Talk:Executable and Linkable Format

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Mac OS X using ELF?[edit]

Does Mac OS X use ELF?? -- Michael

See Talk:Mac OS X. Dysprosia 07:50, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)
No, it uses Mach-O... --Unsound 19:05, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

In-process vs. out-of-process object sharing[edit]

I think this should also reference OLE Object linking and embedding, which I think may embody the MS way and Maybe Component Object Model Where the *nix way is more of a Process model or some such. Quinobi 21:19, 9 July 2005 (UTC)

Executable image formats have nothing to do with object linking models. One could implement OLE and COM using ELF (and COM objects can be "in-process", linked into the address space of the calling process, or "out of process", running in a separate address space in a separate process); I'm not sure what "the *nix way is more of a Process model or some such" means, but if you're referring to pipelines, that can be implemented with the Windows Portable Executable format and, in fact, if the Windows NT command interpreter implements the pipe operator by building a Unix-style pipeline, somebody, namely Microsoft, did implement pipelines with processes running code in PE format. Guy Harris 23:02, 17 November 2006 (UTC)


free ELF object file access library might want to change to this link, old link redirects to here!


If ELF-32 indeed means the checksum used by this executable format, then it might make sense to add this link (and some explanation):

  • Jacksum — by Dipl.-Inf. (FH) Johann N. Löfflmann in Java. Various message verification functions. Released under the GPL.

Otherwise, please correct the Jacksum article. Shinobu 16:47, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

outperform != not a competitor[edit]

This sentence doesn't make sense:

Because other formats are proprietary, platform-specific, or less extensible than ELF, some users hold that ELF outperforms other formats, whereas others may consider it a competitor to the other format

I can't tell what is trying to be said. Are we suggesting that some people think that ELF's openness and flexibility make it far beyond the alternatives (to the extent that the alternatives are not options, but relics)? Even if so, the sentence doesn't read well. The first part does not contradict the second (as expected when using whereas). One competitor may outperform the alternatives.

How about something more like: Since it is nonproprietary, platform-agnostic, and extensible, many users consider ELF to be far beyond its competitors.

Or perhaps remove the line entirely.

--JamesBrownJr 21:10, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

ELF Problems[edit]

Someone should add a section about ELF's significant problems, especially regarding dynamic linking semantics. See: [1] and [2] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 10:10, 13 November 2006 (UTC).

See also Porting UNIX/Linux applications to Mac OS X: Understanding Two-Level Namespaces and Mac OS X Developer Release Notes: Two-Level Namespace Executables, as perhaps what the ELF section of the "Linux Problems" page of the Autopackage Wiki calls "hash" sometimes has ingredients that don't taste too bad, even if the hash as a whole isn't to your taste. Guy Harris 00:10, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Strangely formulated sentence...[edit]

From the article: "Today the ELF format has replaced [snip] FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD operating systems (DragonFly BSD was forked from FreeBSD after the switch to ELF)" If DragonFly BSD was forked from FreeBSD _after_ the switch, then it should too use ELF? I think the it should say "before the switch"... but I'm tired and maybe my mind is playing tricks on me. --Unsound 19:09, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

No, those are the systems in which ELF replaced a.out/COFF. Dragonfly BSD was forked after switching to ELF, so it's always had ELF, therefore ELF didn't replace anything.

File recognition[edit]

Imagine a file without a file extension, how can an operating system know whether this file is an ELF executable or not? --Abdull 16:15, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Magic numbers. See here. Chris Cunningham 16:27, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

DragonFly BSD[edit]

I removed the parenthetical mention of DragonFly BSD from the introduction because it was not clear to me whether it meant that it does or does not use ELF. The previous text read:

"[ELF is used in] ... and OpenBSD operating systems (DragonFly BSD was forked from FreeBSD after the switch to ELF)."

-- Dmeranda 18:50, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Name of the article[edit]

The lede calls it "Executable and Linking Format". However, the article _title_ is "Executable and linkable format". Since all the extant docs I can find call it the latter - would any of y'all have objections to renaming the article to the "linkable" version? (It'd require administrator intervention, however, to remove the target.) --moof (talk) 07:54, 24 March 2008 (UTC)


86open appears to be a historical footnote of ELF. Unless there were other important products of 86open, I'm unsure if there's really more to say about it. Ham Pastrami (talk) 10:34, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, let's merge Jalwikip (talk) 12:39, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Copied over x86open content samj (talk) 13:52, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Merge completed samj (talk) 13:56, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
This does not look good. Either the merge was sloppy or the merge should not have been done or the 86open material is not encyclopedia worthy. I personally think the merge should be reversed. If 86open is a footnote, the ELF article should not be cluttered by it. --Kvng (talk) 16:01, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
The 86open page should not have been merged with the ELF article. Notability of 86open was discussed and agreed upon in that (former) article's talk page. The merge should be reversed and links to the 86open article placed here citing it as an industry wide adoption of ELF as the standard binary format. Ronald Joe Record (talk) 19:55, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

C Process Map is Wrong?[edit]

The C Process Map appears to be wrong. The variable z is shown twice and y is missing. Also, the "Dynamic/Runtime" view appears to be wrong (e.g. the stack grows down not up and the heap and text sections appear to be in the wrong place). It is a very useful image so it would be good to keep it if it can be corrected, although a .svg file format would be a better choice. Tim Watson (talk) 16:12, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Ownership, Governance, and Licensing[edit]

Who owns the ELF format, how it is governed (i.e. what entity makes changes and through what process), and is the format available under a free license? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:44, 20 May 2010 (UTC)


FatELF redirects here, but the page says nothing about it. Someone more knowledgeable should add some explanation, or just delete the redirect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:45, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

added some info, fixed. (talk) 12:32, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Broken Links?[edit]

It seems the link to the Motorola 8 and 16 bit Embedded ABI PDF is broken, and there doesn't appear to be another copy elsewhere.

[3] found one. Shaddim (talk) 17:53, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Copyright non-compliance re this page[edit] has copied text from this article but has not credited Wikipedia as it should (see Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License). Wikipedia does not actively challenge these sort of websites, but significant contributors to the copied text can. I have never edited this page, but if anyone has added a significant amount to the article, then you can challenge the website. The guide for this can be found at Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks#Non-compliance process. —Half Price 12:09, 21 December 2010 (UTC)