Glibc's Slow Turnaround For Y2038 Fixes Is Frustrating

Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 13 July 2019 at 08:04 AM EDT. 45 Comments
While there is another nineteen years to go until the Year 2038 problem manifests, the GNU C Library "glibc" is one of the key software components still needing some fixes for this issue where this problem where storing the Unix time as a 32-bit signed integer will wrap around and become a negative number.

Wolfgang Denk of German software engineering firm DENX put out a "desperate call for help" that even with their resources/money for trying to fix up Y2038 Glibc issues, the review/upstreaming process is taking too long for some of their customers. In particular, even few lines of code patches aren't being accepted upstream at least in any timely manner.

The GNU toolchain folks on Twitter acknowledged the issue, asking who can accelerate patch review or otherwise turn-back time. Though on the mailing list where the call for help was volleyed, there hasn't been any responses yet about what can be done to accelerate the process with the company willing to dedicate both man-power and money.

Given the severity of the Y2038 problem, hopefully a timely review can happen and also addressing any underlying issues hindering the Glibc review process that may also be turning away others from contributing.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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