This chapter documents the syntax of the Solaris x86 assembly language.
This section discusses the lexical conventions of the Solaris x86 assembly language.
An x86 assembly language program consists of one or more files containing statements. A statement consists of tokens separated by whitespace and terminated by either a newline character (ASCII 0x0A) or a semicolon (;) (ASCII 0x3B). Whitespace consists of spaces (ASCII 0x20), tabs (ASCII 0x09), and formfeeds (ASCII 0x0B) that are not contained in a string or comment. More than one statement can be placed on a single input line provided that each statement is terminated by a semicolon. A statement can consist of a comment. Empty statements, consisting only of whitespace, are allowed.
A comment can be appended to a statement. The comment consists of the slash character (/) (ASCII 0x2F) followed by the text of the comment. The comment is terminated by the newline that terminates the statement.
A label can be placed at the beginning of a statement. During assembly, the label is assigned the current value of the active location counter and serves as an instruction operand. There are two types of lables: symbolic and numeric.
A symbolic label consists of an identifier (or symbol) followed by a colon (:) (ASCII 0x3A). Symbolic labels must be defined only once. Symbolic labels have global scope and appear in the object file's symbol table.
Symbolic labels with identifiers beginning with a period (.) (ASCII 0x2E) are considered to have local scope and are not included in the object file's symbol table.
A numeric label consists of a single digit in the range zero (0) through nine (9) followed by a colon (:). Numeric labels are used only for local reference and are not included in the object file's symbol table. Numeric labels have limited scope and can be redefined repeatedly.
When a numeric label is used as a reference (as an instruction operand, for example), the suffixes b (“backward”) or f (“forward”) should be added to the numeric label. For numeric label N, the reference Nb refers to the nearest label N defined before the reference, and the reference Nf refers to the nearest label N defined after the reference. The following example illustrates the use of numeric labels:
1: / define numeric label "1" one: / define symbolic label "one" / ... assembler code ... jmp 1f / jump to first numeric label "1" defined / after this instruction / (this reference is equivalent to label "two") jmp 1b / jump to last numeric label "1" defined / before this instruction / (this reference is equivalent to label "one") 1: / redefine label "1" two: / define symbolic label "two" jmp 1b / jump to last numeric label "1" defined / before this instruction / (this reference is equivalent to label "two")
There are five classes of tokens:
An identifier is an arbitrarily-long sequence of letters and digits. The first character must be a letter; the underscore (_) (ASCII 0x5F) and the period (.) (ASCII 0x2E) are considered to be letters. Case is significant: uppercase and lowercase letters are different.
Keywords such as x86 instruction mnemonics (“opcodes”) and assembler directives are reserved for the assembler and should not be used as identifiers. See Chapter 3, Instruction Set Mapping for a list of the Solaris x86 mnemonics. See Assembler Directives for the list of as assembler directives.
Numbers in the x86 architecture can be integers or floating point. Integers can be signed or unsigned, with signed integers represented in two's complement representation. Floating-point numbers can be: single-precision floating-point; double-precision floating-point; and double-extended precision floating-point.
Decimal. Decimal integers begin with a non-zero digit followed by zero or more decimal digits (0–9).
Binary. Binary integers begin with “0b” or “0B” followed by zero or more binary digits (0, 1).
Octal. Octal integers begin with zero (0) followed by zero or more octal digits (0–7).
Hexadecimal. Hexadecimal integers begin with “0x” or “0X” followed by one or more hexadecimal digits (0–9, A–F). Hexadecimal digits can be either uppercase or lowercase.
Sign (optional) – either plus (+) or minus (–)
Integer (optional) – zero or more decimal digits (0–9)
Fraction (optional) – decimal point (.) followed by zero or more decimal digits
Exponent (optional) – the letter “e” or “E”, followed by an optional sign (plus or minus), followed by one or more decimal digits (0–9)
A valid floating point constant must have either an integer part or a fractional part.
A string constant consists of a sequence of characters enclosed in double quotes ( ") (ASCII 0x22). To include a double-quote character ("), single-quote character ('), or backslash character (\) within a string, precede the character with a backslash (\) (ASCII 0x5C). A character can be expressed in a string as its ASCII value in octal preceded by a backslash (for example, the letter “J” could be expressed as “\112”). The assembler accepts the following escape sequences in strings:
ASCII Value (hex)
The assembler supports the following operators for use in expressions. Operators have no assigned precedence. Expressions can be grouped in square brackets () to establish precedence.
Bitwise logical AND
Bitwise logical OR
Bitwise logical AND NOT
Bitwise logical XOR
The asterisk (*), slash (/), and percent sign (%) characters are overloaded. When used as operators in an expression, these characters must be preceded by the backslash character (\).
