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Manual Pages  — CTF

NAME

ctf – Compact C Type Format

CONTENTS

SYNOPSIS

#include <sys/ctf.h>

DESCRIPTION

ctf is designed to be a compact representation of the C programming language's type information focused on serving the needs of dynamic tracing, debuggers, and other in-situ and post-mortem introspection tools. ctf data is generally included in ELF objects and is tagged as SHT_PROGBITS to ensure that the data is accessible in a running process and in subsequent core dumps, if generated.
.Lp The ctf data contained in each file has information about the layout and sizes of C types, including intrinsic types, enumerations, structures, typedefs, and unions, that are used by the corresponding ELF object. The ctf data may also include information about the types of global objects and the return type and arguments of functions in the symbol table.
.Lp Because a ctf file is often embedded inside a file, rather than being a standalone file itself, it may also be referred to as a ctf container.
.Lp On FreeBSD systems, ctf data is consumed by
dtrace(1). Programmatic access to ctf data can be obtained through libctf.
.Lp The ctf file format is broken down into seven different sections. The first section is the preamble and header, which describes the version of the ctf file, the links it has to other ctf files, and the sizes of the other sections. The next section is the label section, which provides a way of identifying similar groups of ctf data across multiple files. This is followed by the object information section, which describes the types of global symbols. The subsequent section is the function information section, which describes the return types and arguments of functions. The next section is the type information section, which describes the format and layout of the C types themselves, and finally the last section is the string section, which contains the names of types, enumerations, members, and labels.
.Lp While strictly speaking, only the preamble and header are required, to be actually useful, both the type and string sections are necessary.
.Lp A ctf file may contain all of the type information that it requires, or it may optionally refer to another ctf file which holds the remaining types. When a ctf file refers to another file, it is called the child and the file it refers to is called the parent. A given file may only refer to one parent. This process is called uniquification because it ensures each child only has type information that is unique to it. A common example of this is that most kernel modules in illumos are uniquified against the kernel module genunix and the type information that comes from the IP module. This means that a module only has types that are unique to itself and the most common types in the kernel are not duplicated.

FILE FORMAT

This documents version two of the ctf file format. All applications and tools on FreeBSD currently produce and operate on this version.
.Lp The file format can be summarized with the following image, the following sections will cover this in more detail.

+-------------+ 0t0 +--------| Preamble | | +-------------+ 0t4 |+-------| Header | || +-------------+ 0t36 + cth_lbloff ||+------| Labels | ||| +-------------+ 0t36 + cth_objtoff |||+-----| Objects | |||| +-------------+ 0t36 + cth_funcoff ||||+----| Functions | ||||| +-------------+ 0t36 + cth_typeoff |||||+---| Types | |||||| +-------------+ 0t36 + cth_stroff ||||||+--| Strings | ||||||| +-------------+ 0t36 + cth_stroff + cth_strlen ||||||| ||||||| ||||||| ||||||| +-- magic - vers flags ||||||| | | | | ||||||| +------+------+------+------+ +---------| 0xcf | 0xf1 | 0x02 | 0x00 | |||||| +------+------+------+------+ |||||| 0 1 2 3 4 |||||| |||||| + parent label + objects |||||| | + parent name | + functions + strings |||||| | | + label | | + types | + strlen |||||| | | | | | | | | |||||| +------+------+------+------+------+-------+-------+-------+ +--------| 0x00 | 0x00 | 0x00 | 0x08 | 0x36 | 0x110 | 0x5f4 | 0x611 | ||||| +------+------+------+------+------+-------+-------+-------+ ||||| 0x04 0x08 0x0c 0x10 0x14 0x18 0x1c 0x20 0x24 ||||| ||||| + Label name ||||| | + Label type ||||| | | + Next label ||||| | | | ||||| +-------+------+-----+ +-----------| 0x01 | 0x42 | ... | |||| +-------+------+-----+ |||| cth_lbloff +0x4 +0x8 cth_objtoff |||| |||| |||| Symidx 0t15 0t43 0t44 |||| +------+------+------+-----+ +----------| 0x00 | 0x42 | 0x36 | ... | ||| +------+------+------+-----+ ||| cth_objtoff +0x2 +0x4 +0x6 cth_funcoff ||| ||| + CTF_TYPE_INFO + CTF_TYPE_INFO ||| | + Return type | ||| | | + arg0 | ||| +--------+------+------+-----+ +---------| 0x2c10 | 0x08 | 0x0c | ... | || +--------+------+------+-----+ || cth_funcff +0x2 +0x4 +0x6 cth_typeoff || || + ctf_stype_t for type 1 || | integer + integer encoding || | | + ctf_stype_t for type 2 || | | | || +--------------------+-----------+-----+ +--------| 0x19 * 0xc01 * 0x0 | 0x1000000 | ... | | +--------------------+-----------+-----+ | cth_typeoff +0x08 +0x0c cth_stroff | | +--- str 0 | | +--- str 1 + str 2 | | | | | v v v | +----+---+---+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+----+ +---| \0 | i | n | t | \0 | f | o | o | _ | t | \0 | +----+---+---+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+----+ 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11


