Friday, November 18, 2011

Solaris 11: Updated Archive and Linking

Solaris 11: Updated Archive and Linking

Binaries in operating systems need to be identified so the underlying kernel knows how to execute them. Traditionally, binaries were much smaller than data files, so the transition to 64bit operating systems and chips never needed to address huge binaries. A 40 year old 32bit standard, created under AT&T UNIX SVR4, was getting "long in the tooth" and showing it's age. This was finally addressed with with Solaris 11 release.

The History:
An exhaustive document to the Solaris Linker and Library guide is published by Oracle. Solaris was built upon the System V Release 4 Linker Mapfile Format. A short article on the Linux linker from 2002 may be interesting to some. Discussion started in 2009 about enhancing Solaris, while retaining backwards compatibility.

[2009-12-22] PSARC/2009/688 - human readable and extensible ld mapfile syntax
[2010-01-06] Developer describes Solaris SVR4 32 bit Link Editor Map File Issues
[2010-01-07] Developer describes new Solaris Map File Syntax
[2011-11-11] The need for binaries exceeding 32bit lengths
[2011-11-11] Developer publishes modern archive/linking feature

You can reference the published document from Oracle for a complete listing of Solaris linking features, from Solaris 8 leading up to Solaris 11 Express.

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