[gentoo-user] How to build kernel with old binutils?

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Grant Edwards

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Oct 10, 2022, 12:10:04 PM10/10/22
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I regularly need to build old Linux kernels (as far back as 2.6), and
have a variety of older versions of gcc installed and a shell script
that knows what versions of gcc to use for what kernel versions. Using
an old version of GCC is simple: you just specify it on the command
line when doing the make:

$ cd linux-3.whatever
$ make distclean
$ make defconfig
$ make GCC=/usr/bin/gcc-4.3.6 modules

After some recent updates, I now get an 'ld' failure on some old
kernel buils. From what I've read it seems that I now need to also use
older binutils versions, and that's got me stumped. I've tried adding
LD=/path/to/ld to the make, but that appears to be ignored.

Can somebody give a clue how to specify the binutils to be used when
building a Linux kernel?

Thanks...

--
Grant

Alan J. Wylie

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Oct 10, 2022, 1:30:04 PM10/10/22
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Grant Edwards <grant.b...@gmail.com> writes:

> Can somebody give a clue how to specify the binutils to be used when
> building a Linux kernel?

$ man binutils-config

The binutils-config script allows you to switch between different
versions of binutils when you have installed multiple copies (see
USE=multislot). It also allows you to manage multiple cross-compiling
targets simultaneously.

$ binutils-config --list-profiles
[1] arm-none-eabi-2.38 *
[2] x86_64-pc-linux-gnu-2.38 *

--
Alan J. Wylie https://www.wylie.me.uk/

Dance like no-one's watching. / Encrypt like everyone is.
Security is inversely proportional to convenience

Grant Edwards

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Oct 10, 2022, 1:40:04 PM10/10/22
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On 2022-10-10, <flzdj...@wylie.me.uk> (Alan J. Wylie) <flzdj...@wylie.me.uk> wrote:
> Grant Edwards <grant.b...@gmail.com> writes:
>
>> Can somebody give a clue how to specify the binutils to be used when
>> building a Linux kernel?
>
> $ man binutils-config
>
> The binutils-config script allows you to switch between different
> versions of binutils when you have installed multiple copies (see
> USE=multislot). It also allows you to manage multiple cross-compiling
> targets simultaneously.

AFAICT, that changes the binutils configuraiton for the entire
system. That's not what I want to do. I want to use specific binutils
versions for specific make invocations. [Similar to the way can for
gcc with "make GCC=/usr/bin/gcc-whatever".] Is there an option I
missed that just changes the configuration only for the current shell
session?

--
Grant

Grant Edwards

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Oct 11, 2022, 12:20:04 PM10/11/22
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On Oct 10, 2022, 12:46 PM Alan J. Wylie wrote:
> Grant Edwards <grant.b...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 2022-10-10, <flzdj...@wylie.me.uk> (Alan J. Wylie) <flzdj...@wylie.me.uk> wrote:
> >> $ man binutils-config
> >>
> >> [...]
> >
> > AFAICT, that changes the binutils configuraiton for the entire
> > system. That's not what I want to do. I want to use specific binutils
> > versions for specific make invocations. [...]

> Perhaps, pretend you're cross compiling? Perhaps you sort of are,
> anyway, even if just for other package versions on the same
> architecture?

> Might "crossdev" help?
>
> https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Embedded_Handbook/General/Creating_a_cross-compiler
>
> $ crossdev --help
> Usage: crossdev [options] --target TARGET

Thanks!

That looks promising. I was somewhat aware of crossdev, but it hadn't
occured to me to use it to to generate native toolchains with various
versions of gcc/binutils. In my case, I wouldn't need any libc at all,
but that shouldn't be a big problem.

--
Grant
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