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Date:   Tue, 5 Mar 2019 08:22:21 -0800
From:   Linus Torvalds <>
To:     Borislav Petkov <>
Cc:     Alan Cox <>,
        Matthew Wilcox <>,
        Jann Horn <>,
        Al Viro <>,
        Thomas Gleixner <>,
        kernel list <>,
        linux-fsdevel <>,
        "the arch/x86 maintainers" <>,
        Linux API <>,
        Andrew Morton <>,
        Richard Weinberger <>,
        Anton Ivanov <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] x86: Deprecate a.out support

On Tue, Mar 5, 2019 at 6:59 AM Borislav Petkov <> wrote:
> We can at least deprecate it on x86...

I'd prefer to try to deprecate a.out core dumping first.. That's the
part that is actually broken, no?

In fact, I'd be happy to deprecate a.out entirely, but if somebody
_does_ complain, I'd like to be able to bring it back without the core

Because I think the likeliihood that anybody cares about a.out core
dumps is basically zero. While the likelihood that we have some odd
old binary that is still a.out is slightly above zero.

So I'd be much happier with this if it was a two-stage thing where we
just delete a.out core dumping entirely first, and then deprecate even
running a.out binaries separately.

Because I think all the known *bugs* we had were with the core dumping
code, weren't they?

Removing it looks trivial. Untested patch attached.

Then I'd be much happier with your "let's deprecate a.out entirely" as
a second patch, because I think it's a unrelated issue and much more
likely to have somebody pipe up and say "hey, I have this sequence
that generates executables dynamically, and I use a.out because it's
much simpler than ELF, and now it's broken". Or something.


View attachment "patch.diff" of type "text/x-patch" (8506 bytes)

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