[llvm-dev] Position independent code writes absolute pointer

Tim Northover via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Thu Jan 9 03:27:55 PST 2020

Hi Bjoern,

On Thu, 9 Jan 2020 at 10:34, Gaier, Bjoern <Bjoern.Gaier at horiba.com> wrote:
> > It depends how much control you have over the code. You could instrument code so that it converted all stores of pointers to be relative to some fixed global (PC-relative doesn't work there because it will be loaded at a different address, and "relative to the address it's being stored to" would break memcpy). But that has some major
> This sounds interesting from a learning perspective, because I never have done something like that. Is this difficult to do? Also why only convert the stores? Shouldn't I also convert the reads so they are also valid?

Sorry, I meant to say you'd have to undo the transformation on the
loads (and atomicrmw, cmpxchg) too. I think getting something that
sometimes works would actually be quite easy. You'd want to make it a
ModulePass to handle the globals, then you'd iterate through each
function, turning a store like:

    store %type* %val, %type** %ptr


    %val.int = ptrtoint %type* %val to i64
    %val.int.new = sub i64 %val.int, ptrtoint(i8* @__GLOBAL_ANCHOR to i64)
    %val.new = inttoptr i64 %val.int.new to %type*
    store %type* %val.new, %type** %ptr

The corresponding load side would add back @__GLOBAL_ANCHOR. At the
Module level you'd add some kind of tentative definition for
GLOBAL_ANCHOR so it can be merged if needed, and convert a definition

    @var = global i8* @other_global


    @var = global i8* null
    define void @__MODULE_INIT() {
      ; Duplicate store code above to put a relative value for
@other_global into @var
    %0 = type { i32, void ()*, i8* }
    @llvm.global_ctors = appending global [1 x %0] [%0 { i32 65535,
void ()* @__MODULE_INIT, i8* null }]

Unfortunately I've also thought of a couple more nasty problems while
writing this out:
1. Things like target-specific vector intrinsics that do loads and
stores might obscure the fact that they're storing a pointer by
casting it to an i64 or something.
2. You'd have to make sure the stack for both programs as in the
shared region or no-one ever used a pointer to a local variable.



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