tree: 82d0a1c8be201786cc3072f7df2751753f8ae8ca [path history] [tgz]
  1. include/
  2. test/
  3. testing/
  4. allocator.h
  5. bootstrap.h
  7. ld.ifs
  10. METADATA.textproto
  12. mutable-abi.h
  13. OWNERS
  16. posix-startup.S
  17. posix.h
  22. startup-diagnostics.h
  23. startup-load.h
  25. tlsdesc-runtime-static.S
  26. tlsdesc-runtime-undefined-weak.S
  29. zircon-startup.S
  30. zircon.h

Fuchsia Dynamic Linker

TODO( This is a work in progress. When finished, it will be included in the SDK as a prebuilt binary but not as source.

This is the implementation of the core of the Fuchsia Dynamic Linker, but that means three different things:

  1. The startup dynamic linker.
  2. The quasi-stable layout of the “passive ABI”.
  3. A library of reusable code for working with the passive ABI. This includes pieces for client code (such as in a C library) consuming the passive ABI, as well as pieces for implementing dynamic linking itself compatibly with the startup dynamic linker's semantics (such as for out-of-process dynamic linking). There is also a separate library that assists in writing related gtest-based tests.

Only the startup dynamic linker binary is published in the SDK. The passive ABI is shared between this binary and other binaries included in the SDK (libc, libdl), but is not generally public in the SDK.

Passive ABI

The central pillar of the design is the “passive ABI”, whose details are defined here. This enables both generalized runtime traditional (in-process) dynamic linking (<dlfcn.h> API), and out-of-process dynamic linking, neither of which is implemented here. Instead, the core implementation provides only a “startup” dynamic linker for the traditional in-process dynamic linker requested via the PT_INTERP program header in an ELF executable. This populates a “passive ABI” of data structures that are read-only after startup. Once the startup dynamic linker passes control to the main executable's entry point, its code is not used again. Its only exported symbols provide the “passive ABI” of data structures that describe the ELF modules (executable and its transitive set of DT_NEEDED requirements) as they were loaded.

This ABI is only “quasi-stable”. It‘s not intended to be a long-term stable ABI that will be directly used by application code. It’s an ABI shared between the startup dynamic linker, libc, and libdl (the runtime dynamic linker). In the Fuchsia package model, these all travel together and have lockstep versions copied from an SDK into binary packages. However, out-of-process use cases could make this a longer-term ABI between the loading environment and the libc binaries in packages it loads.

The passive ABI consists of C++ data structures that have well-defined ABI layouts independent of any changeable whims of the C++ compiler. The core of these are just the ELF format types, whose ABI is well-known and stable. The passive ABI defines some types that point to ELF format types in the memory image of a loaded ELF module. These point to the details necessary for enumerating the modules, finding their images in memory, calling their initializers and finalizers, and looking up exported symbols.

[‘<lib/ld/abi.h>](include/lib/abi.h) and the headers it refers to declare these types and symbols. All these types are defined using a combination of the ELF format types (integers and structs of integers) and pointers defined via the elfldltl:AbiPtr` abstraction. This just has the ABI of a normal pointer in the passive ABI, but it’s defined in a way that can be used with the remoting support to ensure that an out-of-process dynamic linker can safely and correctly populate the data structures in a different address space.

Note that these incorporate some of the elfldltl API types. Many of those types are just representations of the standard ELF ABI types. A few others are just collections of details gleaned during loading and dynamic linking that are useful in the passive ABI, such as elfldltl::SymbolInfo and elfldltl::InitFiniInfo (and others). Changes to those classes in the toolkit can change the passive ABI, so care must be taken to maintain the toolkit code with the //sdk/lib/ld code in mind.

Passive ABI Support Library

TODO( doesn't exist yet

C++ namespace

The ld::abi namespace is used for the types and symbols that form the passive ABI itself. Though they‘re declared in the ld::abi C++ namespace scope, the only ELF symbol names (external linkage symbols) generated are extern "C" symbols with unmangled names that all begin with the _ld_ prefix. (The _r_debug linkage symbol is also defined here, but this is not formally considered part of the passive ABI per se. It’s not meant to be used directly, but only by debuggers.)

The wider ld namespace is used for both the implementation pieces of the startup dynamic linker and for reusable library code for working with the passive ABI. None of these types or symbols should ever be exported into any shared library ABI.

Remoting Support

TODO( This will be implemented as part of the out-of-process dynamic linking support, but doesn't exist it.

Startup Dynamic Linker

The PT_INTERP dynamic linker or “startup dynamic linker” implementation is what bootstraps a traditional dynamically-linked program. The system program loader loads this dynamic linker and starts the process at its entry point rather than that of the main executable. In Fuchsia, the system program loader loads only the dynamic linker, which is then responsible for loading the main executable. In other systems like Linux, the system program loader loads both the main executable and the dynamic linker, which is given some some necessary details like the executable's address and entry point.

In this implementation, the PT_INTERP dynamic is better called the startup dynamic linker because it operates only at startup. Once initial dynamic linking is done, the dynamic linker exists in memory only to provide the passive ABI. Additional runtime loading and dynamic linking can be done by a separate runtime dynamic linker (libdl) that uses the startup dynamic linker's passive ABI to prime its initial state.

Stub Dynamic Linker

The “stub” dynamic linker is not really a dynamic linker, but it has the same ABI (DT_SONAME and symbols) as the startup dynamic linker. An out-of-process dynamic linker uses the stub dynamic linker as the prototype for populating the passive ABI when it sets up a dynamic linking domain in another address space.

Testing Support Library

Header files <lib/ld/testing/*.h> provide interfaces in the ld::testing C++ namespace. These are things used in the tests for the startup dynamic linker and that can be reused for tests of other kinds of dynamic linking implementations, such as out-of-process setups intended to be compatible with the passive ABI of the startup dynamic linker.