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[#] Tue Apr 15 2014 10:09:05 EDT from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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No... I'm suggesting that you don't know Linux well enough to do what you seem to be proposing.

To pick a hypothetical example, Ubuntu 10.04 is based on kernel 2.6. 12.04 is based on kernel 3.0.

The C library from 12.04 might depend on kernel 3.0 features in some areas. It might depend on other components of the 12.04 distribution that are not present on 2.6. Depending on what specific system calls you use, of course. There are probably ways you could avoid those dependencies, but it's really going to save you more time in the end to dynamically link with the C library from 10.04. Because forward compatibility is guaranteed, but backwards compatibility is not necessarily guaranteed. That way you know your'e taking advantage of interfaces that were available on 10.04.

libstdc++ is a different story. If you are unwilling to code conservatively enough to limit yourself to C++ features that were available on the older distribution's compiler (10.04 in this example) then it might be possible to *compile* a newer version of g++ on 10.04, and link statically with the libstdc++ from that version. The resulting binary should carry forward to 12.04. But building on 12.04 and expecting stuff to carry backwards is not the supported path and does not work in general unless you are very careful. ***This is the same situation as windows -- why would you expect to be able to take GDI.DLL from Vista and drop it onto XP?***

And really, you should be dynamically linking where you can, so that it's possible to pull in security updates operationally without recompiling all the time.

tl;dr: don't link statically with libc. But you can consider it for other libraries.

[#] Tue Apr 15 2014 12:42:55 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Okay, yeah, now that I think of it, I'm being a bit unfair to expect forwards compatibility to a certain extreme.

But so far, in the past, when I've written stuff that doesn't use a particularly obscure API call on Windows, I could make the same thing work on extremely old versions of Windows without having to concern myself about the age of the compiler itself... with only one exception. VC++ 2013 requires you specify a different toolset if you want your software to work on XP or older. I mean, after all, they provide a separate library for the C/C++ runtime, and that library doesn't require anything terribly new out of the kernel (well, until VC++ 2013, and even then, I suspect if I dig enough, I'll find it is security-related or somesuch).

For what I'm doing, I am not requiring anything amazingly new out of the kernal on either Linux or Windows. A network stack, threading, file i/o... none of those things are revolutionary these days. Yet, for some reason, newer compilers are making older operating systems obscolete?

That just seems very, very weird.

Yeah, I can revert to using older compiler features and avoid the Kool Stuff, but I confess, it sucks.

[#] Tue Apr 15 2014 13:25:59 EDT from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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On Linux, the C library fills a larger role than it does on Windows. Windows, all the fundamental OS interfaces are in KERNEL, USER and GDI with some semblance of symbol versioning. The C library on Windows is just viewed as this little shim that's specific to C programs. On Linux its more fundamental to the operating system.

I'm going to make the assumption that the Kool Stuff you prefer/require is all C++ language features and C++ library features. That's separated from the C library to a degree, on Linux.

**This is not always supported**, but a quick hack you might try, is to compile with libstdc++ statically linked, and libc dynamically linked. Even if you're compiling on a newer distro, this *might* result in something that will run on an older distro. Symbol versioning in libc can sometimes salvage this, if your binary happens to avoid symbol versions that are not present in the older libc.

But to be really safe I would try to properly install a newer version of gcc-c++ on the oldest distro you need to support, and use that host as your build host. Assuming you're avoiding some of the poorly-versioned libraries out there, this may work. You may end up with some weird bits that have to be installed along with your binary... libstdc++ ships with the compiler, rather than libc, and preferably you want to get a libstdc++ that is compiled and linked against the oldest libc you need to support.

That is, if you're not willing to just remove the Kool Stuff, which might be the most conservative thing for you to do...

[#] Tue Apr 15 2014 13:33:06 EDT from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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The source install of gcc-c++ often supports somewhat older base OS versions than what you can obtain just by installing the gcc-c++ binaries that come with newer distributions (which are, by definition, compiled and linked against that same newer distro.)

Both MS and Apple DO do a better job of some of this stuff, admittedly. Microsoft basically provides a set of alternate headers and link stubs for their older OSs so that you can cross-compile against the older stuff.

[#] Tue Apr 15 2014 13:41:16 EDT from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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the kernal on either Linux or Windows. A network stack, threading,
file i/o... none of those things are revolutionary these days. Yet,

Those things aren't the problems. It's the constant evolutions of C++ that present the biggest challenges. I remember hacking around with stuff like TOra, how newer compilers would break older C++ code between consecutive major releases of distributions... not fun.

