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Steering file command summary

A summary of the commands you can use in a steering file.

Steering file commands enable you to:

  • Manage symbols in the symbol table.

  • Control the copying of symbols from the static symbol table to the dynamic symbol table.

  • Store information about the libraries that a link unit depends on.

For example, you can use steering files to protect intellectual property, or avoid namespace clashes.

The steering file commands are:

Table 1. Steering file command summary
Command Description
EXPORT Specifies that a symbol can be accessed by other shared objects or executables.
HIDE Makes defined global symbols in the symbol table anonymous.
IMPORT Specifies that a symbol is defined in a shared object at runtime.
RENAME Renames defined and undefined global symbol names.
REQUIRE Creates a DT_NEEDED tag in the dynamic array. DT_NEEDED tags specify dependencies to other shared objects used by the application, for example, a shared library.
RESOLVE Matches specific undefined references to a defined global symbol.
SHOW Makes global symbols visible. This command is useful if you want to make a specific symbol visible that is hidden using a HIDE command with a wildcard.


The steering file commands control only global symbols. Local symbols are not affected by any of these commands.

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