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The HP-UX Linker, Loader, and Tools enable you to create, control and manage the executables, shared libraries, or object files. The compiler invokes the linker with the appropriate options when building an executable or a shared library.

The HP-UX Linker features include:

  • Symbol aliasing
  • Incremental linking
  • Function level versioning
  • Faster program startup and better runtime performance with options, such as fastbind(1) and global symbol table
  • Linker optimizations, such as elimination of unreferenced data or code
  • Configurable security for setuid programs
  • POSIX compliant dl* API routines along with HP-UX additions
  • Support for industry standard Executable and Linking File format on Integrity and PA64 architectures
  • Support for multiple page sizes and shared library segment merging for improved Translation Lookaside Buffer (TLB) performance
  • Support for other tools, such as HP WDB and HP Caliper
  • Support for filtered shared libraries, lazy loading, and direct binding

Loader performs the following tasks:

  • Loading the shared libraries from disk to main memory for execution
  • Resolving the symbols of a program made up of multiple shared libraries

In addition to the HP-UX Linker and Loader, a toolset is provided to help you find symbols, display and modify object files, and determine link order.

The following table lists the linker toolset:

Tool Description
ld Takes one or more object files or libraries as input and combines them to produce a single (usually executable) file.
chatr Displays or modifies the internal attributes of an object file.
odump Takes one or more 32-bit native code files (object files, shared and archive libraries, executables) and dumps information about them.
elfdump Takes one or more object files or libraries and dumps information about them. Displays the contents of an ELF object file.
fastbind Improves start-up time of programs that use shared libraries.
ldd Lists dynamic dependencies of executable files and shared libraries.
lorder Finds ordering relationship for an object library.
nm Displays the symbol table of an object file.
pldd Lists the dynamic libraries linked into each process, including shared objects explicitly attached using dlopen/shl_load.
pstack Prints a stack trace (hex+symbolic) for each lwp (light weight process) in each process and core file.
size Prints sizes of object file elements.
strip Strips symbol and debugging information from an object file, executable, or archive library.
Dynamic Loader (dld.so/dld.sl) Responsible for setting up the runtime environment for:
  • Using shared libraries
  • Loading and unloading shared libraries
  • Processing runtime symbol resolutions, etc.
Programmatic interface to the dynamic loader (libdl/libdld)

Note: The libdl API is POSIX compliant.

Using these files, a program can:
  • Load or unload shared libraries
  • Obtain runtime information about the shared libraries loaded

For example: symbol-to-address or address-to-symbol lookup, etc.

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