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Portability guideline
KAME project
$KAME: PORTABILITY,v 1.68 2003/09/09 11:22:42 itojun Exp $
Source code in the "kame" directory will be shared among operating systems
and hardware platforms. Here are several guidelines to be portable
across those possibilities.
- Developers MUST compile the code on two or more platforms, before committing
it to the repository (trivial changes or comment typos are okay).
- Do not break paren-match.
Always try to keep paren-match correctly, regardless of #ifdef.
The following is WRONG example:
#if foo
if (foo) {
if (foo && bar) {
baz(this, that,
#if foo
something, anything);
It should be written like follows:
#if foo
if (foo)
if (foo && bar)
#ifdef foo
baz(this, that, something);
baz(this, that, something, anything);
/* latter part can also be like follows... */
baz(this, that,
#ifndef foo
, anything
It is also advised to add extra comment to help paren match,
if you need to write widow paren in string. For example:
printf("("); /* ) */
(note that there are opinions against it too - it depends)
- Avoid use of "#if" as much as possible, stick to "#ifdef" or "#ifndef"
if possible (Avoid "#if defined(foo)" if you only have single "foo").
"#if" is relatively new syntax and is not friendly with old tools like
- Follow NetBSD KNF.
They are the most strict guys about source code formatting.
If you obey NetBSD KNF, other platforms are happy.
More information on KNF is available at:
- Pointer can be 64bit (for example, on alpha).
When taking integer from pointer, use u_long, or long.
This is WRONG:
void *p;
/* alignment check */
if ((1 & (int)p) == 0) {
This is correct (but actually may not be future-proven):
void *p;
/* alignment check */
if ((1 & (u_long)p) == 0) {
- size_t can be 64bit, and may not be of same size as int.
When doing printf(), cast size_t to u_long and print it as %lu.
size_t siz;
printf("%lu", (u_long)siz);
Use of "%p" is more appropriate than casting, for pointers.
- If you would like to use printf() against variable typed u_quad_t,
cast them to unsigned long long and use %llu.
u_quad_t x;
printf("%llu", (unsigned long long)x);
%qu is outside of standard, and %llu is in C99 standard.
Also note that FreeBSD prior to 3.2 cannot handle %llu correctly - you need
to use %qu on these platforms (3.2 and later are okay).
So you end up doing #ifdef __FreeBSD__.
KAME libinet6 includes vfprintf() with %llu support where necessary,
to ease code sharing in KAME userland code.
- tv.tv_sec is not typed as time_t.
If you want time_t, explicitly copy the value.
- Packed structs must be used with care.
Unaligned structure can cause problem on certain architectures.
You'll need to copy the return value to aligned structure before accessing.
Structure returned by SIOCGIFCONF falls into this category.
- When you define wire format as C struct, (1) avoid bitfield. (2) use
__attribute__((__packed__)) to control member and overall alignment.
NOTE: (2) is not portable across platforms - it is a GCC-ism.
- 2nd arg to ioctl() must be u_long, not int, on non-FreeBSD2 platforms.
- If you define multi-statement #define, define that like:
#define foobar (x, y) \
do { \
/*something*/ \
/*something*/ \
} while (0)
Without this wrapper nasty mistakes can happen.
- Compiler options need to be configured differently into Makefile.
For NetBSD and OpenBSD, CFLAGS and CPPFLAGS are defined separately:
CPPFLAGS contains -I and -D only (items that needs to be passed to cpp).
CFLAGS can contain other flags.
For FreeBSD and BSDI, there's no distinction.
- To refer objects and machine-generated source code, FreeBSD needs to use
${.OBJDIR}. This is because because FreeBSD completely separates "obj" tree
and "src" tree and has no symlink from ${.CURDIR}/obj to /usr/obj/foobar.
On NetBSD, "make print-objdir" is the right way to probe "obj" directory.
On other platforms, ${.CURDIR}/obj should do in most cases.
- On manpage installation and shlib generation in Makefile.