.Lp Every ctf file begins with a preamble, followed by a header. The preamble is defined as follows:
typedef struct ctf_preamble {
        ushort_t ctp_magic;     /* magic number (CTF_MAGIC) */
        uchar_t ctp_version;    /* data format version number (CTF_VERSION) */
        uchar_t ctp_flags;      /* flags (see below) */
} ctf_preamble_t;

The preamble is four bytes long and must be four byte aligned. This preamble defines the version of the ctf file which defines the format of the rest of the header. While the header may change in subsequent versions, the preamble will not change across versions, though the interpretation of its flags may change from version to version. The ctp_magic member defines the magic number for the ctf file format. This must always be 0xcff1. If another value is encountered, then the file should not be treated as a ctf file. The ctp_version member defines the version of the ctf file. The current version is 2. It is possible to encounter an unsupported version. In that case, software should not try to parse the format, as it may have changed. Finally, the ctp_flags member describes aspects of the file which modify its interpretation. The following flags are currently defined:

#define CTF_F_COMPRESS          0x01

The flag CTF_F_COMPRESS indicates that the body of the ctf file, all the data following the header, has been compressed through the zlib library and its deflate algorithm. If this flag is not present, then the body has not been compressed and no special action is needed to interpret it. All offsets into the data as described by header, always refer to the uncompressed data.
.Lp In version two of the ctf file format, the header denotes whether or not this ctf file is the child of another ctf file and also indicates the size of the remaining sections. The structure for the header logically contains a copy of the preamble and the two have a combined size of 36 bytes.

typedef struct ctf_header {
        ctf_preamble_t cth_preamble;
        uint_t cth_parlabel;    /* ref to name of parent lbl uniq'd against */
        uint_t cth_parname;     /* ref to basename of parent */
        uint_t cth_lbloff;      /* offset of label section */
        uint_t cth_objtoff;     /* offset of object section */
        uint_t cth_funcoff;     /* offset of function section */
        uint_t cth_typeoff;     /* offset of type section */
        uint_t cth_stroff;      /* offset of string section */
        uint_t cth_strlen;      /* length of string section in bytes */
} ctf_header_t;

After the preamble, the next two members cth_parlablel and cth_parname, are used to identify the parent. The value of both members are offsets into the string section which point to the start of a null-terminated string. For more information on the encoding of strings, see the subsection on String Identifiers. If the value of either is zero, then there is no entry for that member. If the member cth_parlabel is set, then the ctf_parname member must be set, otherwise it will not be possible to find the parent. If ctf_parname is set, it is not necessary to define cth_parlabel, as the parent may not have a label. For more information on labels and their interpretation, see The Label Section.
.Lp The remaining members (excepting cth_strlen) describe the beginning of the corresponding sections. These offsets are relative to the end of the header. Therefore, something with an offset of 0 is at an offset of thirty-six bytes relative to the start of the ctf file. The difference between members indicates the size of the section itself. Different offsets have different alignment requirements. The start of the cth_objotoff and cth_funcoff must be two byte aligned, while the sections cth_lbloff and cth_typeoff must be four-byte aligned. The section cth_stroff has no alignment requirements. To calculate the size of a given section, excepting the string section, one should subtract the offset of the section from the following one. For example, the size of the types section can be calculated by subtracting cth_stroff from cth_typeoff.
.Lp Finally, the member cth_strlen describes the length of the string section itself. From it, you can also calculate the size of the entire ctf file by adding together the size of the ctf_header_t, the offset of the string section in cth_stroff, and the size of the string section in cth_srlen.

