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Статья

Ensuring portability of Linux applications through standardization and knowledge base driven analysis

Science of Computer Programming. 2014. Vol. 91. No. B. P. 234-248.
Silakov D., Rubanov V.

 roblems with portability of applications across various Linux distributions is one of the major sore spots of independent software vendors (ISVs) wishing to support the Linux platform in their products. The source of the problem is that different distributions have different sets of system libraries that vary in the interfaces (APIs) provided. And the critical questions arise for ISVs such as “which distributions my application would run on?” or “what can I specifically do to make my application run on a greater number of distributions?”. This article refers to an industry-wide approach to mitigate the problem of Linux platform fragmentation through standardization of common interfaces—the Linux Standard Base (LSB) standard, the leading effort for the “single Linux specification”. The article shows how extending this approach with a knowledge base about the composition of real world Linux distributions can enable automatic portability analysis for Linux applications even if they use interfaces outside the scope of the standard. The knowledge base powered Linux Application Checker tool is described that can help answer the above questions by automatically analyzing the target application and confronting collected data about its external dependencies with what various distributions provide. Additionally, Linux Application Checker is an official tool approved by the Linux Foundation for certifying applications for compliance with the LSB standard.