Re: OFFTOPIC: binary modules, bad idea!

Michael Elizabeth Chastain (
Fri, 19 Dec 1997 13:41:08 -0600

Hello kernel hackers,

Stephen Williams writes:

> A C++ style name mangling scheme (type safe linkage) would be nifty, or
> use debugger information to check for type similarity. Some form of
> type-safe linkage is what is called for here, I believe.

That's what CONFIG_MOD_VERSIONS is supposed to do.

I think the existing implementation is a mess. 'genksyms'
gets run on the source files that export symbols and generates .ver
files containing lines such as '#define kmalloc kmalloc_1F43278'.
These .ver files are fed to the compiler when compiling any module.

This implementation was developed before ELF, and I think we can do a
lot better with ELF. We can use true separate compilation. When any
file exports symbols, the symbol type information should be recorded,
in a separate ELF section. When a module file imports symbols, the
symbol type information should be recorded in a separate ELF section.
Then sys_init_module and insmod could check type information.

Are people happy with the existing CONFIG_MOD_VERSIONS, or should I work
on this when I get some time?

Michael Chastain
"love without fear"