[Libguestfs] fixes for building libguestfs against a fresh hivex

Laszlo Ersek lersek at redhat.com
Wed Sep 8 12:44:55 UTC 2021


the hivex tree provides a "run" script in its root directory, but it
does not suffice for building / checking libguestfs, like this:

libguestfs$ autoreconf -i
libguestfs$ ../hivex/run ./configure CFLAGS=-fPIC
libguestfs$ ../hivex/run make -j4
libguestfs$ ../hivex/run make -j4 check

I'll post two small patch sets in-reply-to this cover letter, one for
hivex and another for libguestfs, to enable the above usage.

I regression-tested the patch sets in the following scenarios:

- build & check libguestfs against the system-wide installed hivex packages

- build & check guestfs-tools, and virt-v2v, against a libguestfs that
was locally built against either a local hivex or a system-wide hivex.

- did a bunch of "make dist"-based tests as well, such as
out-of-source-tree builds and "make check"s of tar.gz-provided source trees.

There were two major head-aches:

- "daemon_utils_tests" is linked with a manually written LINK target
that assumes hivex is in a system-wide location. It was difficult to
recognize that the way to pass $(HIVEX_LIBS) to it was to extend the
-cclib switch. (The OCaml documentation I managed to find wasn't stellar.)

- A problem more at the design level: guestfsd links against hivex, but
runs in the appliance. The daemon Makefile deals with this by
translating the shared object dependencies of the executable to package
(RPM) names, and then installing those RPMs in the appliance. This does
not (and cannot) work when an RPM simply does not *exist* that could
provide the locally-built hivex inside the appliance. The approach I
chose was to link hivex statically into guestfsd, not dynamically.

With that, a new set of challenges applied, as it is apparently
autotools's mission to prevent statically linking *just one library*
into an otherwise dynamic executable. I've read what there's to read
about this on stackoverflow and elsewhere; automake *rejects*
-Wl,-Bstatic / -Wl,-Bdynamic tricks in guestfsd_LDADD. Automake suggests
guestfsd_LDFLAGS, but that is useless, as these flags are
position-dependent, and they should only bracket $(HIVEX_LIBS) in
guestfsd_LDADD. In the end, it wouldn't be right to modify
guestfsd_LDADD anyway, as we don't *unconditionally* want hivex to be
linked statically into guestfsd.

So the next (and successful) idea was to modify the (new)
"lib/local/hivex.pc" pkg-config descriptor in hivex with one more step:
replace "-lhivex" with "-l:libhivex.a" on the "Libs:" line. This gets
picked up in libguestfs's HIVEX_LIBS, and causes the linker to look
specifically for "libhivex.a", not "libhivex.so". (Refer to the "-l"
flags documentation in ld(1) -- I found the trick somewhere on

A side effect is that *all* binaries built with "../hivex/run" will then
get a static copy of the hivex library -- but that's a small price to
pay. After all, such builds -- against a local (and not installed) hivex
tree -- are always development builds. I've verified that the guestfsd
executable still depends on the hivex *shared* object (and so the
system-wide RPM) when "../hivex/run" is not in use.


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