for BSDI3, you need to set MAN[0-9] in Makefile like below. MANDIR must
point to "catN" directory, not "manN", without "N":
MANDIR= /usr/local/v6/man/cat
MAN5= foo.0
MAN8= baz.0
MLINKS= foo.5 bar.5
BSDI4 is much like the same as BSDI3. The only exception is shlib
generation. NODYNAMIC=yes would prevent dynamic library from created:
MANDIR= /usr/local/v6/man/cat
MAN5= foo.0
MAN8= baz.0
MLINKS= foo.5 bar.5
NODYNAMIC=yes # if you do not want shlib, define it
For NetBSD, you need to set MAN (not MAN[0-9]). MANDIR needs to point to
"man" directory right above "catN" or "manN" directory:
MANDIR= /usr/local/v6/man
MAN= foo.5 baz.8
MLINKS= foo.5 bar.5
MKPIC= # if you do not want shlib, make it empty
For OpenBSD, you need to set MAN (not MAN[0-9]). MANDIR needs to point to
"catN" directory, without "N":
MANDIR= /usr/local/v6/man/cat
MAN= foo.5 baz.8
MLINKS= foo.5 bar.5
NOPIC= yes # if you do not want shlib, define it
For FreeBSD, you need to set MAN[0-9] like below. MANDIR needs to point
to "manN" directory, without "N":
MANDIR= /usr/local/v6/man/man
MAN5= foo.5
MAN8= baz.8
MLINKS= foo.5 bar.5
# if you do not want shlib, do not define SHLIB_{MAJOR,MINOR}
- If you use yacc/lex, be aware that FreeBSD behaves very
strange with yacc's -o option (non-trivial .if statement is placed).
You may need to add the following into Makefile for code sharing.
The following fragment will force the build to generate, instead
of foo.h. foo.y
Be sure to include, not foo.h, from *.l.
On NetBSD, YHEADER is quite useful.
- BSDI3 /usr/bin/cc is gcc 1.42, and it does not support __FUNCTION__.
If you need to use __FUNCTION__, you need to set CC to "gcc", or "shlicc2"
__FUNCTION__ macro is not included in the ANSI standard, so it is best to
avoid __FUNCTION__, or make it optional, for portability.
if you ever need to use one, use __func__, which is defined in ANSI C99.
- sys/queue.h are very different in each of *BSDs. Most of macros found in
FreeBSD3 are not available in other systems. Simply avoid those, make sure
your code compile on non-FreeBSD3 systems.
Avoid xx_FOREACH(), which is only available in FreeBSD3. Just use
for (x = xx_FIRST(); x; x = xx_NEXT(x))
and do not try to make #if section for FreeBSD3. More #if introduces
more bugs.
- It is better to avoid insque() and rmque(), they are from old VAX days
and some platform now tries to avoid these.
- To identify FreeBSD3, use the following:
#if defined(__FreeBSD__) && __FreeBSD__ >= 3
this is freebsd3.
- To identify BSDI4, use the following:
#if defined(__bsdi__) && _BSDI_VERSION >= 199802
this is bsdi4.
- RFC2553 defines sockaddr_storage to have __ss_{family,len} member. During
the discusson for the draft on ipngwg, ss_len was proposed and final result
was not very clear. X/Open document mentions ss_len, not __ss_len.
Therefore, you can see both definition on operating system platforms.
The most portable way of dealing with it is to:
(1) have -Dss_len=__ss_len to unify all occurences (including header file)
into __ss_len, or (2) never touch __ss_len. cast to sockaddr * and use
Next version of RFC2553 (RFC2553bis = RFC3493) will define ss_len (not
__ss_len), and be synchronized better with X/Open document.
- Never, never touch the __u6_addr{,8,16,32} member in struct in6_addr
directly. Symbols starting with "__" are NOT supposed to be used.
- RFC2553 defines only s6_addr[16] (array of u_int8_t) as member of struct
in6_addr. KAME strictly follows RFC2553, and does not provide any
extensions like s6_addr{8,16,32} to the userland. For maximum portability
across IPv6 platforms, only s6_addr should be used.
In the future, we may provide s6_addr{8,16,32} to the userland when updates
to RFC2553 defines them. They are, in fact, very convenient and we would
like to see them defined in standard document.
- sysctl(3) support in kernel.
FreeBSD: linker hack #define in sys/sysctl.h, like SYSCTL_INT().
no need to recompile sysctl(8).
syn_cache_interval, CTLFLAG_RW, &tcp6_syn_cache_interval, 0, "");
Note that sys/kernel.h should be included as well, which SYSCTL_XXX
macros depend.
OpenBSD/NetBSD: xx_sysctl() needs to be supplied from inet6sw.
xx_sysctl() should implement switch statement to dispatch to all
possible leaf nodes available. symbols must be defined in header file
for use from sysctl(8).
BSDI: similar to OpenBSD/NetBSD, but sysctl_int_arr() makes xx_sysctl()
code much easier for simple integer leaf nodes.
- Under BSD make tree (, you can't use relative path against
include files, like the following example:
#include "../foo/foo.h" /*THIS DOES NOT WORK*/
If you are in baa/Makefile, and if you do "make obj", you will be in
baa/obj when you build the tree. ../foo/foo.h will not be reachable
(it will be interpreted as baa/obj/../foo/foo.h = baa/foo/foo.h)
Solution: use -I${.CURDIR}/../foo.
