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Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2018 16:52:53 +0100
From: Gernot Reisinger <>
Subject: Re: Question regarding dynamic loader

Thanks for your swift and extensive reply. Your explanations make a lot of
sense. (sorry for my sloppy description - __libc_start_main invoked by *crt
is the place where constructor calls happen as you did outline).
I did no extensive research how glibc executes these constructor calls. At
least the call stack indicates that they are partially executed in dynamic
linker context - _dl_start_user () in /lib64/
calling _dl_init.

I will add a reference to reply to the Go ticket.

Am Mi., 21. Nov. 2018 um 15:25 Uhr schrieb Rich Felker <>:

> On Wed, Nov 21, 2018 at 02:55:19PM +0100, Gernot Reisinger wrote:
> > Hi,
> > I recently stumbled upon an issue with preloading a shared object into a
> Go
> > application (see related Go ticket
> > ).
> >
> > In short - Go comes with an internal linker which will not link crt code
> to
> > the application. The entry point will directly execute Go standard
> library
> > code. As musl libc calls shared object constructors in crt code, the
> shared
> I don't think this assessment of what musl does is correct. It calls
> the (initially loaded) shared object constructor via
> __libc_start_main. If the program is not entered via
> __libc_start_main, libc is not usable. Necessary initialization will
> have been bypassed. This has little to do with whether the crt code
> was linked, except that *crt1.o is normally responsible for calling
> __libc_start_main. If the linking process bypasses crt1, it needs to
> ensure that __libc_start_main ends up getting called in some other
> way. As far as I know this is also true for glibc, so I'm not sure why
> it differs.
> > objects constructors subsequently will never be invoked. Things will work
> > on glibc systems / processes. it It seems to be a subtle - but in this
> case
> > wide reaching - behavioral difference to glibc.
> >
> > I wonder if calling constructor functions from crt code is an intended
> musl
> > libc behavior. My personal - non expert - gut feeling considers glibc
> > behavior "more correct". Is there a chance that musl will change this
> > behavior?
> The musl behavior here is intentional. For FDPIC targets, it's
> impossible to run *any* application code, in the main application or
> shared libraries, before the main application's crt1 has executed,
> because there are (essentially -- the equivalent of) self-relocations
> performed at that stage that the dynamic linker can't see. If any
> ctors were invoked directly by the dynamic linker before passing
> control the the main application's entry point, they would run without
> these relocations in the main application having been performed,
> possibly resulting in runaway-wrong execution.
> I believe Go is doing some bad hacks here with regard to its C FFI,
> but it's likely fixable in some reasonable way. We should get more
> eyes looking at it.
> Rich

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