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Re: [core-updates-frozen] Bug in binutils 2.37

From: Guillaume Le Vaillant
Subject: Re: [core-updates-frozen] Bug in binutils 2.37
Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2021 12:50:45 +0000

Guillaume Le Vaillant <> skribis:

> Leo Famulari <> skribis:
>> On Mon, Sep 06, 2021 at 03:39:52PM +0000, Guillaume Le Vaillant wrote:
>>> There's a bug in binutils 1.37, which we are using on the
>>> core-updates-frozen branch.
>> 2.37, right? :)
> Indeed. :)
>>> It's a file descriptor leak that can lead to 'malformed archive' errors
>>> when linking libraries. We get this problem at least when building
>>> qtwekbit and qtwebengine. A workaround allows us to compile qtwebkit
>>> (see [1]), but it doesn't work for qtwebengine.
>>> The bug was discussed at [2] and upstream has a patch to fix it at [3].
>>> However, adding this patch to our binutils rebuilds the world.
>>> I'm currently trying to build things with the patched binutils.
>>> If everything works, should I push this fix on core-updates-frozen, or
>>> does someone have an idea that would lead to less rebuilds?
>> There are a few options:
>> 1) Apply the patch in the normal way and rebuild the world. If the
>> changes in the patch are limited to fixing this bug, then we can be
>> confident that changing binutils will not break other packages, which is
>> the main goal behind "freezing" the core-updates branch. Do you think
>> that expectation is reasonable? Otherwise, the branch is frozen except
>> for bug fixes; we'd like to avoid rebuilding the world but it's not a
>> problem if we have to.
>> 2) Create a binutils-fixed package and only use it for qtwebkit and
>> qtwebengine
>> 3) Try to work around the bug in the qtwebkit and qtwebengine packages
>> 2 and 3 are not great because maybe the bug affects other packages in
>> some situations. Do you know if it manifests deterministically?
> The problem happens when linking a library with a lot of members (I
> don't know exactly how many), which is the case at least for qtwebkit
> and qtwebengine. Users creating such libraries in their projects will
> also have the problem.
> Increasing the maximum number of open file descriptors seems not be
> a very robust workaround. Setting it at 4096 for qtwebkit works,
> but I tried 4096, 8192 and 16384 for qtwebengine and it didn't work.
> I have built many packages with the patched binutils and I didn't get
> any new failure so far. I'm not yet at qtwebkit and qtwebengine though
> (compiling the 20 versions of rust took a while).
> So when I get there, and if the patch really solves the issue, pushing
> it looks like the best solution.
> Do you know if there are other world-rebuilding pending fixes that could
> go in at the same time?

I confirm that the patch fixed the compilation issues for qtwebkit and
qtwebengine, and it didn't cause new build failures, so I pushed it as

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