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Linux Preparing To Finally Remove Support For The a.out Format

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  • Linux Preparing To Finally Remove Support For The a.out Format

    Phoronix: Linux Preparing To Finally Remove Support For The a.out Format

    Back in 2019 the Linux kernel deprecated a.out support for that file format used several decades ago before ELF tookover. Now in 2022 it looks like that a.out code will be removed from the kernel...

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...x-Remove-a.out

  • #2
    Rest in peace a.out
    1970-2022

    Comment


    • #3
      I suppose if someone really needed to run a.out executable, it would be possible to create a user-space loader for the format and run it automatically via binfmt_misc?

      I wonder where one would even find an old a.out executable, and whether or not it would still work fine on Linux before this.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ids1024 View Post
        I wonder where one would even find an old a.out executable, and whether or not it would still work fine on Linux before this.
        Agree.
        The one who would must be that one guy running Slackware 1.0 with Linux 5.16...
        Or that one industrial plant running Linux and still needs to work with a.out due to non-replaceable still-working machinery.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by tildearrow View Post

          Agree.
          The one who would must be that one guy running Slackware 1.0 with Linux 5.16...
          Or that one industrial plant running Linux and still needs to work with a.out due to non-replaceable still-working machinery.
          Industrial equipment is unlikely. While that might run Linux these days, back in the 90s they would most likely run DOS. Linux was nowhere near as big as it is today. Also, such an industrial plant would not be running the latest kernel anyway.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tildearrow View Post

            Agree.
            The one who would must be that one guy running Slackware 1.0 with Linux 5.16...
            Or that one industrial plant running Linux and still needs to work with a.out due to non-replaceable still-working machinery.
            The one industrial plan that depends on linux, and some long forgotten proprietary binary, from a company that long ceased operations, with source code that can't be found.

            The controller died, and some newish hardware that can be made to work, but with a new OS, needs to run the same binaries...

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            • #7
              No Michael, no! Not white text on red background! No Michael, just no!

              Comment


              • #8
                I guess this is different, but many C tutorials introduce the concept of 'a.out' executable to save some typing when compiling stuff:

                $ echo "#include..." > hello.c
                $ gcc hello.c
                $ ./a.out

                Imagine the horror if you had to write this instead:

                $ gcc hello.c -o hello
                $ ./hello

                Requires 9 characters more.

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                • #9
                  How will gcc output look without specifying the linked binary?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wth, the first program I wrote in C for Linux produced an a.out. You're telling me that won't work anymore? One can't write a first program, you know? Not to mention I barely remember a shred of C these days.

                    Farewell a.out, it's been nice knowing you.

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