[gold] "entry in mergeable string section not null terminated"

Peter Baumann waste.manager@gmx.de
Thu Mar 19 22:22:00 GMT 2009

On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 12:18:42PM -0700, Ian Lance Taylor wrote:
> Cary Coutant <ccoutant@google.com> writes:
> > Certain sections in your relocatable object files contain read-only
> > string data; the linker tries to optimize the size of your executable
> > by merging these sections together and eliminating any duplicate
> > strings. For that to work, each section marked as a mergeable string
> > section (one with the flags SHF_MERGE and SHF_STRINGS set) must
> > consist entirely of null-terminated strings, one after the other, so
> > that the linker can find each individual string.
> >
> > This error message is telling you that it found a section marked with
> > SHF_MERGE and SHF_STRINGS, but that the section didn't end with a
> > null. If you can gzip your archive
> > libApplicationComponents_AnatomicProgram-debug.a and send it to me,
> > I'll take a look and see if I can spot the problem. I'm not sure if
> > the gnu linker is more tolerant, or if it just wasn't trying to do the
> > constant merging optimization.
> The GNU linker does implement this optimization, and it is more
> tolerant.  When merging a string section, it reads the section into
> memory, and explicitly pads it with a null character.  The code refers
> to a gcc patch
> http://gcc.gnu.org/ml/gcc-patches/2006-06/msg01004.html
> which fixes a case where gcc marked a section as containing mergeable
> strings even though the strings were not null terminated.  This was
> fixed in gcc 4.1.2, so if Peter is using an earlier version of gcc that
> could conceivably be the problem here.

Hm. I'm using the g++ from opensuse 11.1. As I am not on that specific computer
I could only look on 


to guess which g++ I am using.

There are 3 versions: 

  gcc33-c++-3.3.3-7.5.i586.rpm 		 (<- not relevant, because I have
                                             at least 4.x)

So it seems my g++ is recent enough.

FYI, gold was installed from 


> gold could use a similar workaround.  In fact, if we just demote the
> error to a warning, I think everything would work fine.  Peter, would
> you be interested in trying such a patch?  Change this line in
> gold/merge.cc
> 	      object->error(_("entry in mergeable string section "
> 			      "not null terminated"));
> to something like
> 	      gold_warning(_("%s: entry in mergeable string section "
> 			     "not null terminated"),
> 			   object->name().c_str());

I will give it a try next time I'll be at the PC with that environment (and the
sources), which will propably be tomorrow.


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