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Re: sse{2,3,4.2}, altivec, neon, ...

On 08/05/2017 10:04 PM, Philipp Kern wrote:
> On 08/05/2017 07:53 PM, Adam Borowski wrote:
>> Thus, here's a proposed solution: in unstable, there's now a bunch of
>> packages that do such checking in preinst, and thus refuse (overridably) to
>> even install such software.
>> Currently this includes:
>> * sse2: i386 (inc. hurd-i386, kfreebsd-i386)
>> * sse3: i386, amd64, x32 (〃, kfreebsd-amd64)
>> * sse4.2: i386, amd64, x32 (〃)
>> * neon: armhf
>> * altivec: powerpc
>> (amd64 always has sse2, arm64 neon, ppc64el altivec)
>> Package names are $(ISA)-support, thus sse2-support if you need SSE2.
>> To use: make your package:
>> Depends: sse2-support [any-i386]
>> Lemme know if anything is amiss; in particular, adding a new extension is a
>> two-line change.
> I suppose it wouldn't be possible to add autodetection to debhelper or
> at least lintian based on instructions present in the binary? For the
> latter I'd imagine something with a low certainty suggesting that you
> depend on a certain meta package. (To catch the cases where there's
> actually autodetection at runtime.)

I don't think doing that via debhelper is a good idea because
there is far too high a chance of false positives here.

For example:

if (cpu_has_sse4())

As recent gcc versions support function multi-versioning (FMV)
that can automate this kind of CPU detection [1], once could
perhaps look to see if every function that uses FMV has a
generic fallback variant available - but then you'd get false
positives when ISA-specific functions call other functions
which aren't called from generic-only functions. And then you
start getting into automated call graph analysis. In addition
to the false positives for all code that does the check directly
instead of using FMV.

I really think this is something the package maintainer needs
to decide for each package individually, I don't think this can
be automated.

The lintian warning might be worth-while though: either the
package maintainer adds e.g. Depends: sse4.2-support or they
override the warning if it is indeed a false positive due to
runtime checks with generic fallbacks. But I don't think even
that is easy, as you'd need to understand the machine code to
some extent and you'd need long lists of instructions for
each instruction set you want to detect.


[1] https://lwn.net/Articles/691932/