LARI(1) User Commands LARI(1)


lari - link analysis of runtime interfaces


lari [-bCDsVv] [-a | -i | -o] file | directory...

lari [-CDosv] [-m [-d mapdir]] file


The lari utility analyzes the interface requirements of dynamic ELF
objects. Two basic modes of operation are available. The first mode
displays runtime interface information. The second mode generates
interface definitions.

Dynamic objects offer symbolic definitions that represent the interface
that the object provides for external consumers. At runtime, bindings are
established from the symbolic references of one object to the symbolic
definitions of another object. lari analyzes both the interface
definitions and runtime bindings of the specified objects.

When displaying runtime interface information, lari can analyze a number
of files and/or directories. lari analyzes each file that is specified on
the command line. lari recursively descends into each directory that is
specified on the command line, processing each file that is found.

When generating interface definitions, lari can only process a single
file specified on the command line.

Without the -D option, lari processes files as dynamic ELF objects by
using ldd(1). This processing uses the following options:

-r and -e LD_DEBUG=files,bindings,detail

These options provide information on all bindings that are established as
part of loading the object. Notice that by using ldd, the specified
object is not executed, and hence no user controlled loading of objects,
by dlopen(3C) for example, occurs. To capture all binding information
from an executing process, the following environment variables can be
passed directly to the runtime linker,

LD_DEBUG=files,bindings,detail LD_DEBUG_OUTPUT=lari.dbg LD_BIND_NOW=yes

The resulting debug output,, can be processed by lari using
the -D option. Note: lari attempts to analyze each object that has been
processed using the path name defined in the debug output. Each object
must therefore be accessible to lari for a complete, accurate analysis to
be provided. The debug output file must be generated in the C locale.

When displaying interface information, lari analyzes the interfaces of
the processed dynamic objects and, by default, displays any interesting
information. See Interesting Information under EXTENDED DESCRIPTION. The
information that is displayed is also suitable for piping to other tools.
This capability can aid developers in analyzing process bindings or
debugging complex binding scenarios.

The generation of interface definitions by lari can be used to refine the
interface requirements of the dynamic objects that are processed. When
creating a dynamic object, you should define an explicit, versioned
interface. This definition controls the symbol definitions that are
available to external users. In addition, this definition frequently
reduces the overall runtime execution cost of the object. Interface
definitions can be assigned to an object during its creation by the link-
editor using the -M option and the associated mapfile directives. See the
Linker and Libraries Guide for more details on using mapfiles to version
objects. An initial version of these mapfiles can be created by lari.


The following options are supported.

Displays all interface information for the objects analyzed.
Note: The output from this option can be substantial, but is
often useful for piping to other analysis tools.

Limits the interface information to those symbols that have
been explicitly bound to. Note: Symbols defined as protected
might have been bound to from within the defining object.
This binding is satisfied at link-edit time and is therefore
not visible to the runtime environment. Protected symbols
are displayed with this option.

Demangles C++ symbol names. This option is useful for
augmenting runtime interface information. When generating
interface definitions, demangled names are added to the
mapfiles as comments.

-d mapdir
Defines the directory, mapdir, in which mapfiles are
created. By default, the current working directory is used.

Interprets any input files as debugging information rather
than as dynamic objects.

Displays interesting interface binding information. This
mode is the default if no other output controlling option is
supplied. See Interesting Information under EXTENDED

Creates mapfiles for each dynamic object that is processed.
These mapfiles reflect the interface requirements of each
object as required by the input file being processed.

Limits the interface information to those symbols that are
deemed an overhead. When creating mapfiles, any overhead
symbols are itemized as local symbols. See Overhead

Saves the bindings information produced from ldd(1) for
further analysis. See FILES.

Appends interesting symbol visibilities. Symbols that are
defined as singleton or are defined protected are identified
with this option.

Ignores any objects that are already versioned. Versioned
objects have had their interfaces defined, but can
contribute to the interface information displayed. For
example, a versioned shared object might reveal overhead
symbols for a particular process. Shared objects are
frequently designed for use by multiple processes, and thus
the interfaces these objects provide can extend beyond the
requirements of any one process. The -v option therefore,
can reduce noise when displaying interface information.

