Linker and Libraries Guide

Procedure Linkage Table Skipping

The rtld-debugger interface enables a controlling process to skip over procedure linkage table entries. When a controlling process, such as a debugger, is asked to step into a function for the first time, the procedure linkage table processing, causes control to be passed to the runtime linker to search for the function definition.

The following interface enables a controlling process to step over the runtime linker's procedure linkage table processing. The controlling process can determine when a procedure linkage table entry is encountered based on external information provided in the ELF file.

Once a target process has stepped into a procedure linkage table entry, the process calls the rd_plt_resolution() interface.


This function returns the resolution state of the current procedure linkage table entry and information on how to skip it.

rd_err_e rd_plt_resolution(rd_agent_t * rdap, paddr_t pc,
        lwpid_t lwpid, paddr_t plt_base, rd_plt_info_t * rpi);

pc represents the first instruction of the procedure linkage table entry. lwpid provides the lwp identifier and plt_base provides the base address of the procedure linkage table. These three variables provide information sufficient for various architectures to process the procedure linkage table.

rpi provides detailed information regarding the procedure linkage table entry as defined in the following data structure, defined in rtld_db.h.

typedef enum {
} rd_skip_e;
typedef struct rd_plt_info {
        rd_skip_e       pi_skip_method;
        long            pi_nstep;
        psaddr_t        pi_target;
        psaddr_t        pi_baddr;
        unsigned int    pi_flags;
} rd_plt_info_t;

#define RD_FLG_PI_PLTBOUND     0x0001

The elements of the rd_plt_info_tstructure are:


Identifies how the procedure linkage table entry can be traversed. This method is set to one of the rd_skip_e values.


Identifies how many instructions to step over when RD_RESOLVE_STEP or RD_RESOLVE_TARGET_STEP are returned.


Specifies the address at which to set a breakpoint when RD_RESOLVE_TARGET_STEP or RD_RESOLVE_TARGET are returned.


The procedure linkage table destination address, added with RD_VERSION3. When the RD_FLG_PI_PLTBOUND flag of the pi_flags field is set, this element identifies the resolved (bound) destination address.


A flags field, added with RD_VERSION3. The flag RD_FLG_PI_PLTBOUND identifies the procedure linkage entry as having been resolved (bound) to its destination address, which is available in the pi_baddr field.

The following scenarios are possible from the rd_plt_info_t return values.