section attribute producing invalid sized sections

Noah W
Sat Nov 29 06:02:00 GMT 2008

Please let me know if this forum is not appropriate for this question.

I am using __attribute__((section("section-name"))) to place some data into
a section, and using the __start_..., __stop_..., symbols to iterate over
the contents of the section.

When one struct is added to the section the __start_/__stop_ bounds are
correct (the section defined is the size of one struct). When more than one
struct is added the size of the section is larger than I believe it should

Broken on: Gcc: x86_64-linux-gnu, gcc version 4.3.2 (Ubuntu 4.3.2-1ubuntu11)
Note: this test works as expected on: i386-redhat-linux, gcc version 4.1.2
20070925 (Red Hat 4.1.2-33)

I have attached a small test that demonstrates this. The size of the struct
is 24 bytes. If I place 3 structs in to the section the size calculated by
the difference between __start_ and __stop_ is 88, 16 more than I would

#include <stdio.h>

struct dummy {
	int *x, *y, *z;

extern struct dummy __start_section_test[];
extern struct dummy __stop_section_test[];

int main(int argc, char **argv)
	unsigned long long start, stop;

	static struct dummy entry_A __attribute__((section("section_test")));
	static struct dummy entry_B __attribute__((section("section_test")));
	static struct dummy entry_C __attribute__((section("section_test")));

	start = (unsigned long long)__start_section_test;
	stop = (unsigned long long)__stop_section_test;

	printf("struct size=%llu, start=%llu, stop=%llu, diff=%llu\n",
		(unsigned long long)sizeof(struct dummy), start, stop, stop-start);

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