Re: Disabling COMPAT_FREEBSD4/5/6/7/9 as a default kernel option

From: Xin LI <>
Date: Tue, 28 May 2019 15:00:54 -0700
On Mon, May 27, 2019 at 7:08 AM <> wrote:

> Hello,
> I wanted to discuss about bug 231768 a bit: it is about keeping
> COMPAT_FREEBSD4/5/6/7/9 on by default in the kernel configs.
> The patch attached for the bug is for disabling these options by
> default, following a few reasons which I'm going to list here:
>      - Keeping support for deprecated libraries isn't exactly the best we
> could do to avoid security issues (if there are any) as I'm sure nobody
> wants to spend that much time maintaining such stuff (it's enough to
> think about misc/compat4x in the ports tree: that version of FreeBSD was
> released on March 2000 and keeping 19 years old libraries around isn't
> ideal)

To accomplish this goal, a prerequisite would be to remove libc.a (possibly
also libthr.a as well as anything that makes a direct system call).  I'd
rather see that happen first.

>      - Devs should get track of time and realize that developing software
> using unsupported libraries is NOT something that you should do
>      - Only a tiny fraction of the ports need COMPAT_FREEBSD9 or older:
> if the software won't compile without the legacy components (and has a
> replacement of some kind), considering removal wouldn't be a bad idea
>      - This is on by default: most users don't care or don't use binaries
> that old

> I don't see any practical reason to keep these options on by default,
> but I do appreciate any sort of input regarding this issue.

Because users would find a way (e.g. by not upgrading) which further
undermines their security?  I know quite some Windows users would disable
Windows Update for the exact same reason, if you break backward
compatibility, your credibility is broken and it is much harder to regain
the trust.

Received on Tue May 28 2019 - 20:01:10 UTC

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