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Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2012 00:18:48 -0800
From: Isaac Dunham <>
Subject: Re: Summary of 1.0 marketing plan/scheme/nefarious plot from

On Fri, 30 Nov 2012 23:06:20 -0500
Rich Felker <> wrote:

> > 
> > I'm tempted to analyze each libc variant: eglibc, uClibc, klibc,
> > dietlibc, newlib. Look at it, figure out what specifically its users
> > get out of it, figure out if musl can meet their needs.
> I can give you the short version...
> uClibc I think you know. :-)
> klibc is probably only relevant to initrd. In principle it's a lot
> like Bionic -- a "thin" libc that said "screw standards as long as we
> can provide the libc functionality needed in our very-limited domain".
clone() & pthreads are unsupported, because it's not threadsafe.

klibc does have one very large advantage over musl, especially wrt. intrds: It supports most Linux arches (musl would need to port to several more before becoming a full replacement).
Arches they support but we don't: alpha, cris, ia64 (static only), parisc, ppc64, s390, s390x, sparc.  

Of those, Debian officially supports ia64, ppc64, s390, and sparc (they have sparc 32-bit userland on sparc64).
s390x, parisc, and alpha are unofficial ports.

klibc also has a few untested ports:
m32r, m68k, arm-thumb, sh, sparc64. 

> dietlibc's user base seems to be mostly fefe/djb fans, and maybe
> people making rescue disks and such. It's not secure or robust enough
> for internet-facing use or for many embedded uses.
> newlib's niche is systems with no kernel, or kernels very different
> from POSIX-oriented ones. I don't think it would be used on any
> systems any of the other libcs you mentioned get used on.

It also _is_ used on Linux. newlib on Linux is LGPL, and has more features than other platforms.

newlib is a pretty random assortment: it looks like someone tried to collect all the permissive code they could find and call it a libc...

> Among these, I think the only two against which musl wins in all
> respects are klibc and dietlibc. As for the others:

Isaac Dunham <>

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