Oracle® Solaris 11.2 Linkers and Libraries Guide

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Updated: July 2014

Binding to a Version Definition

When a dynamic executable or shared object is built against other shared objects, these dependencies are recorded in the resulting object. See Shared Object Processing and Recording a Shared Object Name for more details. If a dependency also contain version definitions, then an associated version dependency is recorded in the object being built.

The following example uses the data files from the previous section to generate a shared object,, which is suitable for a compile time environment.

$ cc -o -h -M mapfile -G foo.o bar.o data.o
$ ln -s
$ pvs -dsv
        SUNW_1.2:                {SUNW_1.1}:
        SUNW_1.2.1 [WEAK]:       {SUNW_1.2}:
        SUNW_1.3a:               {SUNW_1.2}:
        SUNW_1.3b:               {SUNW_1.2}:

Six public interfaces are offered by the shared object Four of these interfaces, SUNW_1.1, SUNW_1.2, SUNW_1.3a, and SUNW_1.3b, define exported symbol names. One interface, SUNW_1.2.1, describes an internal implementation change to the object. One interface,, defines several reserved labels. Dynamic objects created with as a dependency, record the version names of the interfaces the dynamic object binds to.

The following example creates an application that references symbols foo1 and foo2. The versioning dependency information that is recorded in the application can be examined using pvs(1) with the –r option.

$ cat prog.c
extern void foo1();
extern void foo2();

$ cc -o prog prog.c -L. -R. -lfoo
$ pvs -r prog (SUNW_1.2, SUNW_1.2.1);

In this example, the application prog has bound to the two interfaces SUNW_1.1 and SUNW_1.2. These interfaces provided the global symbols foo1 and foo2 respectively.

Because version definition SUNW_1.1 is defined within as being inherited by the version definition SUNW_1.2, you only need to record the one dependency. This inheritance provides for the normalization of version definition dependencies. This normalization reduces the amount of version information that is maintained within an object. This normalization also reduces the version verification processing that is required at runtime.

Because the application prog was built against the shared object's implementation containing the weak version definition SUNW_1.2.1, this dependency is also recorded. Even though this version definition is defined to inherit the version definition SUNW_1.2, the version's weak nature precludes its normalization with SUNW_1.1. A weak version definition results in a separate dependency recording.

Had there been multiple weak version definitions that inherited from each other, then these definitions are normalized in the same manner as non-weak version definitions are.

Note - The recording of a version dependency can be suppressed by the link-editor's –z noversion option.

The runtime linker validates the existence of any recorded version definitions from the objects that are bound to when the application is executed. This validation can be displayed using ldd(1) with the –v option. For example, by running ldd(1) on the application prog, the version definition dependencies are shown to be found correctly in the dependency

$ ldd -v prog

    find; required by prog =>   ./
    find; (SUNW_1.2) =>            ./ (SUNW_1.2.1) =>          ./

Note - ldd(1) with the –v option implies verbose output. A recursive list of all dependencies, together with all versioning requirements, is generated.

If a non-weak version definition dependency cannot be found, a fatal error occurs during application initialization. Any weak version definition dependency that cannot be found is silently ignored. For example, if the application prog is run in an environment in which only contains the version definition SUNW_1.1, then the following fatal error occurs.

$ pvs -dv;
$ prog prog: fatal: version 'SUNW_1.2' not \
    found (required by file prog)

If prog had not recorded any version definition dependencies, the nonexistence of the symbol foo2 could result in a fatal relocation error a runtime. This relocation error might occur at process initialization, or during process execution. An error condition might not occur at all if the execution path of the application did not call the function foo2. See Relocation Errors.

A version definition dependency provides an alternative and immediate indication of the availability of the interfaces required by the application.

For example, prog might run in an environment in which only contains the version definitions SUNW_1.1 and SUNW_1.2. In this event, all non-weak version definition requirements are satisfied. The absence of the weak version definition SUNW_1.2.1 is deemed nonfatal. In this case, no runtime error condition is generated.

$ pvs -dv;
        SUNW_1.2:                {SUNW_1.1};
$ prog
string used by foo1()
string used by foo2()

ldd(1) can be used to display all version definitions that cannot be found.

$ ldd prog =>   ./ (SUNW_1.2.1) =>          (version not found)

At runtime, if an implementation of a dependency contains no version definition information, then any version verification of the dependency is silently ignored. This policy provides a level of backward compatibility as a transition from non-versioned to versioned shared objects occurs. ldd(1) can always be used to display any version requirement discrepancies.

Note - The environment variable LD_NOVERSION can be used to suppress all runtime versioning verification.

Verifying Versions in Additional Objects

Version definition symbols also provide a mechanism for verifying the version requirements of an object obtained by dlopen(3C). An object that is added to the process's address space by using dlopen(3C) receives no automatic version dependency verification. Thus, the caller of dlopen(3C) is responsible for verifying that any versioning requirements are met.

The presence of a required version definition can be verified by looking up the associated version definition symbol using dlsym(3C). The following example adds the shared object to a process using dlopen(3C). The availability of the interface SUNW_1.2 is then verified.

#include    <stdio.h>
#include    <dlfcn.h>

        void       *handle;
        const char *file = "";
        const char *vers = "SUNW_1.2";

        if ((handle = dlopen(file, (RTLD_LAZY | RTLD_FIRST))) == NULL) {
                (void) printf("dlopen: %s\n", dlerror());
                return (1);

        if (dlsym(handle, vers) == NULL) {
                (void) printf("fatal: %s: version '%s' not found\n", file, vers);
                return (1);

Note - The use of the dlopen(3C) flag RTLD_FIRST ensures that the dlsym(3C) search is restricted to