64bit: weak symbols

Kai Tietz ktietz@redhat.com
Tue Apr 2 09:05:00 GMT 2013

----- Original Message -----
> From: "Corinna Vinschen" schrieb:
> To: cygwin-developers@cygwin.com
> Cc: "Kai Tietz" <ktietz@redhat.com>, "Dave Korn" <dave.korn.cygwin@gmail.com>
> Sent: Sunday, March 31, 2013 12:32:08 PM
> Subject: Re: 64bit: weak symbols
> On Mar 30 22:32, Yaakov (Cygwin/X) wrote:
> > The following code links behaves on i686 and x86_64:
> > 
> > /* from gcc config/weakref.m4, used in libitm */
> > extern void fNotToBeFound(void) __attribute__((weak));
> > int main ()
> > {
> >   if (fNotToBeFound)
> >     return 1;
> >   else
> >     return 0;
> > }
> > 
> > On i686 with gcc-4.5.3, this links and returns 0.  On x86_64 with
> > gcc-4.8.0, this produces an error:
> > 
> > /tmp/ccPWiz9s.o:test.c:(.rdata$.refptr.fNotToBeFound[.refptr.fNotToBeFound]+0x0):
> > undefined reference to `fNotToBeFound'
> > collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status
> There's a recent discussion aboout this very problem on the gcc mailing
> list.  Kai claims that weak symbols cannot work this way on PE/COFF
> targets, and the fact that they worked on i686 is kind of a coincidence,
> Dave Korn thinks everything's ok as is.  IIUC, the symbol is an absolute
> reference to the 0 address on i686, but a pc-relative reference with
> undefined displacement on x86_64.  Personally I think the x86_64 gcc
> should create absolute references for weak symbols as well, but I'm not
> fluent enough in the bowels of gcc to have a say in the matter.
> Kai?  Dave?

This issue is a bit tricky.  The only way to solve this for 64-bit is by making weak-symbols always using indirect access.  The issue is that symbols for x64 are pc-relative in instructions.  So a NULL-address isn't necessarily possible for an image-base >2GB as address because instruction-relocations are 32-bit signed.
By using indirect-access (as done for large-code-model also for functions) an absolute symbol to zero-address would be possible.  One weakness I see about this approach because the extern symbol is just known to be weak in the TU(s) where it is prototyped as external weak-symbol.  Otherwise it is treated as a standard symbol and for none-large-code-model a direct pc-relative-addressing is used.
So I would suggest to use instead here only none-external weak-symbols.  Means that the a weak-implementation is provided which might get overriden by a none-weak implementation on link.  This is the way I used for the crtbegin.c patch I posted to gcc's ML, where Dave was commenting to.

Dave said that he wanted to look into that, so I would like to hear his findings about that subject.


PS: Sorry for the spamming.  Gmail changed mail-encoding and seems not to provide a working switch to reset it to old text-only format (as specified in configuration), I had to switch to different account for anwsering.

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