Porting UNIX Software: From Download to Debug

Overview

If you work on a UNIX system, a good deal of your most useful software comes from other people — your vendor is not the source. This means, all too often, that the software you want was written for a slightly different system and that it has to be ported. Despite the best efforts of standards committees and the admirable people who write the software (often giving it away for free), something is likely to go wrong when you try to compile their source code. But help is now here!

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Overview

If you work on a UNIX system, a good deal of your most useful software comes from other people — your vendor is not the source. This means, all too often, that the software you want was written for a slightly different system and that it has to be ported. Despite the best efforts of standards committees and the admirable people who write the software (often giving it away for free), something is likely to go wrong when you try to compile their source code. But help is now here!

Problems can crop up at any stage in porting. Special configuration is often required before you compile. The source code could call functions that you've never heard of. Some programs make assumptions about the hardware they're running on or the terminals they interact with. And you may even have trouble with the documentation, if it's in a format you're not used to.

This book deals with the whole life cycle of porting, from setting up a source tree on your system to correcting platform differences and even testing the executable after it's built. The book exhaustively discusses the differences between versions of UNIX and the areas where porters tend to have problems.

The assumption made in this book is that you just want to get a package working on your system; you don't want to become an expert in the details of your hardware or operating system (much less an expert in the system used by the person who wrote the package!). Many problems can be solved without a knowledge of C or UNIX, while the ones that force you to deal directly with source code are explained as simply and concretely as possible.

Topics covered in this book include:

  • Unpacking the software
  • Common configuration tasks
  • Incompatibilities in makefiles and compilers
  • Building documentation
  • Variations in system calls, file systems, terminal handling, and other kernel features
  • Commonly used libraries
  • Compiler and assembler files
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Offers help to programmers using software from different software developers and dealing with several "flavors" of UNIX. Details the life cycle of porting from setting up a source tree on a system to correcting platform difference and testing the executable. Discusses the differences between versions of UNIX, addresses common porting problems, and includes suggestions for emulating features not available on the varying platforms. Contains appendices on UNIX data types, compiler options, assembler directives, and CD-ROM producers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565921269
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1995
  • Series: Nutshell Handbooks Series
  • Pages: 534
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Greg Lehey is an independent computer consultant specializing in UNIX. Born in Australia, he was educated in Malaysia and England before studying chemistry in Germany and chemical engineering in England. He has spent his professional career in Germany, where he worked for computer manufacturers such as Univac and Tandem, the German space research agency, nameless software houses, and a large user before deciding to work for himself. In the course of over 20 years in the industry he has performed most jobs you can think of, ranging from kernel support to product marketing, systems programming to operating, processing satellite data to programming gasoline pumps. About the only thing he hasn't done is write commercial software. He is currently engaged in the production of CD-ROMs of ported free software, and this book is one result of his experience in this area. He is available for short-term contracts and can be reached by mail at grog@lemis.de.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction 3
2 Unpacking the Goodies 17
3 Care and Feeding of Source Trees 35
4 Configuring the Package 57
5 Building the Package 71
6 Running the Compiler 91
7 Documentation 107
8 Testing the Results 123
9 Installation 145
10 Where to Go from Here 165
11 Hardware Dependencies 175
12 Kernel Dependencies 185
13 Signals 205
14 File Systems 233
15 Terminal Drivers 269
16 Timekeeping 307
17 Header Files 323
18 Function Libraries 335
19 make 363
20 Compilers 383
21 Object Files and Friends 401
App. A: Comparative References to UNIX Data Types 439
App. B: C Compiler Options 447
App. C: Assembler Directives and Options 475
App. D: Linker Options 485
App. E: Where to Get Sources 495
Bibliography 499
Index 503
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