[llvm-dev] Providing __dso_handle in LLVM

Sean Silva via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Sun Jun 4 17:59:13 PDT 2017

On Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 5:03 PM, Petr Hosek <phosek at chromium.org> wrote:

> On Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 1:01 PM Sean Silva <chisophugis at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, Jun 1, 2017 at 8:47 PM, Petr Hosek via llvm-dev <
>> llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>>> This is a followup to the discussion that started in D28791. To provide
>>> the context, we need a way to provide __dso_handle in Fuchsia. __dso_handle
>>> symbol is mandated by C++ ABI with a value which is an address in one of
>>> the object's segments, and as such this symbol has to be included
>>> statically and cannot be a part of a shared library. Different systems
>>> provide it differently:
>>> 1. On GNU/Linux systems, it's defined in crtbegin.o which is provided by
>>> libgcc.
>>> 3. On Android, it's defined in crtbegin.o provided by the Bionic C
>>> library.
>>> 3. FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD provide crtbegin.o as part of the system.
>>> 4. On macOS, __dso_handle is generated by the linker.
>>> We don't think __dso_handle should be provided by the C library. The
>>> name __dso_handle is not part of the ABI contract with the C library, it's
>>> entirely a name chosen by the C++ ABI. Since C++ front-end defines the
>>> reference to __dso_handle, it should be the compiler that provides the
>>> definition of it somewhere. The reason GCC defines it in crtbegin.o is
>>> purely pragmatic; crtbegin.o is an object file that's already linked into
>>> every shared library and every executable, although there's no principled
>>> reason for __dso_handle to be defined there.
>>> From the layering point of view, __dso_handle really belongs in
>>> libc++abi. However, for implementation reasons it needs to be included
>>> statically into each final link (whether executable or shared library),
>>> even when libc++abi is built as a shared library.
>>> There several options that we discussed for approaching this:
>>> 1. Provide crtbegin.o/crtend.o implementation in compiler-rt. This is
>>> the approach I took in D28791. In Fuchsia, we don't need
>>> crtbegin.o/crtend.o at all, but having these may be useful elsewhere, like
>>> LLVM-based Linux distributions that won't ship libgcc and will need to
>>> provide their own crtbegin.o/crtend.o. However, this approach has been met
>>> with a lot of pushback, where the primary reason has been the fact that
>>> crtbegin.o/crtend.o contain a lot of legacy cruft that may be difficult to
>>> get right across all different systems.
>>> 3. Define __dso_handle as part of the Clang builtin library in
>>> compiler-rt. This is the solution we're currently using with a downstream
>>> patch (https://fuchsia.googlesource.com/third_party/compiler-rt/+/
>>> 6c9f8c6ba77090158373490ac010437603c8ff50). It works because builtins
>>> are already built as a static library, but I'm not sure whether it's
>>> correct from the layering point of view.
>>> 3. A cleanest solution from the layering perspective would be add
>>> another archive library to libc++abi, e.g. libc++abi_nonshared.a, that will
>>> only contain the definition of __dso_handle. The ABI linker script that's
>>> generated by libc++ could then include this library into every link. This
>>> work even on systems that already provide __dso_handle. The only aspect
>>> that might be somewhat complicated is the case when the generation of the
>>> ABI linker script, e.g. when the ABI library is statically linked into
>>> libc++. In this case, the libc++abi_nonshared.a would either have to be
>>> linked manually or we would need to generate another linker script.
>>> 4. Finally, we could extend LLD to define the __dso_handle symbol,
>>> following the macOS model. This would be a fine solution for us since we
>>> already use LLD as our default linker, but it may not be as clean as other
>>> solutions (i.e. using built-in magic for things that can be done via
>>> general purpose facilities).
>> Do you have any reason to believe that 4. will be that complicated? If
>> it's just a matter of defining a symbol that needs to be guaranteed to be
>> in the current dso, then the linker seems like the natural place to do it
>> since the linker is the single point of truth for creating the DSO's in the
>> first place. It seems like the other solutions have quite a bit of
>> unnecessary complexity due to not being implemented in a "single point of
>> truth". The hacky nature of the crt*.o hacks (which are basically
>> piggybacking on the assumption that those are linked into every DSO) is
>> made clear because Fuchsia differs in this regard, so it wasn't a true
>> single point of truth.
>> Defining __dso_handle when using fuchsia emulation should only be a
>> couple lines of code in LLD, right?
> It's actually pretty straightforward to do this in LLD, see
> https://reviews.llvm.org/D33856.

Since this is literally one line of code and seems to solve the problem in
full generality, it seems like the best approach. As long as this doesn't
break/affect other platforms, I don't see any reason not to use this

-- Sean Silva
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