Instructions are operations performed by the CPU. Operands are entities operated upon by the instruction. Addresses are the locations in memory of specified data.
Operands (instruction specific)
See Statements for the description of labels and comments.
The terms instruction and mnemonic are used interchangeably in this document to refer to the names of x86 instructions. Although the term opcode is sometimes used as a synonym for instruction, this document reserves the term opcode for the hexadecimal representation of the instruction value.
For most instructions, the Solaris x86 assembler mnemonics are the same as the Intel or AMD mnemonics. However, the Solaris x86 mnemonics might appear to be different because the Solaris mnemonics are suffixed with a one-character modifier that specifies the size of the instruction operands. That is, the Solaris assembler derives its operand type information from the instruction name and the suffix. If a mnemonic is specified with no type suffix, the operand type defaults to long. Possible operand types and their instruction suffixes are:
Long (32–bit) (default)
The assembler recognizes the following suffixes for x87 floating-point instructions:
Instruction operands are registers only
Instruction operands are 64–bit
Instruction operands are 32–bit
See Chapter 3, Instruction Set Mapping for a mapping between Solaris x86 assembly language mnemonics and the equivalent Intel or AMD mnemonics.
An x86 instruction can have zero to three operands. Operands are separated by commas (,) (ASCII 0x2C). For instructions with two operands, the first (lefthand) operand is the source operand, and the second (righthand) operand is the destination operand (that is, source->destination).
The Intel assembler uses the opposite order (destination<-source) for operands.
Operands can be immediate (that is, constant expressions that evaluate to an inline value), register (a value in the processor number registers), or memory (a value stored in memory). An indirect operand contains the address of the actual operand value. Indirect operands are specified by prefixing the operand with an asterisk (*) (ASCII 0x2A). Only jump and call instructions can use indirect operands.
Memory operands are specified either by the name of a variable or by a register that contains the address of a variable. A variable name implies the address of a variable and instructs the computer to reference the contents of memory at that address. Memory references have the following syntax:segment:offset(base, index, scale).
Segment is any of the x86 architecture segment registers. Segment is optional: if specified, it must be separated from offset by a colon (:). If segment is omitted, the value of %ds (the default segment register) is assumed.
Offset is the displacement from segment of the desired memory value. Offset is optional.
Base and index can be any of the general 32–bit number registers.
Scale is a factor by which index is to be multipled before being added to base to specify the address of the operand. Scale can have the value of 1, 2, 4, or 8. If scale is not specified, the default value is 1.
Some examples of memory addresses are:
Move the contents of memory location var into number register %eax.
Move the contents of memory location var in the code segment (register %cs) into number register %eax.
Move the address of var into number register %eax.
Add the address of memory location array_base to the contents of number register %esi to determine an address in memory. Move the contents of this address into number register %eax.
Multiply the contents of number register %esi by 4 and add the result to the contents of number register %ebx to produce a memory reference. Move the contents of this memory location into number register %eax.
Multiply the contents of number register %esi by 4, add the result to the contents of number register %ebx, and add the result to the address of struct_base to produce an address. Move the contents of this address into number register %eax.
The .align directive causes the next data generated to be aligned modulo integer bytes. Integer must be a positive integer expression and must be a power of 2. If specified, pad is an integer bye value used for padding. The default value of pad for the text section is 0x90 (nop); for other sections, the default value of pad is zero (0).
The .ascii directive places the characters in string into the object module at the current location but does not terminate the string with a null byte (\0). String must be enclosed in double quotes (") (ASCII 0x22). The .ascii directive is not valid for the .bss section.
The .bcd directive generates a packed decimal (80-bit) value into the current section. The .bcd directive is not valid for the .bss section.
The .bss directive changes the current section to .bss.
Define symbol in the .bss section and add integer bytes to the value of the location counter for .bss. When issued with arguments, the .bss directive does not change the current section to .bss. Integer must be positive.
The .byte directive generates initialized bytes into the current section. The .byte directive is not valid for the .bss section. Each byte must be an 8-bit value.
Refer to the description of the .value directive.
Refer to the description of the .long directive.
Refer to the description of the .quad directive.
The .comm directive allocates storage in the data section. The storage is referenced by the identifier name. Size is measured in bytes and must be a positive integer. Name cannot be predefined. Alignment is optional. If alignment is specified, the address of name is aligned to a multiple of alignment.
The .data directive changes the current section to .data.
The .double directive generates a double-precision floating-point constant into the current section. The .double directive is not valid for the .bss section.
The .even directive aligns the current program counter (.) to an even boundary.
