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Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 00:57:52 -0400
From: Rich Felker <>
Subject: Static PIE! (experimental)

I've got very experimental static-linked PIE support working, using
the attached files. This isn't ready to go in (in fact, part of it
belongs in binutils' ldscripts, not musl), but it's a very cool proof
of concept. Some caveats:

- ALL object files, including those in static libs (that means libc
  too!) must be built with -fPIE or -fPIC. So to use this, you really
  need to commit to building your whole system this way.

- No error checking is done for invalid binaries; they'll likely crash
  horribly. You can use readelf -a to check that the only relocations
  are RELATIVE. If you see any other types of reloc, the binary is
  broken (miscompiled or mislinked).

- Textrels are not supported. They would be very difficult to support
  on hardened systems that don't allow RWX pages, since the binary
  would be self-modifying while running (and thus switching
  temporarily to RW- and later to R-X would not suffice).

- The provided linker script is for i386, but it's just a simple
  change to the original file (sending .interp section to /DISCARD/)
  and you can make the same change for any arch. Likewise, Zcrt1.s is
  for i386, but it's trivially generated from Scrt1.s by adding a call
  to __static_pie_reloc.

Command to use to link:

gcc -static -pie -fPIE -nostartfiles Zcrt1.s Zcrt2.c \
  /usr/lib/crt[in].o -Wl,-T,elf_i386.xd "$@"

Of course you can pre-compile/assemble Zcrt1.o and Zcrt2.o if you
like. The reason they're split into 2 files is that the first is
startup asm (arch-specific) and the latter is written in C for
convenience (and arch-independence).

To get this to production stage...

1. The linker scripts need to be incorporated into binutils.
2. The gcc specfile needs to be edited to use alternate startfiles
   when both -static and -pie are specified.
3. The new crt files need to be added to musl.

By the way, there's nothing musl-specific about any of this. If
anybody wants to build a static glibc with -fPIE and patch the call to
__static_pie_reloc into its startfiles, it should work too.. Same goes
for uClibc.


View attachment "Zcrt1.s" of type "text/plain" (441 bytes)

View attachment "Zcrt2.c" of type "text/plain" (1056 bytes)

View attachment "elf_i386.xd" of type "text/plain" (7095 bytes)

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