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Tom Oliver

So this is one of the first times I have actually come across a hurdle when it comes to developing software on old computers. A couple days ago I started experimenting with bun, which is amazing by the way. One of the big selling points is that it is really fast, but this speed seems to come at a cost...

As I use NixOS, I installed it the usual way by adding it to my configuration.nix. But alas, life isn't always simple. It seems to install ok, but when I tried to run bun I got an error immediately:

illegal hardware instruction (core dumped)

Wow an actually hardware error! I haven't seen one of those since I was trying some overclocking! So the problem comes down to the fact that bun uses some cutting edge CPU instructions that weren't around in 2012. Now, on other Linux distributions you can simply use a bash script to install bun à la:

curl -fsSL | bash

Apparently it checks your CPU and in the event it finds something of a certain vintage it installs a baseline version of bun which I guess doesn't use any of the funky CPU instructions it would usually. Unfortunately the nix package does not at the time of writing do this. There is actually a PR open to fix this but it has not been merged yet. So for the time being you can basically just take the code from the PR, save it to a file locally and build the baseline version yourself.

  1. Download and save this file.
  2. Now to build is, run:
nix-build -E 'with import <nixpkgs> {}; callPackage ./default.nix {}'
  1. You should now be able to run bun by doing:

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