The .ext directive generates an 80387 80–bit floating point constant for each expression into the current section. The .ext directive is not valid for the .bss section.
The .file directive creates a symbol table entry where string is the symbol name and STT_FILE is the symbol table type. String specifies the name of the source file associated with the object file.
The .float directive generates a single-precision floating-point constant into the current section. The .float directive is not valid in the .bss section.
The .globl directive declares each symbol in the list to be global. Each symbol is either defined externally or defined in the input file and accessible in other files. Default bindings for the symbol are overridden. A global symbol definition in one file satisfies an undefined reference to the same global symbol in another file. Multiple definitions of a defined global symbol are not allowed. If a defined global symbol has more than one definition, an error occurs. The .globl directive only declares the symbol to be global in scope, it does not define the symbol.
The .group directive adds section to a COMDAT group. Refer to COMDAT Section in Linker and Libraries Guide for additional information about COMDAT.
The .hidden directive declares each symbol in the list to have hidden linker scoping. All references to symbol within a dynamic module bind to the definition within that module. Symbol is not visible outside of the module.
The .ident directive creates an entry in the .comment section containing string. String is any sequence of characters, not including the double quote ("). To include the double quote character within a string, precede the double quote character with a backslash (\) (ASCII 0x5C).
The .lcomm directive allocates storage in the .bss section. The storage is referenced by the symbol name, and has a size of size bytes. Name cannot be predefined, and size must be a positive integer. If alignment is specified, the address of name is aligned to a multiple of alignment bytes. If alignment is not specified, the default alignment is 4 bytes.
The .local directive declares each symbol in the list to be local. Each symbol is defined in the input file and not accessible to other files. Default bindings for the symbols are overridden. Symbols declared with the .local directive take precedence over weak and global symbols. (See Symbol Table Section in Linker and Libraries Guide for a description of global and weak symbols.) Because local symbols are not accessible to other files, local symbols of the same name may exist in multiple files. The .local directive only declares the symbol to be local in scope, it does not define the symbol.
The .long directive generates a long integer (32-bit, two's complement value) for each expression into the current section. Each expression must be a 32–bit value and must evaluate to an integer value. The .long directive is not valid for the .bss section.
The .popsection directive pops the top of the section stack and continues processing of the popped section.
The .previous directive continues processing of the previous section.
The .pushsection directive pushes the specified section onto the section stack and switches to another section.
The .quad directive generates an initialized word (64-bit, two's complement value) for each expression into the current section. Each expression must be a 64-bit value, and must evaluate to an integer value. The .quad directive is not valid for the .bss section.
The .rel directive generates the specified relocation entry type for the specified symbol. The .lit directive supports TLS (thread-local storage). Refer to Chapter 8, Thread-Local Storage, in Linker and Libraries Guide for additional information about TLS.
The .section directive makes section the current section. If section does not exist, a new section with the specified name and attributes is created. If section is a non-reserved section, attributes must be included the first time section is specified by the .section directive.
The .set directive assigns the value of expression to symbol. Expression can be any legal expression that evaluates to a numerical value.
While generating values for any data section, the .skip directive causes integer bytes to be skipped over, or, optionally, filled with the specified value.
The .sleb128 directive generates a signed, little-endian, base 128 number from expression.
The .string directive places the characters in string into the object module at the current location and terminates the string with a null byte (\0). String must be enclosed in double quotes (") (ASCII 0x22). The .string directive is not valid for the .bss section.
The .symbolic directive declares each symbol in the list to havesymbolic linker scoping. All references to symbol within a dynamic module bind to the definition within that module. Outside of the module, symbol is treated as global.
The .tbss directive changes the current section to .tbss. The .tbss section contains uninitialized TLS data objects that will be initialized to zero by the runtime linker.
The .tcomm directive defines a TLS common block.
The .tdata directive changes the current section to .tdata. The .tdata section contains the initialization image for initialized TLS data objects.
The .text directive defines the current section as .text.
The .uleb128 directive generates an unsigned, little-endian, base 128 number from expression.
The .value directive generates an initialized word (16-bit, two's complement value) for each expression into the current section. Each expression must be a 16-bit integer value. The .value directive is not valid for the .bss section.
The .weak directive declares each symbol in the argument list to be defined either externally or in the input file and accessible to other files. Default bindings of the symbol are overridden by the .weak directive. A weak symbol definition in one file satisfies an undefined reference to a global symbol of the same name in another file. Unresolved weak symbols have a default value of zero. The link editor does not resolve these symbols. If a weak symbol has the same name as a defined global symbol, the weak symbol is ignored and no error results. The .weak directive does not define the symbol.
While filling a data section, the .zero directive fills the number of bytes specified by expression with zero (0).