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2.7.3 Mini Symbols

Mini symbols provide read-only access to the symbol table. They use less memory space, but require more time to access. They can be useful for tools like nm or objdump, which may have to handle symbol tables of extremely large executables.

The bfd_read_minisymbols function will read the symbols into memory in an internal form. It will return a void * pointer to a block of memory, a symbol count, and the size of each symbol. The pointer is allocated using malloc, and should be freed by the caller when it is no longer needed.

The function bfd_minisymbol_to_symbol will take a pointer to a minisymbol, and a pointer to a structure returned by bfd_make_empty_symbol, and return a asymbol structure. The return value may or may not be the same as the value from bfd_make_empty_symbol which was passed in.