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Oracle® Solaris 11.4 Linkers and Libraries Guide

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Updated: March 2019
 
 

Data Representation

The object file format supports various processors with 8-bit bytes, 32-bit architectures and 64-bit architectures. Nevertheless, the data representation is intended to be extensible to larger, or smaller, architectures. Figure 12, Table 12, ELF 32-Bit Data Types and Figure 13, Table 13, ELF 64-Bit Data Types list the 32-bit data types and 64-bit data types.

Object files represent some control data with a machine-independent format. This format provides for the common identification and interpretation of object files. The remaining data in an object file use the encoding of the target processor, regardless of the machine on which the file was created.

Table 12  ELF 32-Bit Data Types
Name
Size
Alignment
Purpose
Elf32_Addr
4
4
Unsigned program address
Elf32_Half
2
2
Unsigned medium integer
Elf32_Off
4
4
Unsigned file offset
Elf32_Sword
4
4
Signed integer
Elf32_Word
4
4
Unsigned integer
unsigned char
1
1
Unsigned small integer
Table 13  ELF 64-Bit Data Types
Name
Size
Alignment
Purpose
Elf64_Addr
8
8
Unsigned program address
Elf64_Half
2
2
Unsigned medium integer
Elf64_Off
8
8
Unsigned file offset
Elf64_Sword
4
4
Signed integer
Elf64_Word
4
4
Unsigned integer
Elf64_Xword
8
8
Unsigned long integer
Elf64_Sxword
8
8
Signed long integer
unsigned char
1
1
Unsigned small integer

All data structures that the object file format defines follow the natural size and alignment guidelines for the relevant class. Data structures can contain explicit padding to ensure 4-byte alignment for 4-byte objects, to force structure sizes to a multiple of 4, and so forth. Data also have suitable alignment from the beginning of the file. Thus, for example, a structure containing an Elf32_Addr member is aligned on a 4-byte boundary within the file. Similarly, a structure containing an Elf64_Addr member is aligned on an 8-byte boundary.


Note -  For portability, ELF uses no bit-fields.