Josef “Jeff” Sipek

Gentoo's --as-needed insanity

I feel a bit ranty.

Recently, I got to make an ebuild file (this is Gentoo’s equivalent of RPM spec file) for PCP. The ebuild file is pretty simple to make — the only trickiness was PCP’s little strange makefile setup (the makefile runs configure which makes another makefile that the original makefile includes). This was pretty easy to work with anyway.

The issue I spent about a day and a half on was Gentoo’s idea of making better executables … the –as-needed flag. The idea behind this flag is to only link in the libraries that are actually needed (have symbols referenced) and ignore the rest. This sounds great at first, but then you run into an issue where you want to build a Perl module but instead you end up with a shared object which Perl won’t load because of unresolved references. I don’t know how exacly Perl does its magic, but –as-needed was not linking the Perl module against libpcp.

Part of the fix was to add a bunch of filters in the pkg_setup hook:

        append-flags $(no-as-needed)
        filter-flags -Wl,--as-needed
        filter-ldflags -Wl,--as-needed
        filter-ldflags --as-needed
        append-ldflags $(no-as-needed)

Additionally, I had to modify a src/cpan/PMDA/Makefile.PL to disable this insanity in the Perl-invoked builds.

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