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Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2020 18:02:49 +0100
From: Markus Wichmann <>
Subject: Re: Static linking is broken after creation of DT_TEXTREL

On Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 11:08:46PM +0300, Андрей Аладьев wrote:
> > Ooh boy, why would you do this? When there's a perfectly good -lgmp just
> waiting for you.
> Usage of "/usr/lib/libgmp.a" directly is not forbidden by any toolchain or
> build system. Moreover it is recommended by cmake. You can google for
> "target_link_libraries(" and found millions of software
> that uses something like:
> find_library(EXTERNAL_LIB)
> target_link_libraries(something ${EXTERNAL_LIB_FOUND})

Doesn't that search for the library in the correct mode? I thought cmake
was that smart...

> > The warning is justified, you usually do not want to do this. With a
> TEXTREL, the code has to be mapped as writable, so now programming errors
> and exploits can change the executable code.
> This is warning from ld, not from musl. Segfault is not an acceptable
> message from libc. Libc should not try to write into readonly pointer.
> > Well, the remedy is obvious: Get rid of the TEXTREL.
> Yes, I've found a workaround: "USE='-asm' emerge -v1 gmp", assembly is
> broken, will report it to gmp upstream. But this is not a fix for the issue.

There are several ways to achieve this. Getting rid of the assembly is
one such way. In another answer you also advocated for --with-pic. My
solution would probably have been to patch the code to never emit text
relocations in the first place, which is achieved the same way in the

The issue of musl not supporting textrels in the application itself
remains, though.

> > Iterate over the apps PHDRs and remove write protection from all RO
> segments?
> So libc knows that file is mapped as readonly and should not try to write
> into readonly pointers.

Almost all relocations point to writable memory. For obvious reasons. So
musl doesn't check this.

The issue is more complicated, because the app can have an unbounded
number of PT_LOAD segments with the PF_W flag absent. So checking the
relocations would require the dynlinker to first iterate over all PHDRs
to check for the unlikely case that textrels are present. Only because
they might be.

> Libc can do the following:
> 1. Ignore impossible relocations.
> 2. Add a warning to stderr and still ignore impossible relocations.
> 3. do abort, user will receive SIGABRT and understand that he uses libc in
> a wrong way.
> Segfault is not an acceptable answer.

Have I got news for you. Unlike glibc, musl does not indicate
irrecoverable state with a litany into stderr, but usually by calling
a_crash(), which will terminate the process by executing an illegal
instruction. This typically results in SIGILL being delivered, but on
some archs it is still a segfault.

Also, there is at least one place in the dynlinker where, as I recall,
mmap() is being called directly, but rather than check for errors in the
return value, the value is just used, because all error returns cause

And then there was the case of PowerPC's original ABI, now called the
BSS-PLT ABI, which expects the dynlinker to fill out the PLT at runtime,
which musl doesn't do. Trying to run a BSS-PLT binary with musl will
therefore also very quickly segfault. musl doesn't fill out the PLT,
because the ABI is old, a replacement has been in place since at least
2003, and PowerPC would be the only arch to need something like this.

Anyway, option 1 would leave the relocations unprocessed, typically
leading to invalid code references down the line, and therefore another
segfault. Option 2 is the same but wordier. Option 3 has a chance to be
subverted (user could block or ignore SIGABRT before executing the main
binary. With SIGSEGV or SIGILL, the user can block or ignore those, but
then the kernel will just kill the process outright if those conditions

Options 1 and 2 also have the undesirable effect of possibly only
crashing sometimes, not all the time. See the recent cuserid() thread
about why that is a problem.

And the issue you have with musl, not gmp, still remains: TEXTREL in the
application remains unsupported.


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