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What the linker does when constructing an executable image

When you use the linker to construct an executable image, it:

  • resolves symbolic references between the input object files

  • extracts object modules from libraries to satisfy otherwise unsatisfied symbolic references

  • sorts input sections according to their attributes and names, and merges sections with similar attributes and names into contiguous chunks

  • removes unused sections

  • eliminates duplicate common groups and common code, data, and debug sections

  • organizes object fragments into memory regions according to the grouping and placement information provided

  • assigns addresses to relocatable values

  • generates an executable image.

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