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Binary-code compatibility binary compatible or object-code -compatible is a property of computer systems meaning that they can run the same executable code , typically machine code for a general-purpose computer CPU. Source-code compatibility , on the other hand, means that recompilation or interpretation is necessary. For a compiled program on a general operating system, binary compatibility often implies that not only the CPUs instruction sets of the two computers are binary compatible, but also that interfaces and behaviours of the operating system and APIs , and the ABIs corresponding to those APIs, are sufficiently equal, i.
A term like backward-compatible usually implies object-code compatibility. Older executable code will thus run unchanged on the newer product. For a compiled program running directly on a CPU under an OS, a "binary compatible operating system" primarily means application binary interface ABI compatibility with another system.
However, it also often implies that APIs that the application depends on, directly or indirectly such as the Windows API , for example , are sufficiently similar. Hardware besides the CPU, such as for graphics and peripherals that an application accesses may also be a factor for full compatibility, although many hardware differences are hidden by modern APIs often partly supplied by the OS itself and partly by specific device drivers.
In other cases, a general porting of the software must be used to make non-binary-compatible programs work. Binary compatibility is a major benefit when developing computer programs that are to be run on multiple OSes. Most OSes provide binary compatibility, in each version of the OS, for most binaries built to run on earlier versions of the OS. For example, many executables compiled for Windows 3.
For a digital processor implemented in hardware, binary compatibility means that a large subset of machine code produced for another processor can be correctly executed and has much the same effect as on the other processor.
This is quite common among many processor families, although it is rather uncommon among the ubiquitous small embedded systems built around such processors. For a more complex embedded system using more abstraction layers sometimes on the border to a general computer, such as a mobile phone , this may be different.
Binary compatible operating systems are OSes that aim to implement binary compatibility with another OS, or another variant of the same brand. This means that they are ABI-compatible for application binary interface. As the job of an OS is to run programs, the instruction set architectures running the OSes have to be the same or compatible. Otherwise, programs can be employed within a CPU emulator or a faster dynamic translation mechanism to make them compatible.
For example, the Linux kernel is not compatible with Windows. This does not mean that Linux can't be binary compatible with Windows applications. Additional software, Wine , is available that does that to some degree. The ReactOS OS development effort, seeks to create an open source , free software OS that is binary compatible with Microsoft's Windows NT family of OSes using Wine for application compatibility and reimplementing the Windows kernel for additional compatibility such as for drivers whereas Linux would use Linux drivers not Windows drivers.
Note that a binary compatible OS is different from running an alternative OS through virtualization or emulation , which is done to run software within the alternative OS in the case when the host OS isn't compatible. Sometimes virtualization is provided with the host OS or such software can be obtained , which effectively makes the host OS compatible with programs.
Instead, the Classic environment was actually running Mac OS 9. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. November Learn how and when to remove this template message. Archived from the original on August 2, Mac OS X Internals: Application binary interface ABI. Binary code compatibility Foreign function interface Language binding Linker dynamic Loader Year problem.