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6.12. Binutils-2.20.1

The Binutils package contains a linker, an assembler, and other tools for handling object files.

Approximate build time: 2.1 SBU
Required disk space: 222 MB

6.12.1. Installation of Binutils

Verify that the PTYs are working properly inside the chroot environment by performing a simple test:

expect -c "spawn ls"

This command should output the following:

spawn ls

If, instead, the output includes the message below, then the environment is not set up for proper PTY operation. This issue needs to be resolved before running the test suites for Binutils and GCC:

The system has no more ptys.
Ask your system administrator to create more.

Suppress the installation of an outdated standards.info file as a newer one is installed later on in the Autoconf instructions:

rm -fv etc/standards.info
sed -i.bak '/^INFO/s/standards.info //' etc/Makefile.in

The Binutils documentation recommends building Binutils outside of the source directory in a dedicated build directory:

mkdir -v ../binutils-build
cd ../binutils-build

Prepare Binutils for compilation:

../binutils-2.20.1/configure --prefix=/usr \

Compile the package:

make tooldir=/usr

The meaning of the make parameter:


Normally, the tooldir (the directory where the executables will ultimately be located) is set to $(exec_prefix)/$(target_alias). For example, x86_64 machines would expand that to /usr/x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu. Because this is a custom system, this target-specific directory in /usr is not required. $(exec_prefix)/$(target_alias) would be used if the system was used to cross-compile (for example, compiling a package on an Intel machine that generates code that can be executed on PowerPC machines).



The test suite for Binutils in this section is considered critical. Do not skip it under any circumstances.

Test the results:

make check

Install the package:

make tooldir=/usr install

Install the libiberty header file that is needed by some packages:

cp -v ../binutils-2.20.1/include/libiberty.h /usr/include

6.12.2. Contents of Binutils

Installed programs: addr2line, ar, as, c++filt, gprof, ld, nm, objcopy, objdump, ranlib, readelf, size, strings, and strip
Installed libraries: libiberty.a, libbfd.{a,so}, and libopcodes.{a,so}
Installed directory: /usr/lib/ldscripts

Short Descriptions


Translates program addresses to file names and line numbers; given an address and the name of an executable, it uses the debugging information in the executable to determine which source file and line number are associated with the address


Creates, modifies, and extracts from archives


An assembler that assembles the output of gcc into object files


Used by the linker to de-mangle C++ and Java symbols and to keep overloaded functions from clashing


Displays call graph profile data


A linker that combines a number of object and archive files into a single file, relocating their data and tying up symbol references


Lists the symbols occurring in a given object file


Translates one type of object file into another


Displays information about the given object file, with options controlling the particular information to display; the information shown is useful to programmers who are working on the compilation tools


Generates an index of the contents of an archive and stores it in the archive; the index lists all of the symbols defined by archive members that are relocatable object files


Displays information about ELF type binaries


Lists the section sizes and the total size for the given object files


Outputs, for each given file, the sequences of printable characters that are of at least the specified length (defaulting to four); for object files, it prints, by default, only the strings from the initializing and loading sections while for other types of files, it scans the entire file


Discards symbols from object files


Contains routines used by various GNU programs, including getopt, obstack, strerror, strtol, and strtoul


The Binary File Descriptor library


A library for dealing with opcodes—the “readable text” versions of instructions for the processor; it is used for building utilities like objdump.