Re: Dropping a.out support

Michael Brennen (
Fri, 2 May 1997 08:33:30 -0500 (CDT)

I have a copy of ViaCrypt PGP that is a.out format, and they only supply
binaries. Sure, I might be successful beating on PGP, Inc. to get an ELF
version, but I might not; they barely support Linux anyway (at least a
year ago). I need to run this on the main Web server, and it is not an
option to keep running old software on such a platform. Bugs get fixed
and features added that require the kernel updates.

After all this time one does not gain stability by removing a.out. The one
"efficiency" I can think of to dump the a.out format is kernel size
because it doesn't need the a.out loader any more. How much does that
take? If you don't want it, just don't compile it in your kernels.

One can hide many things behind the label "for the sake of progress". I
fail to see that any is made in this case.

-- Michael

On 2 May 1997, Peter Mutsaers wrote:

> >> On Fri, 2 May 1997 14:18:06 +0200, Harald Koenig
> HK> obviously not. and even if they would do so, you can't assume
> HK> that every user will upgrade to their newest release (probably
> HK> paying again $$$) just to get ELF binaries because Linux no
> HK> longer supports a.out...

> Then don't upgrade your Linux system either. Keep it as is for your
> old apps.
> It is the same with other Unix vendors too. Look at Sun: Solaris still
> runs many SunOS binaries, but not all. Most vendors went through a
> period of transition like this. After a couple of years, for the sake
> of progress and efficiency, the old stuff must become obsolete. Users
> that don't want to move on, then have to stick with their old system
> and don't touch it.