- OpenBSD does not allow duplicated inclusion of system header files.
(it does not have #ifndef _FOO_H_ wrapper)
- Developers are advised to use pedantic compilation options (like -Wall
-Werror). To configure default make settings, /etc/make.conf (freebsd),
/etc/mk.conf (netbsd/openbsd), and/or /usr/share/mk/ (bsdi) should be
useful. Note, however, that the default compiler of bsdi3 (/usr/ucb/cc)
does not suppport the -Werror option.
Note that the meaning of -Wall is different across *BSD because *BSD use
different version of gnu cc. Sometimes -Wall raises bogus warning due to
bugs in code generator. Also, since function prototypes are defined
differently in some cases (like ntohl), certain tweaks are needed to
eliminate warnings on all the platforms. Don't worry about it too much,
you can always talk with other developers.
- For portability in kernel networking code, look at kame/sys/net/net_osdep.h.
- The -interface modifier of the route(8) command does not take an
argument except on FreeBSD. On other platforms, you should use the
-ifp modifier with a dummy gateway.
For example,
# route add -inet6 default -interface gif0 (on FreeBSD)
is (almost) equivalent to
# route add -inet6 default ::1 -ifp gif0 -interface (on others)
Unfortunately, the latter does not work for FreeBSD. Thus, there is
no portable usage that works for all *BSDs.
Please also note that the usage of the -ifp modifier in the above
example may not work on older versions of *BSD. If this is the
case, you will need a mixture of the "change" operation and the -ifp
modifier of the route command. The following sequence is an
equivalent of the latter example above.
# route add -inet6 default ::1
# route change -inet6 default ::1 -ifp gif0
- (Not really a portability issue) Fixes/improvements to libpcap and tcpdump
should be sent to itojun, or We no longer maintain
libpcap/tcpdump under "kame" directory.
- freebsd and bsdi3 do not have satosin() in sys/netinet/in.h. not sure
where is the origin for this macro. do not use it, or define it locally
in C source if you don't have one (#ifndef - #define).
- INADDR_LOOPBACK is declared only in freebsd[34], netbsd and openbsd.
- Location of MD5 library.
netbsd/openbsd: header is <md5.h>, libc.
freebsd: header is <md5.h>, libcrypt
- mandoc formatting for SYNOPSIS section.
On netbsd/openbsd, people usually use
.Nm ""
to indicate new line in SYNOPSIS section ("" makes proper hanging indent,
while .Nm does not). However, bsdi mandoc chokes with it. Explicitly write
.Nm foo
to avoid portability issue (it is unfortunate that we need to place
duplicated text...).
- SADB_X_SA2 (in /usr/include/net/pfkeyv2.h) has completely different meaning
between KAME-based systems and openbsd systems. take caution if you plan to
use it.
- getopt(3) returns -1 on openbsd/netbsd, and EOF on other platforms. This was
due to POSIX changes (POSIX.2 uses -1 and is more recent).
Since EOF is usually defined to be -1, it is not a major issue.
- SECURITY: Never use printf-like functions (including syslog, setproctitle
and others) with only a "fmt" argument. Always use "%s". Otherwise,
your program will be compromised by malicious party.
BAD: syslog(foo);
GOOD: syslog("%s", foo);
- SECURITY: be careful using fd_set, specifically when you are in setuid'ed
applications. there's buffer overrun possibility with FD_SET().
use poll(2) whenever available (note that KAME still support platforms
without poll(2)). see openbsd select(2) manpage.
- strlcpy/strlcat.
comes with strlcpy/cat: netbsd15 openbsd freebsd3[3-5] freebsd4
does not come with them: freebsd2 freebsd3[0-2] bsdi[34] netbsd142
(libinet6 includes it to ease code sharing)
strlcpy and strlcat -- consistent, safe, string copy and concatenation.
Usenix 1999, by Todd C. Miller, Theo de Raadt.
- strptime.
freebsd4 and netbsd have it in libc.
bsdi4 does not have it.
- snprintf and friends can return negative value, as well as value larger
than the specified region. therefore, it is unsafe to manipulate a pointer
directly by the return value.
WRONG: lp += snprintf(lp, ep - lp, "%s", foo);
RIGHT: n = snprintf(lp, ep - lp, "%s", foo);
if (n < 0 || n >= ep - lp)
lp += n;
- daemon(3) with noclose arg = 0: must be used prior to socket/file descriptor
initialization. otherwise daemon(3) can mess with opened file descriptors.
- mandoc(7) rule is different in every *BSD.
NetBSD - for commands, use EXIT STATUS rather than RETURN VALUES.
OpenBSD - has CAVEATS section.