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Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2016 19:47:35 -0700
From: Isaac Dunham <>
Subject: Re: Formal verification of MUSL

On Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 06:00:24PM -0700, Joe Duarte wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > I have registered
> > >
> > >
> >
> > "You are not authorized to access this page."
> > I have no experience with Coverity, but I guess you missed a step to make
> > it public. (The search also comes up empty.)
> >
> ​Yes, I noticed that as well. It gave me the same "not authorized" message.
> Normally, we should be able to add the project to our personal Coverity
> accounts by going to My Dashboard (top), click the Add a New Project
> button, then search for the project. Currently, musl is still not showing
> up in the search – maybe it takes a couple of days to show?
> Nagy, everything you said sounds right. What about unikernels? Long-term,
> I'm more interested in running unikernels than in running Linux, BSD, or
> Windows. I'm thinking of something like OSv, where they built an ELF
> linker from scratch, as well as implementing the Linux system calls:

OSv uses a (rather old) version of musl, with some changes needed.
If I understand correctly, they essentially changed musl so that rather
than using syscalls, it would directly call the underlying kernel function.

Another unikernel-type project using musl is the ELLCC "Embedded Little

And while we're discussing alternate hosts, I might as well mention that
seL4 uses musl for the POSIX libc.

> In their case, they were going for glibc compatibility, and I assume a
> straight musl implementation would be easier. This ultimately gets at the
> separation of OS syscalls and ABIs vs. the libc. What if I have an OS or
> unikernel that doesn't know anything about C or POSIX, where C isn't a
> first-class citizen so much as an honored guest? musl-leveraging C
> applications would presumably be statically compiled in that case (and
> perhaps containerized), but there would also need be an ABI layer that is
> unclear to me. (Maybe this is relevant: How to Run POSIX Apps in a Minimal
> Picoprocess:
> -- which they might be drawing from in their recently announced bash or
> Ubuntu support. How they emulated the Linux ABI in that paper is very
> interesting.)
> I think the formal verification task would be simplified if we could shrink
> the ABI down in a unikernel or similar context, but I've only just begun to
> think about this.
> On floating point, the C
> ompCert team just published a new paper on verified compilation of floating
> point computations:
> ​ ​
> ​  ​
> It looks like nice work.
> Cheers,

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