col­lec­tion (the SRPMs need to be ad­ded, but that can be done within some minutes).

When FreeBSD 8.3 is re­leased and the Ports Col­lec­tion open for sweep­ing com­mits again, I will ask port­mgr to do a repo-​copy for the new port and com­mit it. This is just the linux_​base port, not the com­plete in­fra­struc­ture which is needed to com­pletely re­place the cur­rent de­fault linuxu­lator user­land. This is just a start. The pro­cess of switch­ing to a more re­cent linux_​base port is a long pro­cess, and in this case de­pends upon enough sup­port in the sup­por­ted FreeBSD re­leases.

At­ten­tion: Any­one in­stalling the port from the PR should be aware that us­ing it is a highly ex­per­i­mental task. You need to change the linuxu­lator to im­per­son­ate him­self as a linux 2.6.18 ker­nel (de­scribed in the pkg-​message of the port), and the code in FreeBSD is far from sup­port­ing this. Any­one who wants to try it is wel­come, but you have to run FreeBSD-​current as of at least the last week­end, and watch out for ker­nel mes­sages about un­sup­por­ted sy­scalls. Re­ports to emulation@​FreeBSD.​org please, not here on the webpage.