[syslinux] com32 module compatibility between 5.x versions

Ady ady-sf at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 9 12:04:20 PDT 2013

> On Fri, Aug 9, 2013 at 1:54 PM, Pete Batard <pete at akeo.ie> wrote:
> > Also, if the best answer I get is that I'll just have to be creative with
> > trying to compensate for the version lockdown, could I at least get an
> > answer to my question of how one can determine the exact version of a .c32
> > file?
> In general, no.  There's a magic number but only indicates the major
> version.  Specific COM32 files do utilize the build data but to my
> knowledge, only 2.  Specific to ldlinuxc32, I also don't know if there
> is a way.
> It would be nice if this were embedded into the COM32 header format
> (version number and the string).
Considering http://bugzilla.syslinux.org/show_bug.cgi?id=7 , "Refuse 
to load incompatible COM32 files", IMO every and all binary files in 
Syslinux should (somehow) be able to provide at least the following 

_ Exact complete release version.
_ Exact complete pre-release version (when applicable).
_ Firmware (BIOS/EFI).
_ Architecture (e.g. EFI_IA32, EFI_X64, whatever else might show up).
_ Producer (e.g. Official build, distro-specific rebuild).

The information should be available, for example by means of some 
official tool, script, hexview or whatever; not just by trial and 
error under a Syslinux prompt.

Of course, when a user does all by himself (including downloading 
only one official Syslinux archive to apply to only one media with 
only one distro, installing, formatting,...), the information is not 
really required. The need is relevant for cases such as supporting 
multiple versions (e.g. Rufus' case), or multi-booting, or whenever 
the final user is not the one in complete control (or he has not 
enough previous knowledge) about each specific file related to 

The need for the user to obtain this info (e.g. for troubleshooting 
or debugging) becomes even more relevant considering the new 
dependencies since Syslinux 5.xx.


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