The runtime interface information produced from lari has the following

[information]: symbol-name [demangled-name]: object-name

Each line describes the interface symbol, symbol-name, together with the
object, object-name, in which the symbol is defined. If the symbol
represents a function, the symbol name is followed by (). If the symbol
represents a data object, the symbol name is followed by the symbols
size, enclosed within []. If the -C option is used, the symbol name is
accompanied by the symbols demangled name, demangled-name. The
information field provides one or more of the following tokens that
describe the symbol's use:

Two decimal values indicate the symbol count, cnt, and the
number of bindings to this object, bnd. The symbol count is
the number of occurrences of this symbol definition that have
been found in the objects that are analyzed. A count that is
greater than 1 indicates multiple instances of a symbol
definition. The number of bindings indicate the number of
objects that have been bound to this symbol definition by the
runtime linker.

This symbol definition has been bound to from an external

This symbol definition has been bound to from the same object.

This symbol definition has been directly bound to.

This symbol definition provides for an interposer. An object
that explicitly identifies itself as an interposor defines all
global symbols as interposers. See the -z interpose option of
ld(1), and the LD_PRELOAD variable of Individual
symbols within a dynamic executable can be defined as
interposers by using the INTERPOSE mapfile directive.

This symbol definition is the reference data of a copy-

This symbol definition resides in a filtee.

This symbol is defined as protected. This symbol might have an
internal binding from the object in which the symbol is
declared. Any internal bindings with this attribute can not be
interposed upon by another symbol definition.

This symbol definition is the address of a procedure linkage
table entry within a dynamic executable.

This symbol lookup originated from a user request, for
example, dlsym(3C).

This symbol definition is acting as a filter, and provides for
redirection to a filtee.

A binding to this symbol was rejected at some point during a
symbol search. A rejection can occur when a direct binding
request finds a symbol that has been tagged to prevent direct
binding. In this scenario, the symbol search is repeated using
a default search model. The binding can still resolve to the
original, rejected symbol. A rejection can also occur when a
non-default symbol search finds a symbol identified as a
singleton. Again, the symbol search is repeated using a
default search model.

This symbol definition explicitly prohibits directly binding
to the definition.

See the Linker and Libraries Guide for more details of these symbol


Interesting Information

By default, or specifically using the -i option, lari filters any runtime
interface information to present interesting events. This filtering is
carried out mainly to reduce the amount of information that can be
generated from large applications. In addition, this information is
intended to be the focus in debugging complex binding scenarios, and
often highlights problem areas. However, classifying what information is
interesting for any particular application is an inexact science. You are
still free to use the -a option and to search the binding information for
events that are unique to the application being investigated.

When an interesting symbol definition is discovered, all other
definitions of the same symbol are output.

The focus of interesting interface information is the existence of
multiple definitions of a symbol. In this case, one symbol typically
interposes on one or more other symbol definitions. This interposition is
seen when the binding count, bnd, of one definition is non-zero, while
the binding count of all other definitions is zero. Interposition that
results from the compilation environment, or the linking environment, is
not characterized as interesting. Examples of these interposition
occurrences include copy relocations ([C]) and the binding to procedure
linkage addresses ([A]).

Interposition is often desirable. The intent is to overload, or replace,
the symbolic definition from a shared object. Interpositioning objects
can be explicitly tagged ([I]), using the -z interpose option of ld(1).
These objects can safely interpose on symbols, no matter what order the
objects are loaded in a process. However, be cautious when non-explicit
interposition is employed, as this interposition is a consequence of the
load-order of the objects that make up the process.

User-created, multiply-defined symbols are output from lari as
interesting. In this example, two definitions of interpose1() exist, but
only the definition in main is referenced:

[2:1E]: interpose1(): ./main
[2:0]: interpose1(): ./

Interposition can also be an undesirable and surprising event, caused by
an unexpected symbol name clash. A symptom of this interposition might be
that a function is never called although you know a reference to the
function exists. This scenario can be identified as a multiply defined
symbol, as covered in the previous example. However, a more surprising
scenario is often encountered when an object both defines and references
a specific symbol.

An example of this scenario is if two dynamic objects define and
reference the same function, interpose2(). Any reference to this symbol
binds to the first dynamic object loaded with the process. In this case,
the definition of interpose2() in object interposes on, and
hides, the definition of interpose2() in object The output from
lari might be:

[2:2ES]: interpose2(): ./
[2:0]: interpose2(): ./

Multiply defined symbols can also be bound to separately. Separate
bindings can be the case when direct bindings are in effect ([D]), or
because a symbol has protected visibility ([P]). Although separate
bindings can be explicitly established, instances can exist that are
unexpected and surprising. Directly bound symbols, and symbols with
protected visibility, are output as interesting information.

