Some symbols (from symbol table) in ELF-file belong to special sections (COMMON, ABS, UNDEF).

IDA creates virtual sections for this symbols.

Subject: What is the rule (or set of rules) which IDA use to create these special sections (start address, size, alignment)?

1 Answer 1


According to IDA's ELF-loader and some tests.

The order of sections in REL-file:

  2. ABS

The order of sections in EXEC-file (there is no COMMON section):

  2. ABS

The rules of section creation are:

  1. Take the adress after last real section
  2. Calculate the size of each virtual section = number_of_symbols * 4
  3. Create all needed virtual sections according to the right order
  4. Fill all virtual sections with the corresponding symbols from symtab
  5. Set End-address for each virtual section according to the real number of bytes (based on number of symbols in the section)

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