Type Identifiers

Through the ctf data, types are referred to by identifiers. A given ctf file supports up to 32767 (0x7fff) types. The first valid type identifier is 0x1. When a given ctf file is a child, indicated by a non-zero entry for the header's cth_parname, then the first valid type identifier is 0x8000 and the last is 0xffff. In this case, type identifiers 0x1 through 0x7fff are references to the parent.
.Lp The type identifier zero is a sentinel value used to indicate that there is no type information available or it is an unknown type.
.Lp Throughout the file format, the identifier is stored in different sized values; however, the minimum size to represent a given identifier is a uint16_t. Other consumers of ctf information may use larger or opaque identifiers.

String Identifiers

String identifiers are always encoded as four byte unsigned integers which are an offset into a string table. The ctf format supports two different string tables which have an identifier of zero or one. This identifier is stored in the high-order bit of the unsigned four byte offset. Therefore, the maximum supported offset into one of these tables is 0x7ffffffff.
.Lp Table identifier zero, always refers to the string section in the CTF file itself. String table identifier one refers to an external string table which is the ELF string table for the ELF symbol table associated with the ctf container.

Type Encoding

Every ctf type begins with metadata encoded into a uint16_t. This encoded information tells us three different pieces of information:
.Lp The 16 bits that make up the encoding are broken down such that you have five bits for the kind, one bit for indicating whether or not it is a root type, and 10 bits for the variable length. This is laid out as follows:
+--------------------+
| kind | root | vlen |
+--------------------+
15   11   10   9    0

.Lp The current version of the file format defines 14 different kinds. The interpretation of these different kinds will be discussed in the section The Type Section. If a kind is encountered that is not listed below, then it is not a valid ctf file. The kinds are defined as follows:
#define CTF_K_UNKNOWN   0
#define CTF_K_INTEGER   1
#define CTF_K_FLOAT     2
#define CTF_K_POINTER   3
#define CTF_K_ARRAY     4
#define CTF_K_FUNCTION  5
#define CTF_K_STRUCT    6
#define CTF_K_UNION     7
#define CTF_K_ENUM      8
#define CTF_K_FORWARD   9
#define CTF_K_TYPEDEF   10
#define CTF_K_VOLATILE  11
#define CTF_K_CONST     12
#define CTF_K_RESTRICT  13

.Lp Programs directly reference many types; however, other types are referenced indirectly because they are part of some other structure. These types that are referenced directly and used are called root types. Other types may be used indirectly, for example, a program may reference a structure directly, but not one of its members which has a type. That type is not considered a root type. If a type is a root type, then it will have bit 10 set.
.Lp The variable length section is specific to each kind and is discussed in the section The Type Section.
.Lp The following macros are useful for constructing and deconstructing the encoded type information:

#define CTF_MAX_VLEN    0x3ff #define CTF_INFO_KIND(info)     (((info) & 0xf800) >> 11) #define CTF_INFO_ISROOT(info)   (((info) & 0x0400) >> 10) #define CTF_INFO_VLEN(info)     (((info) & CTF_MAX_VLEN))

#define CTF_TYPE_INFO(kind, isroot, vlen) \         (((kind) << 11) | (((isroot) ? 1 : 0) << 10) | ((vlen) & CTF_MAX_VLEN))

The Label Section

When consuming ctf data, it is often useful to know whether two different ctf containers come from the same source base and version. For example, when building illumos, there are many kernel modules that are built against a single collection of source code. A label is encoded into the ctf files that corresponds with the particular build. This ensures that if files on the system were to become mixed up from multiple releases, that they are not used together by tools, particularly when a child needs to refer to a type in the parent. Because they are linked using the type identifiers, if the wrong parent is used then the wrong type will be encountered.
.Lp Each label is encoded in the file format using the following eight byte structure:
typedef struct ctf_lblent {
        uint_t ctl_label;       /* ref to name of label */
        uint_t ctl_typeidx;     /* last type associated with this label */
} ctf_lblent_t;

