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Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2016 13:48:26 +1100
From: Andrew Donnellan <>
To: Kees Cook <>, PaX Team <>
Cc: "" <>,
        "" <>,
        Emese Revfy <>, LKML <>,
        linux-kbuild <>,
        Brad Spengler <>, Michal Marek <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 3/3] powerpc: enable support for GCC plugins

On 09/12/16 05:06, Kees Cook wrote:
>> i don't think that this is the right approach. there's a general and a special
>> issue here, both of which need different handling.
>> the general problem is to detect problems related to gcc plugin headers and
>> notify the users about solutions. emitting various messages from a Makefile
>> is certainly not a scalable approach, just imagine how it will look when the
>> other 30+ archs begin to add their own special cases... if anything, they
>> should be documented in Documentation/gcc-plugins.txt (or a new doc if it
>> grows too big) and the Makefile message should just point at it.

I think I agree in principle - Makefiles are already unreadable enough 
without a million special cases.

>> as for the solutions, the general advice should enable the use of otherwise
>> failing gcc versions instead of forcing updating to new ones (though the
>> latter is advisable for other reasons but not everyone's in the position to
>> do so easily). in my experience all one needs to do is manually install the
>> missing files from the gcc sources (ideally distros would take care of it).

If someone else is willing to write up that advice, then great.

>> the specific problem addressed here can (and IMHO should) be solved in
>> another way: remove the inclusion of the offending headers in gcc-common.h
>> as neither tm.h nor c-common.h are needed by existing plugins. for background,

We can't build without tm.h:

And we get warnings without c-common.h:

>> as for the location of c-common.h, upstream gcc moved it under c-family in
>> 2010 after the release of 4.5, so it should be where gcc-common.h expects
>> it and i'm not sure how it ended up at its old location for you.
> That is rather odd. What distro was the PPC test done on? (Or were
> these manually built gcc versions?)

These were all manually built using a script running on a Debian box. 
Installing precompiled distro versions of rather old gccs would have 
been somewhat challenging. I've just rebuilt 4.6.4 to double check that 
I wasn't just seeing things, but it seems that it definitely is still 
putting c-common.h in the old location.

Andrew Donnellan              OzLabs, ADL Canberra  IBM Australia Limited

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