Binary compatibility issues with libsensors

David Z Maze dmaze at
Fri May 2 04:32:57 CEST 2003

Hi.  I have a bug report on the Debian lm-sensors package
( complaining that programs compiled
against the libsensors from lm-sensors 2.6.5 don't necessarily work
with the libsensors from lm-sensors 2.7.0; the 'sensors' program from
the lm-sensors distribution is used as an example.  This looks like
the same problem as the 28 December "'sensors' segfaults" problem on
the lm-sensors Web page.

The actual problem is a result of adding the busname field to the
sensors_chip_name structure in lib/sensors.h.  If programs using the
library either declare an array of sensors_chip_name, as 'sensors'
does, or embed sensors_chip_name in a structure, the added field means
that newer libsensors code will try to read the first word of the next
data structure as the busname.  The particularly troublesome call here
is sensors_match_chip(sensors_chip_name, sensors_chip_name); the
called code expects to find the two structures passed on the stack,
but with the extra word new code and old code put the two structures
in different places.

In turn, this breaks programs that link against the lm-sensors
libraries.  In Debian, this isn't just the 'sensors' program; there
are several front-ends that use the library to present hardware status
information.  The best solution would be to change the library name
(to, for example, so that both old and new libraries
could coexist on the system; would you consider this for an lm-sensors


David Maze         dmaze at
"Theoretical politics is interesting.  Politicking should be illegal."
	-- Abra Mitchell

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