Re: [dev] - a few questions about it

From: Robert Ransom <>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2010 21:38:27 -0700

On Tue, 10 Aug 2010 17:32:51 -0400 wrote:

> Tried reading the web site for information on and then did a search in the mailing list for more information. I've been looking for the right Open Source operating system to switch to from Windows and still have not found one that fits my needs. Biggest issue is binary compatibility. I really dislike the way you need to have all programs rebuilt every time glibc is updated. From what I read about, it sounds like it may be a workable solution to the binary compatibility issue.

You don't need to have all programs rebuilt when glibc is updated --
Arch Linux upgraded glibc from 2.11.1 to 2.12 without recompiling
everything. (In fact, much of the unnecessary complexity (symbol
versioning) in glibc is related to preserving binary compatibility with
programs compiled against old versions of glibc.)

> First question, has anyone considered using OpenWatcom ( ) as the main compiler for I read the progress on the list about bionic (which also sounded like a good option). Am wondering if OpenWatcom would be an easier route. I've used Watcom on Windows for years, even before it went Open Source, and I know at one point the magazines were reporting it made the mostly highly optimized binaries of any of the commercial compilers available for Windows. There is a Linux port that's currently in the works. Don't know the current status, but I do know that there's active work on it and you can download a copy for Linux to test out. OpenWatcom supplies its own run time library, so that should provide a way to avoid glibc.

I've used OpenWatcom to compile an old FORTRAN program for Windows, and
I would consider using it to compile programs for DOS, but I'm not even
going to try it on Linux. The license is too scary for that.

> Second question, are there any pointers to documentation to install and use on a system? I just went through attempting to install half a dozen Linux distributions on my desktop including Slackware, Centos and OpenSuse and only found one distribution I could successfully get to run so far (Crunchbang). I'm not feeling very lucky at getting Linux systems going on my main computer, especially without some good documentation or help. Would be willing to help document if I can get access to information how to install and get up and running.

I don't think is anywhere near usable yet, especially for
someone switching from Windows. The only downloadable blob for
that I could find is a bare tarball from October 2009, and I don't
think it can be installed without an existing Linux system.

Try Arch Linux -- it works well enough for now, and there is a good
Beginners' Guide on the Arch wiki. It also forces users to read and
edit a few configuration files during the installation process; this is
actually a good thing, because when something breaks, you will have a
better idea of what needs to be fixed. You may want to practice in a
VM (try VirtualBox <> if you don't already have
one for Windows).

Robert Ransom

Received on Wed Aug 11 2010 - 06:38:27 CEST

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