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man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2022



strip - strip symbol table, debugging and line number information from an object file


strip [-lVx] [-c [!]class1,[!]class2,...] file...


The strip command removes sections from ELF object files. By default, the symbol table SHT_SYMTAB and its associated string table, symbol sort sections, debugging information, and line number information is removed.

The default set of candidate sections corresponds to the debug and symbol class identifiers to the –c option. The –c, –l, or –x options can be used to select a different set of candidate sections.

Once this stripping process has been done, limited symbolic debugging access is available for that file. Therefore, this command is normally run only on production modules that have been debugged and tested.

If strip is executed on a common archive file (see ar.h(3HEAD)) in addition to processing the members, strip removes the archive symbol table. The archive symbol table must be restored by executing the ar(1) command with the –s option before the archive can be linked by the ld(1) command.

strip is used to reduce the file storage overhead taken by the object file.


The following options are supported:


Strip a specific class of section. This option provides fine grained control over the sections to be removed.

The strip class descriptions that follow only apply to non-allocatable sections.

Some classes cause other classes to be implicitly included, or encapsulated. Such cases are noted in the class descriptions below. Each class token can be prepended with a '!' to indicate that the class should not be removed. This definition can be useful to prevent a class from including another normally encapsulated class. For example, while the nonalloc class encapsulates all non-allocable sections, –z strip-class=nonalloc,!note removes all non-allocatable sections except for the note section.

Stripped sections are completely removed from the output object.

The following classes of section can be defined.


Strip any non-allocatable section. These sections are identified as not including the SHF_ALLOC section flag. This class encapsulates all of the other classes, except for the symbol class. The nonalloc class is often sufficient by itself to remove any unwanted sections.


Strip any annotation section. These sections provide information that is used by memory access tools, and coverage related tools. These sections are identified by having a SHT_SUNW_ANNOTATE section type.


Strip any comment section. These sections are identified by having a .comment section name. Alternatively, the mcs(1) utility is commonly used to manipulate comment sections.


Strip any compiler commentary section. These sections are identified by having a .compcom section name.


Strip sections commonly used to contain debugging data. These sections are identified by having a .debug*, .stab*, .SUNW_ctf, or .zdebug* section name. These sections are also identified by having a SHT_SUNW_DEBUG or SHT_SUNW_DEBUGSTR section type. This class also encapsulates the compcom, and line classes.


Strip any excludable section. These sections are identified by having a SHF_EXCLUDE section flag. This class can be useful when manipulating a relocatable object. By default, such sections are automatically excluded when a dynamic object, or kernel module, is created, and are retained when creating a relocatable object.


Strip line number debug section. These sections are named .line.


Strip any note section. These sections are identified by having a SHT_NOTE section type.

sort_sym_addr, sort_sym_name
sort, sort_addr, sort_name, sort_sym

Strip the symbol sort sections associated to the SHT_SYMTAB symbol table. Each of these symbol tables typically have associated symbol sort sections, sorted by address, and by name.


By-address .symtab symbol sort sections (SHT_SUNW_symsort, SHT_SUNW_tlssort).


By-name .symtab symbol sort sections (SHT_SUNW_symnsort).

The remaining symbol sort section class tokens provide combinations of the previous items, and are provided for convenience.

sort, sort_sym

sort_sym_addr, and sort_sym_name.






Strip any non-allocatable symbol table, providing the file is not a relocatable object. These sections are identified by having a SHT_SYMTAB section type. This class also encapsulates the sort_sym classes. Any associated string table or symbol sort sections are also removed.


Strip line number information only. This option is equivalent to using the –c option with the line class identifier.


Print version information.


Does not strip the symbol table. This option is equivalent to using the –c option with the !symbol class identifier.


Print usage message and immediately exit.


The following operand is supported:


A path name referring to an executable file.

Environment Variables

See environ(7) for descriptions of the following environment variables that affect the execution of strip: LANG, LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE , LC_MESSAGES, and NLSPATH.

Exit Status

The following exit values are returned:


Successful completion.


An error occurred.



Temporary files


See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

Interface Stability

See Also

ar(1), as(1), elfcompress(1), ld(1), mcs(1), tmpnam(3C), elf(3ELF), ar.h(3HEAD), a.out(5), attributes(7), environ(7), standards(7)


The strip command is used to remove a standard predefined set of sections from an ELF object file. To remove a user specified section by name, see mcs(1).

The strip command is unable to modify core files, or ancillary objects.

The strip –c option corresponds to the ld –z strip-class option. Performing this operation at link-edit time, rather than using strip to post process objects is more efficient, but otherwise equivalent. See ld(1).