ELFIO 1.0.3 review

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ELFIO is a C++ library for reading and generating files in the ELF binary format

License: LGPL (GNU Lesser General Public License)
File size: 0K
Developer: Serge Lamikhov-Center
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ELFIO is a C++ library for reading and generating files in the ELF binary format. This library is unique and not based on any other product. It is also platform independent. The library uses standard ANSI C++ constructions and runs on a wide variety of architectures.

While the library's implementation does make your work easier: a basic knowledge of the ELF binary format is required. Information about ELF is included in the TIS (Tool Interface Standards) documentation you received with the library's source code.

The ELFIO library consists of two independent parts: ELF File Reader (IELFI) and ELF Producer (IELFO). Each is represented by its own set of interfaces. The library does not contain any classes that need to be explicitly instantiated. ELFIO itself provides the interfaces that are used to access the library's functionality.

To make the program recognize all ELFIO interface classes, the ELFIO.h header file is needed. This header file defines all standard definitions from the TIS documentation.

#include < ELFIO.h >

This chapter will explain how to work with the reader component of the ELFIO library. The first step is to get a pointer onto the ELF File Reader:

IELFI* pReader;
ELFIO::GetInstance()->CreateELFI( &pReader );

Now, that there is a pointer on the IELFI interface: initialize the object by loading the ELF file:

char* filename = "file.o";
pReader->Load( filename );

From here, there is access to the ELF header. This makes it possible to request file parameters such as encoding, machine type, entry point, etc. To get the encoding of the file use:

unsigned char encoding = pReader->GetEncoding();

Please note: standard types and constants from the TIS document are defined in the ELFTypes.h header file. This file is included automatically into the project. For example: ELFDATA2LSB and ELFDATA2MSB constants define a value for little and big endian encoding.

ELF binary files consist of several sections. Each section has it's own responsibility: some contain executable code; others describe program dependencies; others symbol tables and so on. See the TIS documentation for a full description of each section.

To see how many sections the ELF file contains, including their names and sizes, is demonstated in the following code:

int nSecNo = pReader->GetSectionsNum();
for ( int i = 0; i < nSecNo; ++i ) { // For all sections
const IELFISection* pSec = pReader->GetSection( i );
std::cout GetName() GetSection( ''.symtab'' );

Second, create a symbol section reader:

IELFISymbolTable* pSymTbl = 0;
pReader->CreateSectionReader( IELFI::ELFI_SYMBOL,
(void**)&pSymTbl );

And finally, use the section reader to process all entries (print operations are omitted):

std::string name;
Elf32_Addr value;
Elf32_Word size;
unsigned char bind;
unsigned char type;
Elf32_Half section;
int nSymNo = pSymTbl->GetSymbolNum();
if ( 0 < nSymNo ) {
for ( int i = 0; i < nSymNo; ++i ) {
pSymTbl->GetSymbol( i, name, value, size,
bind, type, section );

All interfaces from the ELFIO library should be freed after use. Each interface has a Release() function. It is not enough to only free the high level interface because one of the sections or readers will still be held and its resources will not be cleared.

The interfaces are freed immediately after their use, in this example we will free only the pReader object:


The source code for the ELF Dumping Utility can be found in the "Examples" directory; included there are more examples on how to use different ELFIO reader interfaces.

What's New in This Release:
Fixes endian conversion in the ELFIRelocation and ELFINote sections' adapters.

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