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Background Info:

Linux OS: Stripped down, minimalistic and very customized (no apt-get, yum, etc)

Linux Kernel: 2.6.19.1

Current glibc version: 2.3.6

Target glibc version: 2.6.1

Issue:

Attempting to install an ipk package provided by 3rd party which has a dependency on a glibc version >= 2.6 (current version is 2.3.6)

The 3rd party provided a different ipk package to upgrade glibc to 2.6.1. After executing the install of the package, all other applications that depend upon glibc report "libc.so.6: cannot handle TLS data"

Is anyone familiar with upgrading glibc on a customized Linux OS without using any sort of package manager for support?

My understanding is that glibc should be backwards compatible and upgrading it shouldn't cause issues with applications that had previously been working. Is this assumption incorrect?

I can post more information as it is requested.

EDIT #1

Added a symlink to the 3rd party .ipk for glibc to point ld-linux.so.2 to ld-2.6.1 and then attempted to re-install the package. This changed the original error (libc.so.6 cannot handle TLS data) to Illegal instruction

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    I think this means your libc.so and ld.so are out of sync. Glibc as a whole is backward compatible with old binaries, but all of its own components must be upgraded in lockstep. – zwol Jan 19 '17 at 19:53
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    Please post the complete, unedited output of: (1) ls -ld {,/usr}/lib{,/*}/{ld,libc.}*; (2) cat /etc/ld.so.conf /etc/ld.so.conf.d/*.conf; (3) /lib/ld-linux.so.2 (yes, really, run the dynamic linker as if it were a regular program); (4) /lib/libc.so.6 (yes, really, same thing for the primary "libc" shared object). If either /lib/ld-linux.so.2 or /lib/libc.so.6 does not exist, tell us that. – zwol Jan 19 '17 at 19:58
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    It would also help to know exactly what distribution you are working from; I know you said it was "stripped down, minimalistic, and very customized", but you've got some kind of package manager in there and it would help to know which one and what other quirks are relevant. (I know I've heard the acronym "IPK" before but I can't remember where it comes from.) – zwol Jan 19 '17 at 20:00
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    Yes, I need after. It would be even more helpful to see the answer for both before and after. Can you get your hands on a statically linked busybox, which will be immune? Or can you mount the filesystem from within a working environment, e.g. a livecd? – zwol Jan 19 '17 at 20:07
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    This ipkg? – zwol Jan 19 '17 at 20:07

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