Overhead Information

When using the -o option, lari displays symbol definitions that might be
considered overhead.

Global symbols that are not referenced are considered an overhead. The
symbol information that is provided within the object unnecessarily adds
to the size of the object's text segment. In addition, the symbol
information can increase the processing required to search for other
symbolic references within the object at runtime.

Global symbols that are only referenced from the same object have the
same characteristics. The runtime search for a symbolic reference, that
results in binding to the same object that made the reference, is an
additional overhead.

Both of these symbol definitions are candidates for reduction to local
scope by defining the object's interface. Interface definitions can be
assigned to a file during its creation by the link-editor using the -M
option and the associated mapfile directives. See the Linker and
Libraries Guide for more details on mapfiles. Use lari with the -m option
to create initial versions of these mapfiles.

If lari is used to generate mapfiles, versioned shared objects will have
mapfiles created indicating that their overhead symbols should be reduced
to locals. This model allows lari to generate mapfiles for comparison
with existing interface definitions. Use the -v option to ignore
versioned shared objects when creating mapfiles.

Copy-relocations are also viewed as an overhead and generally should be
avoided. The size of the copied data is a definition of its interface.
This definition restricts the ability to change the data size in newer
versions of the shared object in which the data is defined. This
restriction, plus the cost of processing a copy relocation, can be
avoided by referencing data using a functional interface. The output from
lari for a copy relocation might be:

[2:1EC]: __iob[0x140]: ./main
[2:0]: __iob[0x140]: ./

Notice that a number of small copy relocations, such as __iob used in the
previous example, exist because of historic programming interactions with
system libraries.

Another example of overhead information is the binding of a dynamic
object to the procedure linkage table entry of a dynamic executable. If a
dynamic executable references an external function, a procedure linkage
table entry is created. This structure allows the reference binding to be
deferred until the function call is actually made. If a dynamic object
takes the address of the same referenced function, the dynamic object
binds to the dynamic executables procedure linkage table entry. An
example of this type of event reveals the following:

[2:1EA]: foo(): ./main
[2:1E]: foo(): ./

A small number of bindings of this type are typically not cause for
concern. However, a large number of these bindings, perhaps from a jump-
table programming technique, can contribute to start up overhead. Address
relocation bindings of this type require relocation processing at
application start up, rather than the deferred relocation processing used
when calling functions directly. Use of this address also requires an
indirection at runtime.


Example 1: Analyzing a case of multiple bindings

The following example shows the analysis of a process in which multiple
symbol definitions exist. The shared objects and both
call the function interpose(). This function exists in both the
application main, and the shared object Because of
interposition, both references bind to the definition of interpose() in

The shared objects and also both call the function foo().
This function exists in the application main, and the shared objects,, and Because both and were
built with direct bindings enabled, each object binds to its own

example% lari ./main
[3:0]: foo(): ./
[3:1SD]: foo(): ./
[3:1SD]: foo(): ./
[2:0]: interpose(): ./
[2:2EP]: interpose(): ./main

To analyze binding information more thoroughly, the bindings data can be
saved for further inspection. For example, the previous output indicates
that the function interpose() was called from two objects external to
main. Inspection of the binding output reveals where the references to
this function originated.

example% lari -s ./main
lari: ./main: bindings information saved as: /usr/tmp/lari.dbg.main
example% fgrep foo /usr/tmp/lari.dbg.main
binding file=./ to file=./main: symbol `interpose'
binding file=./ to file=./main: symbol `interpose'

Note: The bindings output is typically more extensive than shown here, as
the output is accompanied with process identifier, address and other
bindings information.

Example 2: Generating an interface definition

The following example creates interface definitions for an application
and its dependency, while ignoring any versioned system libraries. The
application main makes reference to the interfaces one(), two(), and
three() in

example% lari -omv ./main
example% cat
# Interface Definition mapfile for:
# Dynamic Object: ./
# Process: ./main
# {


Binding output produced by ldd(1).


See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:

|Interface Stability | See below. |

The human readable output is Uncommitted. The options are Committed.


ld(1), ldd(1),, dlopen(3C), dlsym(3C), attributes(5)

Linker and Libraries Guide

November 28, 2007 LARI(1)