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Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2020 13:47:07 +0300
From: Nikos Dragazis <>
To: Rich Felker <>
Subject: Re: Ignoring dependencies libresolv and libcrypt

On 2/9/20 7:42 μ.μ., Rich Felker wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 02, 2020 at 07:14:10PM +0300, Nikos Dragazis wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> Apologies if this has already been answered before.
>> I am experimenting with musl. I see that musl produces a single DSO with
>> all symbols, as opposed to glibc which produces multiple DSOs
>> (libthread, libm, librt, etc.). I also notice that musl generates some
>> empty archives for compatibility reasons, namely the
>> lib{crypt,dl,m,pthread,resolv,rt,util,xnet}.a. These are already
>> documented in the FAQ [1].
>> By looking at the code [2], I see that musl's dynamic linker ignores
>> dynamic dependencies with names lib{c,pthread,rt,m,dl,util,xnet} and
>> this makes sense based on the above.
>> What doesn't make sense to me is that musl's dynamic linker does not
>> ignore dynamic dependencies with names libresolv and libcrypt. Is there
>> a reason for this?
> I believe the intent was only to reserve names that POSIX explicitly
> reserves:
>      If a directory specified by a -L option contains files with names
>      starting with any of the strings "libc.", "libl.", "libpthread.",
>      "libm.", "librt.", "libtrace.", "libxnet.", or "liby.", the
>      results are unspecified.
> However it looks like the sets don't entirely match up. I'm not sure
> of the reason for the mismatch.
> The set of "builtin" library names should probably be broken into two
> parts: ones that will always be used (c, pthread, m, etc) and ones
> that will be used as fallbacks if no file is found (resolv, crypt,
> etc.).

It's not clear to me how the second part could be useful. Also, it would
break the scenario where one wants to use musl to run a glibc-compat
executable on a glibc-based system, because the linker would load

> Note that the purpose of these built-in names is twofold: (1) it's
> part of glibc ABI-compat, for running glibc binaries with their names

Then definitely resolv and crypt should be part of it.

> , and this role could be moved out with the gcompat
> refactor if desired, and (2) supporting programs that (kinda
> dubiously) use dlopen with these names to access standard
> functionality.
> Rich

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