g++ undefined reference to typeinfo


I just ran across the following error (and found the solution online, but it's not present in Stack Overflow):

(.gnu.linkonce.[stuff]): undefined reference to [method] [object file]:(.gnu.linkonce.[stuff]): undefined reference to `typeinfo for [classname]'

Why might one get one of these "undefined reference to typeinfo" linker errors?

(Bonus points if you can explain what's going on behind the scenes.)

11/21/2008 12:02:18 AM

Accepted Answer

One possible reason is because you are declaring a virtual function without defining it.

When you declare it without defining it in the same compilation unit, you're indicating that it's defined somewhere else - this means the linker phase will try to find it in one of the other compilation units (or libraries).

An example of defining the virtual function is:

virtual void fn() { /* insert code here */ }

In this case, you are attaching a definition to the declaration, which means the linker doesn't need to resolve it later.

The line

virtual void fn();

declares fn() without defining it and will cause the error message you asked about.

It's very similar to the code:

extern int i;
int *pi = &i;

which states that the integer i is declared in another compilation unit which must be resolved at link time (otherwise pi can't be set to it's address).

9/11/2014 4:22:00 AM

This can also happen when you mix -fno-rtti and -frtti code. Then you need to ensure that any class, which type_info is accessed in the -frtti code, have their key method compiled with -frtti. Such access can happen when you create an object of the class, use dynamic_cast etc.


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