JavaScript is required to for searching.
Skip Navigation Links
Exit Print View
Linker and Libraries Guide     Oracle Solaris 11 Information Library
search filter icon
search icon

Document Information


Part I Using the Link-Editor and Runtime Linker

1.  Introduction to the Oracle Solaris Link Editors

2.  Link-Editor

3.  Runtime Linker

4.  Shared Objects

5.  Interfaces and Versioning

6.  Establishing Dependencies with Dynamic String Tokens

Part II Quick Reference

7.  Link-Editor Quick Reference

8.  Versioning Quick Reference

Part III Advanced Topics

9.  Direct Bindings

10.  Mapfiles

11.  Extensibility Mechanisms

Part IV ELF Application Binary Interface

12.  Object File Format

13.  Program Loading and Dynamic Linking

14.  Thread-Local Storage

Part V Appendices

A.  Linker and Libraries Updates and New Features

B.  System V Release 4 (Version 1) Mapfiles

Mapfile Structure and Syntax

Segment Declarations

Mapping Directives

Section-Within-Segment Ordering

Size-Symbol Declarations

File Control Directives

Mapping Example

Mapfile Option Defaults

Internal Map Structure


Mapfile Structure and Syntax

You can enter the following basic types of directives into a mapfile.

Each directive can span more than one line and can have any amount of white space, including new lines, as long as that white space is followed by a semicolon.

Typically, segment declarations are followed by mapping directives. You declare a segment and then define the criteria by which a section becomes part of that segment. If you enter a mapping directive or size-symbol declaration without first declaring the segment to which you are mapping, except for built-in segments, the segment is given default attributes. Such segment is an implicitly declared segment.

Size-symbol declarations and file control directives can appear anywhere in a mapfile.

The following sections describe each directive type. For all syntax discussions, the following notations apply.

Segment Declarations

A segment declaration creates a new segment in the output file, or changes the attribute values of an existing segment. An existing segment is one that you previously defined or one of the four built-in segments described immediately following.

A segment declaration has the following syntax.

        segment_name = {segment_attribute_value}*;

For each segment_name, you can specify any number of segment_attribute_values in any order, each separated by a space. Only one attribute value is allowed for each segment attribute. The segment attributes and their valid values are as shown in the following table.

Table B-1 Mapfile Segment Attributes

? [E] [N] [O] [R] [W] [X]

Four built-in segments exist with the following default attribute values.

By default, the bss segment is disabled. Any sections of type SHT_NOBITS, which are its sole input, are captured in the data segment. See Table 12-5 for a full description of SHT_NOBITS sections. The simplest bss declaration is sufficient to enable the creation of a bss segment.

        bss =;

Any SHT_NOBITS sections is captured by this segment, rather than captured in the data segment. In its simplest form, this segment is aligned using the same defaults as applied to any other segment. The declaration can also provide additional segment attributes that both enable the segment creation, and assign the specified attributes.

The link-editor behaves as if these segments are declared before your mapfile is read in. See Mapfile Option Defaults.

Note the following when entering segment declarations.

Note - If a virtual_address value is specified, the segment is placed at that virtual address. For the system kernel, this method creates a correct result. For files that start through exec(2), this method creates an incorrect output file because the segments do not have correct offsets relative to their page boundaries.

The ?E flag allows the creation of an empty segment. This empty segment has no sections associated with the segment. This segment can be a LOAD segment or a NULL segment. Empty LOAD segments can only be specified for executables. These segments must have a specified size and alignment. These segments result in the creation of memory reservations at process startup. Empty NULL segments provide for adding program header entries that can be used by post-processing utilities. These segments should have no additional attributes specified. Multiple definitions for LOAD segments and NULL segments are permitted.

The ?N flag enables you to control whether the ELF header, and any program headers are included as part of the first loadable segment. By default, the ELF header and program headers are included with the first segment. The information in these headers is used within the mapped image, typically by the runtime linker. The use of the ?N option causes the virtual address calculations for the image to start at the first section of the first segment.

The ?O flag enables you control the order of sections in the output file. This flag is intended for use in conjunction with the -xF option to the compilers. When a file is compiled with the -xF option, each function in that file is placed in a separate section with the same attributes as the .text section. These sections are called .text%function_name.

For example, a file containing three functions, main(), foo() and bar(), when compiled with the -xF option, yields a relocatable object file with text for the three functions being placed in sections called .text%main, .text%foo, and .text%bar. Because the -xF option forces one function per section, the use of the ?O flag to control the order of sections in effect controls the order of functions.

Consider the following user-defined mapfile.

        text = LOAD ?RXO;
        text: .text%foo;
        text: .text%bar;
        text: .text%main;

The first declaration associates the ?O flag with the default text segment.

If the order of function definitions in the source file is main, foo, and bar, then the final executable contains functions in the order foo, bar, and main.

For static functions with the same name, the file names must also be used. The ?O flag forces the ordering of sections as requested in the mapfile. For example, if a static function bar() exists in files a.o and b.o, and function bar() from file a.o is to be placed before function bar() from file b.o, then the mapfile entries should read as follows.

        text: .text%bar: a.o;
        text: .text%bar: b.o;

The syntax allows for the following entry.

        text: .text%bar: a.o b.o;

However, this entry does not guarantee that function bar() from file a.o is placed before function bar() from file b.o. The second format is not recommended as the results are not reliable.

Mapping Directives

A mapping directive instructs the link-editor how to map input sections to output segments. Basically, you name the segment that you are mapping to and indicate what the attributes of a section must be in order to map into the named segment. The set of section_attribute_values that a section must have to map into a specific segment is called the entrance criteria for that segment. In order to be placed in a specified segment of the output file, a section must meet the entrance criteria for a segment exactly.

A mapping directive has the following syntax.

        segment_name : {section_attribute_value}* [: {file_name}+];

For a segment_name, you specify any number of section_attribute_values in any order, each separated by a space. At most, one section attribute value is allowed for each section attribute. You can also specify that the section must come from a certain .o file through a file_name declaration. The section attributes and their valid values are shown in the following table.

Table B-2 Section Attributes

Section Attribute
Any valid section name







? [[!]A] [[!]W] [[!]X]

Note the following points when entering mapping directives.

Section-Within-Segment Ordering

By using the following notation you can specify the order that sections are placed within a segment.

        segment_name | section_name1;
        segment_name | section_name2;
        segment_name | section_name3;

The sections that are named in the above form are placed before any unnamed sections, and in the order they are listed in the mapfile.

Size-Symbol Declarations

Size-symbol declarations enable you to define a new global-absolute symbol that represents the size, in bytes, of the specified segment. This symbol can be referenced in your object files. A size-symbol declaration has the following syntax.

        segment_name @ symbol_name;

symbol_name can be any legal C identifier. The link-editor does not check the syntax of the symbol_name.

File Control Directives

File control directives enable you to specify which version definitions within shared objects are to be made available during a link-edit. The file control definition has the following syntax.

        shared_object_name - version_name [ version_name ... ];

version_name is a version definition name contained within the specified shared_object_name.