[Ukfreebsd] Question about linprocfs

andy thomas andy at time-domain.co.uk
Sat May 28 07:24:43 BST 2011

On Fri, 27 May 2011, Robert N. M. Watson wrote:

> On 27 May 2011, at 17:38, Mark Blackman wrote:
>> On 27 May 2011, at 16:05, andy thomas wrote:
>>> I'm trying to get the Linux binary of the Magma computational algebra software package running on amd64 FreeBSD 8.2. When this binary is executed on a Linux system, it reads /proc/net/dev to determine the system's MAC address and compares this with an encrypted license file to decided whether or not the system is licenced to run the software.
>>> On FBSD, the Linux /proc filesystem is mounted on /compat/linux/proc so that the Linux /proc/net/dev is actually at /compat/linux/proc/net/dev. The problem is /compat/linux/proc/net/dev contains no data:
>> See linprocfs(5), "emulates a *subset* of Linux process file system". Further on, it lists the bits it can do
>> and /net/dev isn't one of them, I'm afraid.
> However, adding things is certainly in scope. Perhaps send e-mail with the details to freebsd-emulation?

The thing is, as Mark has pointed out, even the Linux /proc/net/dev 
doesn't contain any obvious MAC address info. I've got in touch with the 
Magma developers to find out how they really get the MAC address as the 
error messages put out by their program seem to be misleading. I think 
their code first checks for the existence of /proc/net/dev and then gets 
the MAC address some other way.

I'll report back here what happens next - it would be great if Magma could 
run on FBSD as that is largest computing surface we have available to us 
at college.


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