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You may assign a value to a symbol in a linker script. This will define the symbol as a global symbol.
You may assign to a symbol using any of the C assignment operators:
The first case will define symbol to the value of expression. In the other cases, symbol must already be defined, and the value will be adjusted accordingly.
The special symbol name . indicates the location counter. You may only use this within a SECTIONS command.
The semicolon after expression is required.
Expressions are defined below; refer to Section 4.10 Expressions in Linker Scripts.
You may write symbol assignments as commands in their own right, or as statements within a SECTIONS command, or as part of an output section description in a SECTIONS command.
The section of the symbol will be set from the section of the expression; for more information, refer to Section 4.10.6 The Section of an Expression.
Here is an example showing the three different places that symbol assignments may be used:
In this example, the symbol floating_point will be defined as zero. The symbol _etext will be defined as the address following the last .text input section. The symbol _bdata will be defined as the address following the .text output section aligned upward to a 4 byte boundary.
In some cases, it is desirable for a linker script to define a symbol only if it is referenced and is not defined by any object included in the link. For example, traditional linkers defined the symbol etext. However, ANSI C requires that the user be able to use etext as a function name without encountering an error. The PROVIDE keyword may be used to define a symbol, such as etext, only if it is referenced but not defined. The syntax is PROVIDE(symbol = expression).
Here is an example of using PROVIDE to define etext:
In this example, if the program defines _etext (with a leading underscore), the linker will give a multiple definition error. If, on the other hand, the program defines etext (with no leading underscore), the linker will silently use the definition in the program. If the program references etext but does not define it, the linker will use the definition in the linker script.
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