Monday, 11 April 2022

Re: Demote ltrace from standard to universe

On Mon, Apr 11, 2022 at 11:05:35AM +1200, Michael Hudson-Doyle wrote:
> On Fri, 8 Apr 2022 at 05:55, Julian Andres Klode <>
> wrote:

> > Hi

> > I was running ltrace today and noticed it doesn't really work at
> > all anymore for binaries (tried ls, dpkg, apt, hello) in jammy,
> > presumably due to PIE.

> I think strictly speaking it's actually BIND_NOW rather than PIE directly
> (although in practice the two come as a package):

> > It also fails to build on various architectures, unmaintained since 4
> > years, and not really up to our quality standards anymore IMO.

> > I'm proposing to remove this:

> >

> > vorlon asked me to raise this here and get some feedback,
> > does anyone have an objection to this?

> I think it's a good idea. FWIW, there is another tool that does a similar
> thing but using a more supported facility: latrace. This uses the LD_AUDIT
> stuff in glibc. If there is desire to have this functionality in main
> (something I'm not particularly confident of, to be sure), it would seem to
> be a better choice.

I /want/ to think of ltrace as an essential tool that I might need to reach
for at random times. Having it as part of standard seems to follow from the
idea that if you need it, it might matter to have it available for debugging
in cases where apt isn't working.

But having tested ltrace on impish and found that it doesn't work, it's
clear that the tool was completely non-functional for a full 6 months
without me noticing. Moreover, it's been non-functional for at least 6
months without anyone ELSE noticing and reporting a bug. Only when trying
to fix build failures in the package in jammy has anyone finally noticed it
was unusable.

So it's not so essential that we need to keep it around in standard.

And given that it's non-functional, I think it's fine to demote this to
universe without replacement in main. If you think latrace is appropriate
to support in main, then it's fine to put it through an MIR; but I don't
think it's feasible, or necessary, for this to be done before the 22.04 LTS

Steve Langasek Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer