I'm writing ELF parser and simple disassembler x86. Having code like this

.text:000B5A2A      call 0000B470 ;e.g. _glXSwapBuffers
got.plt:0000B470    jmp     dword ptr [ebx+240h] ;jump to .got@_glXSwapBuffers

I wonder how can I recognize .got, .got.plt segments at ELF parsing time ? Simple way is to just check the segment \ section name but this can be fooled easily.

Anyone knows what's the proper way to identify .got, .got.plt segments \ sections during ELF file format parsing ?

1 Answer 1


.got and .got.plt are examples of labels that will always describe sections and never segments.

There is a critical conceptual difference between sections and segments. Sections provide information about how information is organized within a binary, and segments describe to the program loader (and if the binary is dynamically linked, the dynamic linker) how a process image should be composed in virtual memory from the binary. Take a look at the SysV ABI (generic) and the output of readelf -SW -l <binary> for more on the difference between sections and segments.

Information about sections is stored in the section header table, so to find information about sections in a binary, parse the section header table. Note that the section header table is not required to be present in the binary - the loader only uses segment information to accomplish process creation.

Familiarize yourself with ELF structure by exploring this excellent diagram: https://github.com/corkami/pics/blob/master/binary/elf101/elf101-64.pdf

See Disassemblers resolving (ELF) section names for more about the section header table.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.