Hello,

OpenSMTPD portable was first released many many years ago thanks to the work of 
Charles Longeau.
IIRC this was his first OpenBSD portable project and he bootstrapped it from 
OpenSSH.
It served us well and opened us to the Linux world but it also came with its 
share of errors inherent to a new project.

Unless some of you are interested, I won't enter the details, but the basic 
idea is that the portable version has a library which contains the bits that 
were detected as missing/broken on a target system and, because of it's done, 
it may contain a bit more than we think it does. In most cases, this isn't a 
problem because if OpenSMTPD uses the portable version of strwhatever() instead 
of libc's, it isn't really a big deal.


There are two cases however that bit us:

The first one was the "OpenSMTPD portable on OpenBSD" case. For years, I kept 
repeating that running OpenSMTPD portable on OpenBSD was not supported and that 
this would lead to unexpected issues. This became a reality at some point when 
building portable on OpenBSD resulted in an executable that would crash at 
startup despite being fundamentally the same code as the master branch which 
would work just fine. It turned out that this was because, despite being on 
OpenBSD, some bits from the compat layer were still built and these bits not 
being the system ones, they didn't comply with our pledge().

The second one came shortly before 6.6.0p1 as people started reporting crashes 
on some systems and the issue was traced back to an incorrect inclusion of 
arc4random() related functions. If a target system was using LibreSSL, which 
brings arc4random(), we would somehow end up using the LibreSSL one but use our 
own entropy stirring function and blow up in pieces.


There are other downsides to the way the portable layer works and while we had 
work-arounds so people wouldn't notice on systems we were actively supporting 
(Linux, FreeBSD, ...), it is less than perfect for developers willing to bring 
new targets. Freddy Dissaux who worked on bringing OpenSMTPD to Solaris hit 
several of these downsides.


Anyways, I have started reworking the layer so that it conditionally builds 
what it needs.
The compat layer on OpenBSD is now empty as it should and the resulting 
executable runs reliably as it should too.
There's still work required because code set aside, we also have headers issues 
(for which we have a workaround).


I REALLY need feedback from portable users running the development branch.

Ihor Antonov has setup a CI that lets us spot failures to build on Linux 
glibc/musl, however:

- we don't have CI for FreeBSD, NetBSD, DFlyBSD, OSX, Solaris
- CI won't spot either one of the two issues I solved above as they occur at 
startup / runtime


You can help us make the portable branch really good in a very short time and 
on the long term by testing and reporting regularly that the portable branch 
still works for you.


Gilles

Reply via email to