8.19. Binutils-2.42

The Binutils package contains a linker, an assembler, and other tools for handling object files.

Approximate build time: 2.2 SBU
Required disk space: 2.7 GB

8.19.1. Installation of Binutils

The Binutils documentation recommends building Binutils in a dedicated build directory:

mkdir -v build
cd       build

Prepare Binutils for compilation:

../configure --prefix=/usr       \
             --sysconfdir=/etc   \
             --enable-gold       \
             --enable-ld=default \
             --enable-plugins    \
             --enable-shared     \
             --disable-werror    \
             --enable-64-bit-bfd \
             --with-system-zlib  \

The meaning of the new configure parameters:


Build the gold linker and install it as ld.gold (alongside the default linker).


Build the original bfd linker and install it as both ld (the default linker) and ld.bfd.


Enables plugin support for the linker.


Use the installed zlib library instead of building the included version.

Compile the package:

make tooldir=/usr

The meaning of the make parameter:


Normally, the tooldir (the directory where the executables will ultimately be located) is set to $(exec_prefix)/$(target_alias). For example, ARM64 machines would expand that to /usr/aarch64-unknown-linux-gnu. Because this is a custom system, this target-specific directory in /usr is not required. $(exec_prefix)/$(target_alias) would be used if the system were used to cross-compile (for example, compiling a package on an Intel machine that generates code that can be executed on PowerPC machines).



The test suite for Binutils in this section is considered critical. Do not skip it under any circumstances.

Test the results:

make -k check

For a list of failed tests, run:

grep '^FAIL:' $(find -name '*.log')

Install the package:

make tooldir=/usr install

Remove useless static libraries:

rm -fv /usr/lib/lib{bfd,ctf,ctf-nobfd,gprofng,opcodes,sframe}.a

8.19.2. Contents of Binutils

Installed programs: addr2line, ar, as, c++filt, dwp, elfedit, gprof, gprofng, ld, ld.bfd, ld.gold, nm, objcopy, objdump, ranlib, readelf, size, strings, and strip
Installed libraries: libbfd.so, libctf.so, libctf-nobfd.so, libgprofng.so, libopcodes.so, and libsframe.so
Installed directory: /usr/lib/ldscripts

Short Descriptions


Translates program addresses to file names and line numbers; given an address and the name of an executable, it uses the debugging information in the executable to determine which source file and line number are associated with the address


Creates, modifies, and extracts from archives


An assembler that assembles the output of gcc into object files


Used by the linker to de-mangle C++ and Java symbols and to keep overloaded functions from clashing


The DWARF packaging utility


Updates the ELF headers of ELF files


Displays call graph profile data


Gathers and analyzes performance data


A linker that combines a number of object and archive files into a single file, relocating their data and tying up symbol references


A cut down version of ld that only supports the elf object file format


A hard link to ld


Lists the symbols occurring in a given object file


Translates one type of object file into another


Displays information about the given object file, with options controlling the particular information to display; the information shown is useful to programmers who are working on the compilation tools


Generates an index of the contents of an archive and stores it in the archive; the index lists all of the symbols defined by archive members that are relocatable object files


Displays information about ELF type binaries


Lists the section sizes and the total size for the given object files


Outputs, for each given file, the sequences of printable characters that are of at least the specified length (defaulting to four); for object files, it prints, by default, only the strings from the initializing and loading sections while for other types of files, it scans the entire file


Discards symbols from object files


The Binary File Descriptor library


The Compat ANSI-C Type Format debugging support library


A libctf variant which does not use libbfd functionality


A library containing most routines used by gprofng


A library for dealing with opcodes—the readable text versions of instructions for the processor; it is used for building utilities like objdump


A library to support online backtracing using a simple unwinder