[Haskell-cafe] Static executables in minimal Docker containers

Michael Snoyman michael at snoyman.com
Tue Apr 14 06:25:22 UTC 2015

I have a bit more information about this. In particular: I'm able to
reproduce this using chroot (no Docker required), and it's reproducing with
a dynamically linked executable too. Steps I used to reproduce:

1. Write a minimal "foo.hs" containing `main = putStrLn "Hello World"`
2. Compile that executable and put it in an empty directory
3. Run `ldd` on it and copy all necessary libraries inside that directory
4. Run `sudo strace -o log.txt . /foo`

I've uploaded the logs to:


Note that, due to size of the output, I killed the process just a few
seconds after starting it, but when I let the output run much longer, I
didn't see any difference in the results. I'll continue poking at this a
bit, but most likely I'll open a GHC Trac ticket about it later today.

On Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 12:39 AM Albert Y. C. Lai <trebla at vex.net> wrote:

> I wonder whether you already know the following, and whether it is
> relevant to begin with. (Plus, my knowledge is fairly sketchy.)
> Even though you statically link glibc, its code will, at run time,
> dlopen a certain part of glibc.
> Why: To provide a really uniform abstraction layer over user account
> queries, e.g., man 3 getpwnam, regardless of whether the accounts are
> from /etc/passwd, LDAP, or whatever.
> Therefore, during run time, glibc first reads some config files of the
> host to see what kind of user account database the host uses. If it's
> /etc/passwd, then dlopen the implementation of getpwnam and friends for
> /etc/passwd; else, if it's LDAP, then dlopen the implementation of
> getpwnam and friends for LDAP; etc etc.
> So that later when you call getpwnam, it will happen to "do the right
> thing".
> This demands the required *.so files to be accessible during run time.
> Moreoever, if you statically link glibc, this also demands the required
> *.so files to version-match the glibc you statically link.
> (It is the main reason why most people give up on statically linking
> glibc.)
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