Linker and Libraries Guide

Direct Invocation

When you invoke the link-editor directly, you have to supply every object file and library required to create the intended output. The link-editor makes no assumptions about the object modules or libraries that you meant to use in creating the output. For example, the following command instructs the link-editor to create a dynamic executable that is named a.out using only the input file test.o.

$ ld test.o

Typically, a dynamic executable requires specialized startup code and exit processing code. This code can be language or operating system specific, and is usually provided through files supplied by the compiler drivers.

Additionally, you can also supply your own initialization code and termination code. This code must be encapsulated and be labeled correctly for the code to be correctly recognized and made available to the runtime linker. This encapsulation and labeling can also be provided through files supplied by the compiler drivers.

When creating runtime objects such as executables and shared objects, you should use a compiler driver to invoke the link-editor. Direct invocation of the link-editor is recommended only when creating intermediate relocatable objects when using the -r option.