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5. Getting started

5.1 How do I get lxrun ?

Lxrun is currently distributed as a component of SCO Skunkware, a free CD-ROM containing hundreds of megabytes of pre-compiled and pre-packaged software for SCO platforms. A Skunkware CD-ROM can be obtained via and, beginning in 1998, all operating systems released by SCO will contain a Skunkware CD-ROM in the shrink-wrapped product. Lxrun may also be obtained via the SCO Skunkware web site at All SCO Skunkware software is freely redistributable.

5.2 Building lxrun from source

Detailed instructions on building lxrun from source, configuring the build, installing the emulation system and additional run-time components, installing a Linux binary, runtime environment variables, and error messages are contained in the file INSTALL in the lxrun source distribution and on-line in the lxrun FAQ.

The lxrun source distribution contains a Makefile with support for compilation on SCO OpenServer 5, UnixWare 2.x, and UnixWare 7. The Makefile uses the output of "uname -r" to determine the platform. As additional platform support is added this will need to be augmented or the configuration modified to use autoconfig.

To build lxrun on one of the supported platforms, it is only necessary to issue the command "make". The command "make install" will both build lxrun and copy the resulting binaries and documentation into $(DESTDIR) which is set by default to the ./dist directory.

As a convenience this distribution includes a script called lxfront which can be used with a symbolic link (see below) to provide a wrapper around the invocation of lxrun the Linux binary name allowing them to be run directly.

Starting with lxrun 0.9.0 the build of lxrun will produce an as well as the lxrun binary. The is installed in /lib on the target system and provides support for direct execution of Linux binaries, thus deprecating the need for the lxrun binary front-end except for the execution of Linux a.out binaries.

The lxrun source has the following capability ifdefs:

Platform defines for OpenServer 5 (OSR5), UnixWare 2.x (UNIXWARE) and UnixWare 7 (GEMINI) are automatically setup in the Makefile.

5.3 Installing the emulation system

Lxrun expects to find all its (Linux) library files in a normal root hierarchy rooted under a single place called the LINUX_ROOT. Unless respecified in the build this defaults internally in lxrun to /usr/local/linux.

You can respecify or change it at runtime with the environment variable LINUX_ROOT (wherever it ends up this must be the place the Linux libraries are placed under).

"make install" will install the built binary (lxrun) into /usr/local/bin, lxfront into $LINUX_ROOT/bin, and the lxrun program interpreter into /lib. The HTML documents describing lxrun are placed in /usr/local/man/html/lxrun.

5.4 Installing Linux applications

With lxrun 0.9.0 and later, Linux ELF binaries can be installed anywhere in the standard execution path (e.g. /usr/local/bin). See section Direct execution of Linux ELF binaries for details on how this is done. Further, Linux applications distributed in RPM format can be installed using either a native RPM port or the Linux RPM run under the control of lxrun. Some additional arguments to RPM may be necessary. For instance, a native port of RPM for SCO OpenServer is available at Using the SCO OpenServer RPM it is necessary to invoke RPM as follows:

    rpm --nodeps --ignorearch --ignoreos --prefix /usr/local ...
The Skunkware distribution of RPM for OpenServer includes a shell script front-end rpm4sco which inserts these arguments for you.

Linux a.out and statically linked ELF binaries should be installed in /usr/local/linux/bin and symbolic links by the name of the binary created from /usr/local/bin to the lxfront shell script in /usr/local/linux/bin.

5.5 Error messages

linuxemul: fatal error: program load failed: No such file or directory

Indicates that the Linux binary couldn't run (either lxrun could't find the Linux binary or the Linux binary couldn't find the dynamic linker) It probably means your LINUX_ROOT environment variable isn't set up correctly or you don't have the required minimum Linux libraries.

progname: can't load library ''

Indicates you're missing a shared library that is needed to run a particular binary. You can either try to find a compiled version of the library from a Linux ftp site (such as or if you have access to a running Linux system, you can copy the library directly. You should put the library in $LINUX_ROOT/lib on your host system (/usr/localLinuxlib by default on a SCO system ).

myprog: can't resolve symbol '__iob'
myprog: can't resolve symbol '__iob'
myprog: can't resolve symbol '__ctype'

Indicates that the Linux dynamic loader found a native SCO library and is using it instead of the corresponding Linux binary. (You can find out exactly which library is causing the problem by examining the lxrun.log file produced by a debugging version of lxrun.)

This will only occur if you have native libraries installed that have the same names as a dependant Linux binary. If you have XFree86 installed, the /usr/X11R6/lib libraries are common culprits.

The best solution is to make sure no native libraries are available anywhere under the directory pointed to by $LINUX_ROOT.

5.6 If you come across an unsupported binary

  1. Go to and make sure you have the most recent version of lxrun. If not, download the latest one and try it. We are updating lxrun with new system calls all the time.
  2. Recompile lxrun with the TRACE option enabled. (This requires modifying one line in the Makefile.) This will cause lxrun to produce a history of all system calls used by the binary as it was run (similar to the "truss" and "trace" commands). The trace dump will be created in a file called "/tmp/lxrun.nnn" where "nnn" is the process id.
  3. Try to narrow down exactly which system call failed. Most likely, the failure will be due to a system call that has not yet been implemented in lxrun.
  4. Implement the system call mapping. This is usually pretty easy to do. The vast majority of lxrun's code does mappings of this sort, so you can pick out almost any source file to see how it is done. Chances are, the system call you need to remap is already in one of the lxrun source files, but its code looks something like this: int lx_flock() { errno=ENOSYS; return -1; } This means that you're the first person who has gotten around to mapping that particular system call.
  5. After making your modification, recompile lxrun and see if it works. You may have to remap more than one system call to get your binary working!
  6. E-mail your changes to This way, we can put your changes into the next release of lxrun.
  7. If steps 1-5 seem beyond your programming ability, contact and maybe one of the Skunkware team will have time to give you a hand with it. Make sure to tell us exactly what program you're having trouble with, and if possible, tell us where you got it.

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