How do I list the symbols in a .so file


How do I list the symbols being exported from a .so file? If possible, I'd also like to know their source (e.g. if they are pulled in from a static library).

I'm using gcc 4.0.2, if that makes a difference.

1/10/2019 11:53:00 AM

Accepted Answer

The standard tool for listing symbols is nm, you can use it simply like this:

nm -g

If you want to see symbols of a C++ library, add the "-C" option which demangle the symbols (it's far more readable demangled).

nm -gC

If your .so file is in elf format, you have two options:

Either objdump (-C is also useful for demangling C++):

$ objdump -TC     file format elf64-x86-64

0000000000002010 l    d  .init  0000000000000000              .init
0000000000000000      DF *UND*  0000000000000000  GLIBC_2.2.5 free
0000000000000000      DF *UND*  0000000000000000  GLIBC_2.2.5 __errno_location
0000000000000000  w   D  *UND*  0000000000000000              _ITM_deregisterTMCloneTable

Or use readelf:

$ readelf -Ws
Symbol table '.dynsym' contains 112 entries:
   Num:    Value          Size Type    Bind   Vis      Ndx Name
     0: 0000000000000000     0 NOTYPE  LOCAL  DEFAULT  UND
     1: 0000000000002010     0 SECTION LOCAL  DEFAULT   10
     2: 0000000000000000     0 FUNC    GLOBAL DEFAULT  UND free@GLIBC_2.2.5 (14)
     3: 0000000000000000     0 FUNC    GLOBAL DEFAULT  UND __errno_location@GLIBC_2.2.5 (14)
     4: 0000000000000000     0 NOTYPE  WEAK   DEFAULT  UND _ITM_deregisterTMCloneTable
5/23/2016 4:27:33 PM

If your .so file is in elf format, you can use readelf program to extract symbol information from the binary. This command will give you the symbol table:

readelf -Ws /usr/lib/

You only should extract those that are defined in this .so file, not in the libraries referenced by it. Seventh column should contain a number in this case. You can extract it by using a simple regex:

readelf -Ws /usr/lib/ | grep '^\([[:space:]]\+[^[:space:]]\+\)\{6\}[[:space:]]\+[[:digit:]]\+'

or, as proposed by Caspin,:

readelf -Ws /usr/lib/ | awk '{print $8}';

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