Views of the image at each link stage
Each link stage has a different view of the image.
The image views are:
- ELF object file view (linker input)
The ELF object file view comprises input sections. The ELF object file can be:
A relocatable file that holds code and data suitable for linking with other object files to create an executable or a shared object file.
A shared object file that holds code and data.
- Linker view
The linker has two views for the address space of a program that become distinct in the presence of overlaid, position-independent, and relocatable program fragments (code or data):
The load address of a program fragment is the target address that the linker expects an external agent such as a program loader, dynamic linker, or debugger to copy the fragment from the ELF file. This might not be the address at which the fragment executes.
The execution address of a program fragment is the target address where the linker expects the fragment to reside whenever it participates in the execution of the program.
If a fragment is position-independent or relocatable, its execution address can vary during execution.
- ELF image file view (linker output)
The ELF image file view comprises program segments and output sections:
A load region corresponds to a program segment.
An execution region contains one or more of the following output sections:
- RO section.
- RW section.
- ZI section.
One or more execution regions make up a load region.
With armlink, the maximum size of a program segment is 2GB.
When describing a memory view:
The term root region means a region that has the same load and execution addresses.
Load regions are equivalent to ELF segments.
The following figure shows the relationship between the views at each link stage:
Figure 3-1 Relationship between sections, regions, and segments