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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.