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SubjectRe: X32 psABI status
On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 7:21 AM, Florian Weimer <> wrote:
> * H. J. Lu:
>> On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 7:07 AM, Florian Weimer <> wrote:
>>> * H. J. Lu:
>>>>> Actually, I'm wondering if you can do the translation in user space.
>>>>> There already are 32-on-64 implementations in existence, without
>>>>> kernel changes (recent Hotspot, LuaJIT, and probably some more).
>>>> Please check out the x32 kernel source and provide feedback.
>>> I still don't understand why you need a separate syscall table.  You
>>> should really be able to run on an unmodified amd64 kernel, in 64 bit
>> That is done on purpose. x32 is designed for environments where the
>> current ia32 API is sufficient. You can think it as ia32 with register
>> extended to 64bit plus 8 more registers. Everything else is still 32bit.
> I think of it as amd64 where all the process memory happens to reside
> in the first 4 GB of address space, and pointers are stored as 32 bits
> (and you'd also reduce the size of longs because sizeof(long) !=
> sizeof(void *) will break too many programs).

That is what the processor sees in an x32 program.

> As I said, both LuaJIT and Hotspot are already using this model, with
> custom memory allocators and a user-space translation layers, so I
> still don't see what you get by changing the kernel.  LuaJIT has even
> implemented the amd64 ABI, so you can call C libraries from your
> 32-bit code.  (Note that LuaJIT uses 64-bit words to store 32-bit
> pointers with several tag bits, but it does so even on pure 32-bit
> platforms.)

They can continue to do so.

> If you want to make x32 closer to i386, I don't see the point.  Why
> would it be problematic if it was as close to i386 as, say, armel?

We are providing a 32bit API with 64bit registers. Current APIs support
either 32bit or 64bit. I am not talking about pointer or long. I am talking
other types, like time_t, off_t, ..., defined by API. Adding another API
is extremely difficult.

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