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06 May 2009, 16:05

Debian changes from GLIBC to EGLIBC

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With a short message on his blog, Debian developer and maintainer Auréllian Jarno has announced a fundamental change in future Debian releases. The EGLIBC (Embedded GNU C Library), originally developed for embedded systems, is to replace GLIBC (GNU C Library).

Jarno says the change promises to improve development, especially with regard to dealing with other developers, bug reports and submitted patches. In the past, the GLIBC developers have been regarded as somewhat unfriendly. Bug reports are often rejected for being based on older rather than the current version of a particular distribution from the Concurrent Versions System (CVS) and are often closed without any explanation.

Other benefits, according to Jarno, will be the support for platforms other than x86 processors and shells other than Bash, to which GLIBC is still closely integrated. Also, EGLIBC has better testing tools that run on multiple platforms and is more configurable allowing, for example, components like NIS or RPC not to be compiled into the installer.

The GNU C Library is a foundation of Linux distributions, with almost all binaries dynamically linked to the library and using its functions. By dynamically linking the library, it reduces the size of binaries and, when a bug is fixed in the library, it is fixed for all applications. Fortunately it also means it is relatively easy to replace it with a compatible alternative such as EGLIBC that has better support.


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