[Buildroot] [2018.02] check-bin-arch fails for PowerPC 32-bit userland, 64-bit kernel

Thomas De Schampheleire thomas.de_schampheleire at nokia.com
Tue Feb 20 09:41:15 UTC 2018

On Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 10:05:08AM +0100, Thomas Petazzoni wrote:
> Hello Thomas,
> Thanks for taking the time to test 2018.02 in your setup!
> On Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:56:38 +0100, Thomas De Schampheleire wrote:
> > I have a defconfig with a multilib toolchain for PowerPC e6500 which is a 64-bit
> > architecture. The toolchain builds 32-bit by default, which is used for
> > userland. The kernel forces 64-bit anyway.
> > BR2_ARCH is set to "powerpc".
> > 
> > With the introduction of check-bin-arch, I now see failures after the kernel
> > compilation:
> >     ERROR: architecture for "/lib/modules/3.12.37-rt51/kernel/lib/libcrc32c.ko" is "PowerPC64", should be "PowerPC"
> > and same for other modules.
> > For actual userland binaries, readelf does show PowerPC as expected.
> > 
> > According to me, the situation is normal and check-bin-arch should accept it.
> > However, how to deal with it?
> Indeed.
> > We could add a second variable BR2_READELF_ARCH_NAME_KERNEL.
> > Its value would be the same as the existing BR2_READELF_ARCH_NAME in case we are
> > dealing with a 32-bit arch, but the 64-bit equivalent in case of a 64-bit arch.
> > However, we don't currently mark all 64-bit powerpc architectures as such, so
> > we'd need some more knowledge about them (or could add them case by case as
> > required).
> How would the value of BR2_READELF_ARCH_NAME_KERNEL be defined? How
> would Buildroot know that despite the architecture being PowerPC, the
> Linux kernel image and modules being built are PowerPC64 ?

With the knowledge about whether an architecture is really 64-bit, despite the
setting of BR2_ARCH="powerpc" and not "powerpc64", and the assumption/fact that
the kernel always is built for the native bitness of the architecture, this
could be done.

In my case, the CPU is e6500 which is 64-bit, thus the kernel will be 64-bit.
For MIPS64n32 it's the same, although that readelf does not seem to make a
difference here in the architecture name, it's always 'MIPS R3000'.

> Another alternative is to simply blacklist /lib/modules from
> check-bin-arch, like we're already doing
> for /lib/firmware, /usr/lib/firmware and /usr/share. It's unlikely that
> there will be an architecture mismatch on kernel modules.

This is indeed the simplest solution.

It would fail to catch a problem where a package ships binary modules in the
wrong architecture, but this may be enough of an edge case to not consider it.

> Also, it is worth mentioning that Markus recently raised another issue
> with check-bin-arch, when you're building a multilib system, mixing 32
> bit and 64 bit binaries: http://patchwork.ozlabs.org/patch/874245/.
> However, I don't think we will be able to support Markus use case,
> since we don't have a good way to support multilib.

Thanks for the pointer.
I wonder how he'd get into that situation. The recommended approach for a mixed
32/64-bit system is with two separate defconfigs, and check-bin-arch will check
for each one separately.


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