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Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2014 00:07:58 -0400
From: Rich Felker <>
Subject: Re: static musl-based gdb and -fPIC

On Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 11:26:56PM -0400, wrote:
> On 04/29/2014 10:57 PM, Rich Felker wrote:
> >On Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 05:40:06PM -0400, wrote:
> >>I built a static gdb (v7.7, passing --disable-gdbserver to
> >>configure) and _thought_ that everything was fine.  Then I checked
> >>the build logs and saw that gdb refused to use the present libexpat,
> >>libncurses/tinfo, and libpython.  In the case of expat, at least,
> >>the "solution" was easy, albeit unacceptable: temporarily break my
> >>local system by renaming (so that gdb cannot find it).
> >>But for ncurses and python that didn't work.
> >>
> >>It appears that expat is passed to the linker as a full path
> >>(/full/path/to/ rather than normally (-lexpat), which
> >>makes the whole thing break since there is no way to request a
> >>static expat instead.  Note, however, that this problem is not
> >>musl-specific
> >>(
> >It's not clear at all to me from your email or from the linked thread
> >who the passer in "is passed" might be. Is this something broken in
> >gdb's build script, or expat's pkg-config or similar, or ct-ng, or
> >something else?
> Pardon.  The expat pkg-config file (expat.pc) is fine.  It is the
> gdb script that passes /full/path/to/ to the linker,
> which then complains about an attempt to statically link a dynamic
> library.  As far as I can tell the problem is somewhere in the
> configure script under the gdb sub-directory.

You might should check the patches used by sabotage or one of the
other dists using musl. They probably have dealt with the gdb bugs and
probably already have a good fix or workaround.

> >>At this point I am no longer seeking a solution (unless you have one
> >>ready), but thought I should share this for the record.  As an
> >>aside, it looks like the static python interpreter is missing some
> >>modules as well (see, for instance,
> >>
> >Static python is not very useful since most important python
> >extensions are partly implemented as C code, which necessarily must be
> >dynamically loaded.
> >
> The purpose of building a static python was to make a static
> libpython.a available for gdb.  Given the loss of functionality on
> both the python and gdb ends, it might be better to leave the two
> dynamically linked as they were meant to be...

I always just build gdb without python (I'm not much of a python fan).
The ideal solution would be separating python out to run as a separate
process communicating with gdb rather than actually embedding python
in gdb. I really doubt python is anything remotely clean for embedding
into other programs.


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