[tex-live] TeX Live 2008, i386-freebsd, FreeBSD 6.4 and i386-linux

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Thu Mar 19 20:08:26 CET 2009

On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 11:25 PM, Yue Wang <yuleopen at gmail.com> wrote:

>> I think that backward compatibility, is no (big) problem. It might already
>> have been done in/via the GENERIC kernel:
>> options         COMPAT_43               # Compatible with BSD 4.3 [KEEP
>> #THIS!]
>> options         COMPAT_FREEBSD4         # Compatible with FreeBSD4
>> options         COMPAT_FREEBSD5         # Compatible with FreeBSD5
> Kernel configuration is just one thing.
> One should also install the obsolete libraries (from
> /usr/ports/misc/compat{5x,6x}).
> Binary/Source compatibility is the biggest headache for users and developers.
> But the biggest problem is all the TL binaries are compiled by
> volunteers. We should find developers who have those old system
> installed.

Just a remark based on experiences with other large applications --
old systems often won't run on current hardware because the drivers
haven't been backported.   VM's  on current hardware, however, have a
good record of supporting older systems, and typically give much
better performance than a native install on old hardware.    Of course,
many TeX users/developers are on tight budgets, so getting access
to the appropriate hardware may not be so easy.

Some linux distros, e.g., RHEL have robust support for apps built on
older versions, others (Ubuntu) are explicit that apps should be
recompiled for the current version.   There have been a few issues
(a security patch to libX11 and the change to make the "mode" argument
to "open()" mandatory come to mind) that do break backwards
compatibility.   In one case, we had to build a version of the library with
the patch reversed to keep a legacy app running until the app could be

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

More information about the tex-live mailing list