I want to know if there is some sort of a list of applications available by default in different linux distributions, some kind of a standard list of binaries that all distributions have.

I specifically have readelf used for a program that I have created that will be used on different distributions. From what I know readelf is a part of binutils. Are binutils always shipped with all the linux distributions out there?

I am fairly new to this and I just want to be sure. I have only used redhat and ubuntu before.


binutils is a pretty crucial part of any Linux distribution, so I'd say you're safe assuming that you will find it in any distribution.

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    Is that still true for non-x86 architectures, such as ARM? How about Android? AFAICT the OpenBSD folks have plenty of fun porting and updating binutils specifically to non-x86 architectures. – Satō Katsura Feb 21 '17 at 12:23
  • @SatoKatsura That's nice to point out. I forgot to mention though my application is to be used only on desktops. – Ayman Salah Feb 21 '17 at 12:42
  • @SatoKatsura it is true of typical Linux distributions on non-x86 architectures too; binutils is one of the first pieces you need in a GNU stack (a linker is pretty useful), and it supports a huge variety of architectures. I don't think Android has it by default but it is available there too. – Stephen Kitt Feb 21 '17 at 13:04
  • @StephenKitt Then how about those architectures that don't use ELF (routers and such)? Do they still have readelf compiled with binutils? – Satō Katsura Feb 21 '17 at 13:54
  • @SatoKatsura binutils supports more formats than just ELF. I wouldn't expect to find binutils installed on small devices (or even most Linux systems), but it is available for a huge variety of targets. – Stephen Kitt Feb 21 '17 at 14:17

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