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[PATCH v2 2/2] libc-abis: Define ABSOLUTE ABI [BZ #19818][BZ #23307]
- From: "Maciej W. Rozycki" <macro at mips dot com>
- To: Carlos O'Donell <carlos at redhat dot com>
- Cc: <libc-alpha at sourceware dot org>, Florian Weimer <fweimer at redhat dot com>, Alan Modra <amodra at gmail dot com>
- Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2018 16:41:59 +0100
- Subject: [PATCH v2 2/2] libc-abis: Define ABSOLUTE ABI [BZ #19818][BZ #23307]
- References: <alpine.DEB.email@example.com> <alpine.DEB.firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <alpine.DEB.firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <alpine.DEB.firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <alpine.DEB.firstname.lastname@example.org> <alpine.DEB.email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Define a new ABSOLUTE ABI for static linker's use with EI_ABIVERSION
where correct absolute (SHN_ABS) symbol run-time load semantics is
required. This way it can be ensured at static link time that a program
or DSO will not suffer from previous semantics where absolute symbols
were relocated by the base address, or symbols whose `st_value' is zero
silently ignored leading to a confusing "undefined symbol" error message
at load time, and instead "ELF file ABI version invalid" is printed with
old dynamic loaders, making it clear that there is an ABI version
* libc-abis (ABSOLUTE): New ABI.
* sysdeps/unix/sysv/linux/mips/libc-abis (ABSOLUTE): New ABI.
* NEWS: Mention the new ABI.
> > If so, then I think a NEWS entry will be due, such as:
> > * The maximum libc ABI supported has been increased to reflect absolute
> > symbol support. This can be used by the static linker in the ELF file
> > header's EI_ABIVERSION field to indicate such support is required.
> * The GNU C Library now has correct support for ABSOLUTE symbols
> (SHN_ABS-relative symbols). Previously such ABSOLUTE symbols were relocated
> inconsistently or wrongly in some cases. The GNU linker has been enhanced to
> fix this issue, but it must communicate these newer semantics to the dynamic
> loader by setting the ELF file's identification (EI_ABIVERSION field) to
> indicate such support is required.
I think it's a bit inaccurate.
First of all the fix to binutils PR ld/21375 is only related to our BZ
#19818 and BZ #23307 in that it makes use of the feature that fixes to our
BZs make work. So I don't think we can call the fix to PR ld/21375 a
linker enhancement addressing (a linker's part of) the issue we have.
Absolute symbols have always worked with the GNU linker (although there
indeed used to be odd corner cases which have since been addressed and
the `LD_FEATURE ("SANE_EXPR")' linker-script command added in the course).
And then I think we can more accurately express what issues we had with
absolute symbols without losing comprehensibility of the release note to
I've included the proposed text in the updated patch carried with this
> > which I will include in the actual commit.
> This looks good to me.
> I don't see an easy way around this problem.
> I think bumping EI_ABIVERSION is the best cost/value solution there.
Thank you for your review and assessment of the situation.
As a side note (prompted by how you phrased the release note), neither
the fixes to BZ #19818 and BZ #23307 nor (obviously) this change retains
the old semantics for binaries that carry a lower value in EI_ABIVERSION
(and we actually don't do that for any previously defined EI_ABIVERSION
I think the chance that a piece of software relies on the broken previous
(lack of) interpretation of absolute symbols is very slim -- after all
what would be the purpose of going through all the arrangement required to
get an absolute dynamic symbol produced in an ELF file only to have it
then interpreted, in a non-compliant way, as far as the ELF gABI is
concerned, as an ordinary relocated one?
So I think it is fine that we consider absolute symbols previously
unsupported and do not provide backwards-compatible semantics for ELF
files carrying a previously defined EI_ABIVERSION value. Having such
support would require engineering effort to conditionalise code at run
time on the value of EI_ABIVERSION, which would also affect performance
(albeit only for absolute symbols, so likely not significantly enough for
that to be a real concern), and then only to support non-compliant code
that may not even exist.
If such code does surface, then we can assess the situation again, and
decide what to do about that.
For the record, in the course of fixing an unrelated issue with section
garbage collection in the GNU linker (binutils commit 12f09816cecc
("MIPS/BFD: Make section GC work with `ict_irix5' targets")), I have come
across these symbols produced for use by the IRIX 5 dynamic loader
(according to `readelf'):
Symbol table '\.dynsym' contains 4 entries:
Num: Value Size Type Bind Vis Ndx Name
0: 00000000 0 NOTYPE LOCAL DEFAULT UND
1: 00000000 0 SECTION GLOBAL PROTECTED ABS _procedure_table_size
2: 00000000 0 SECTION GLOBAL PROTECTED PRC [0xff02] _procedure_string_table
3: 00000000 0 SECTION GLOBAL PROTECTED PRC [0xff02] _procedure_table
which clearly indicates how at least one non-GNU dynamic loader interprets
absolute symbols (the size of the procedure table, held in
`_procedure_table_size', surely is not supposed to be relocated by the
base address); for the record, `PRC [0xff02]' denotes the special
SHN_MIPS_TEXT section used to hold code in the MIPS/IRIX psABI in place of
the usual `.text' section.
OK for this change with updated NEWS then?
Changes from v1:
- NEWS entry added.
NEWS | 7 +++++++
libc-abis | 2 ++
sysdeps/unix/sysv/linux/mips/libc-abis | 2 ++
3 files changed, 11 insertions(+)
--- glibc.orig/NEWS 2018-07-05 14:21:40.000000000 +0100
+++ glibc/NEWS 2018-07-05 14:58:24.773218263 +0100
@@ -9,6 +9,13 @@ Version 2.28
Major new features:
+* The GNU C Library now has correct support for ABSOLUTE symbols
+ (SHN_ABS-relative symbols). Previously such ABSOLUTE symbols were
+ relocated incorrectly or in some cases discarded. The GNU linker can
+ make use of this newer semantics, but it must communicate it to the
+ dynamic loader by setting the ELF file's identification (EI_ABIVERSION
+ field) to indicate such support is required.
* Unicode 11.0.0 Support: Character encoding, character type info, and
transliteration tables are all updated to Unicode 11.0.0, using
generator scripts contributed by Mike FABIAN (Red Hat).
--- glibc.orig/libc-abis 2018-06-29 16:46:11.558734836 +0100
+++ glibc/libc-abis 2018-07-05 14:28:46.185297779 +0100
@@ -46,3 +46,5 @@ IFUNC powerpc64-*-linux*
+# Absolute (SHN_ABS) symbols working correctly.
--- glibc.orig/sysdeps/unix/sysv/linux/mips/libc-abis 2018-06-29 16:46:11.594994206 +0100
+++ glibc/sysdeps/unix/sysv/linux/mips/libc-abis 2018-07-05 14:28:46.394860228 +0100
@@ -14,3 +14,5 @@ UNIQUE
# MIPS O32 FP64
+# Absolute (SHN_ABS) symbols working correctly.