Sun Studio 12: Performance Analyzer

The Process Image

When a program is run, a process is instantiated from the executable for that program. The process has a number of regions in its address space, some of which are text and represent executable instructions, and some of which are data that is not normally executed. PCs as recorded in the call stack normally correspond to addresses within one of the text segments of the program.

The first text section in a process derives from the executable itself. Others correspond to shared objects that are loaded with the executable, either at the time the process is started, or dynamically loaded by the process. The PCs in a call stack are resolved based on the executable and shared objects loaded at the time the call stack was recorded. Executables and shared objects are very similar, and are collectively referred to as load objects.

Because shared objects can be loaded and unloaded in the course of program execution, any given PC might correspond to different functions at different times during the run. In addition, different PCs at different times might correspond to the same function, when a shared object is unloaded and then reloaded at a different address.