[#] Tue Apr 15 2014 14:22:40 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Yeah, I've had my fair share of newer C++ compilers breaking stuff in the Windows world as well.

Although, as I dug deeper and learned more about C++, I came to learn that a lot of the code that broke was not exactly written properly to start. Although, admittedly, some of the code was written in a particular way because the compiler itself wasn't quite right... but that's probably a discussion for another forum, heh.

I do pretty well now, writing C++ that handles upgrades in the compiler with quite a bit of grace. So, that's less of a problem for me.

I wanted to use some of the newer features available in the latest versions of C++, in part, to keep up with some of those things, and in part, because the language is getting interesting. Lambda functions, certain move semantics that help optimize 'copy' operations while keeping your code safe, variadic parameters that are type-safe... the language has really come a long way in the last few years.

But, yeah, I know how to use the old stuff, and I can certain continue to write that way if I have to.

[#] Tue Apr 15 2014 17:10:29 EDT from dothebart @ Uncensored

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Fleeb, what you're searching for is 'backport' they exist for many distributions; so most of the time you don't need to do this yourselves... And if, its probably going to become very hard.

the more these libs are core of the os, the more troubles you will get...

[#] Wed Apr 16 2014 08:40:04 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Okay, I'll look around for 'backport' and see what that involves.

We have a need for that for some other stuff, for which we have no sources, but we need these things to work on older Linux machines. If 'backport' can help with that, it'll be a bonus!

[#] Wed Apr 16 2014 21:50:10 EDT from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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[#] Sat May 24 2014 18:56:49 EDT from Sig @ Uncensored

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2.6GHz Pentium 4 with criminally low 512MB of RAM. This machine came to me from my grandmother, who never really used it after purchase because WinXP apparently displeased her. We're not really sure; she has pretty advanced Alzheimer's and isn't
really into answering questions these days.

Anyway, WinXP was sucking pretty bad on it, but Linux Mint Debian Edition is somewhat more responsive (and much more capable). I will see if I can scare up some more RAM.

I am, incidentally, thoroughly pissed at the computer shop that sold my grandmother an under-memoried machine with an IDE hard drive, but then put in a fairly nice (for the time) motherboard with SATA controller. All of it in a fancy-looking case
(window, LEDs, fan w/LED) for a little old lady to do her family tree software on. I don't know what they spent, but it was way more than they should have.

[#] Sun May 25 2014 17:27:01 EDT from the_mgt @ Uncensored

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Sorry to hear that about your granny. My mum got similarly ripped off when she bought a computer at some store once. They sold her some freaky micro-atx mainboard with an amd cpu soldered onto the board. Total utter crap. Too few ram and crappy hd, too. I am currently building a new machine to replace the old machine she uses now, which is the computer my step brother gave her. DDR1 ram and AGP gpu. This new one is a c2d, 4gb ddr2 ram and a SSHD sata. Should be enough for her surfing needs.

Pentium 4 machines are only good as heating devices. If you are lucky, the socket can hold some c2d.

[#] Sun May 25 2014 19:00:19 EDT from vince-q @ Cascade Lodge BBS

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Pentium 4 machines are only good as heating devices. If you are
lucky, the socket can hold some c2d.

Hmmm... my guess is a pentium 4 will run a reasonable linux distro just fine.

[#] Mon May 26 2014 09:41:56 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Once you get into the GHz range it's really more about the RAM than the CPU.

[#] Mon May 26 2014 13:20:01 EDT from zooer @ Uncensored

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"It is more about the RAM than the CPU"... I don't know why that sounds so deep.

[#] Mon May 26 2014 16:43:08 EDT from Sig @ Uncensored

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I'll ask around and see if anyone has compatible RAM; I'm not sure the machine is worth sinking actual money into. I think I finally got rid of my last DDR2, but I'll dig around.

Worst case, it should play DVDs and maybe handle some amateur radio stuff in my work room; that's where it is now.

[#] Mon May 26 2014 22:19:21 EDT from zooer @ Uncensored

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Thirteen weird and wonderful niche Linux distros... including one that will run on a 386.

[#] Wed May 28 2014 23:06:31 EDT from ax25 @ Uncensored

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I don't have the real hardware any more, but thought it would be fun to torture myself with this:

Think 8086 or 8088.


[#] Thu May 29 2014 10:22:02 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Wow, is ELKS still an active project?

[#] Fri May 30 2014 11:35:46 EDT from ax25 @ Uncensored

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Semi active.  They seem to loose the repo now and then.  Someone makes floppy images every now and then.

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