On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 11:21 PM, Louis Santillan <lpsan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> It's more possible than ever [0] to compile the kernel with GCC.
> Skeeto/Chris Wells posted [1][2] an example of compiling 16-bit code
> with djgpp/GCC, including a linker script for linking 386+ real mode
> code into a 64KB COM.  Chris may have used a pre-4.9.x gcc [3] and/or
> pre-binutils-2.18 [4].  It now appears gas is also able to speak
> i8086, i186, i286 and can even generate correct, pure 16-bit mode
> instructions (no i386 opcode prefixes) [5] if given the correct
> directives (which appears to be `.code16gcc` in gas and the argument
> `-m16` to gcc).

I had some linker script from Martin Stromberg a few years ago (which
he apparently used for FDXMS). It stopped working in BinUtils 2.20 or
such due to some unknown bug. That bug is still there, but you can
successfully link a .COM if you use AT&T syntax instead of Intel:


(Of course, I'm talking about hand-written code, not generated.)

Another guy (at Sourcery / Mentor) recently did some work on a 16-bit,
GCC-based cross-compiler, but it's not nearly finished yet, only a
preview. It "mostly" works (for small and tiny). It seems fairly well
done, but I'm not getting my hopes up for lots of future releases just

Perhaps SmallerC could be improved? It's 386+ but at least compiles
itself and supports a few different memory models.

Worst case, just rewrite it all for FPC's i8086-msdos (cross-)target!   ;-)

> Yes, it would be a large under taking but maybe a long term worthwhile goal 
> ...

It's not that impossibly difficult, but it would definitely take a few
weeks (or months or ...). There are definitely several other things
that need attention, too. So it's easy to get distracted (or even
discouraged) by the weight of it all.

> ... as OW has seem to lost a bit of steam.

OW is still updated in Github (Jiri's fork). I don't know the official
status of all of it. They did lose some steam (but also added x64
support, which is a lot to do, obviously). I don't think it's totally
dead, but I also don't know whether it's reasonable to expect a full
release any time soon. (Sybase / SAP probably doesn't care anymore.)


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