.Lp Each label has two different components, a name and a type identifier. The name is encoded in the ctl_label member which is in the format defined in the section String Identifiers. Generally, the names of all labels are found in the internal string section.
.Lp The type identifier encoded in the member ctl_typeidx refers to the last type identifier that a label refers to in the current file. Labels only refer to types in the current file, if the ctf file is a child, then it will have the same label as its parent; however, its label will only refer to its types, not its parent's.
.Lp It is also possible, though rather uncommon, for a ctf file to have multiple labels. Labels are placed one after another, every eight bytes. When multiple labels are present, types may only belong to a single label.

The Object Section

The object section provides a mapping from ELF symbols of type STT_OBJECT in the symbol table to a type identifier. Every entry in this section is a uint16_t which contains a type identifier as described in the section Type Identifiers. If there is no information for an object, then the type identifier 0x0 is stored for that entry.
.Lp To walk the object section, you need to have a corresponding symbol table in the ELF object that contains the ctf data. Not every object is included in this section. Specifically, when walking the symbol table, an entry is skipped if it matches any of the following conditions:
.Lp
.Lp The following sample code shows an example of iterating the object section and skipping the correct symbols:
#include <gelf.h>
#include <stdio.h>

/* * Given the start of the object section in the CTF file, the number of symbols, * and the ELF Data sections for the symbol table and the string table, this * prints the type identifiers that correspond to objects. Note, a more robust * implementation should ensure that they don't walk beyond the end of the CTF * object section. */ static int walk_symbols(uint16_t *objtoff, Elf_Data *symdata, Elf_Data *strdata, long nsyms) {         long i;         uintptr_t strbase = strdata->d_buf;

        for (i = 1; i < nsyms; i++, objftoff++) {                 const char *name;                 GElf_Sym sym;

                if (gelf_getsym(symdata, i, &sym) == NULL)                         return (1);

                if (GELF_ST_TYPE(sym.st_info) != STT_OBJECT)                         continue;                 if (sym.st_shndx == SHN_UNDEF || sym.st_name == 0)                         continue;                 if (sym.st_shndx == SHN_ABS && sym.st_value == 0)                         continue;                 name = (const char *)(strbase + sym.st_name);                 if (strcmp(name, "_START_") == 0 || strcmp(name, "_END_") == 0)                         continue;

                (void) printf("Symbol %d has type %d0, i, *objtoff);         }

        return (0); }

The Function Section

The function section of the ctf file encodes the types of both the function's arguments and the function's return value. Similar to The Object Section, the function section encodes information for all symbols of type STT_FUNCTION, excepting those that fit specific criteria. Unlike with objects, because functions have a variable number of arguments, they start with a type encoding as defined in Type Encoding, which is the size of a uint16_t. For functions which have no type information available, they are encoded as CTF_TYPE_INFO(CTF_K_UNKNOWN, 0, 0). Functions with arguments are encoded differently. Here, the variable length is turned into the number of arguments in the function. If a function is a varargs type function, then the number of arguments is increased by one. Functions with type information are encoded as: CTF_TYPE_INFO(CTF_K_FUNCTION, 0, nargs).
.Lp For functions that have no type information, nothing else is encoded, and the next function is encoded. For functions with type information, the next uint16_t is encoded with the type identifier of the return type of the function. It is followed by each of the type identifiers of the arguments, if any exist, in the order that they appear in the function. Therefore, argument 0 is the first type identifier and so on. When a function has a final varargs argument, that is encoded with the type identifier of zero.
.Lp Like The Object Section, the function section is encoded in the order of the symbol table. It has similar, but slightly different considerations from objects. While iterating the symbol table, if any of the following conditions are true, then the entry is skipped and no corresponding entry is written:
.Lp

The Type Section

The type section is the heart of the ctf data. It encodes all of the information about the types themselves. The base of the type information comes in two forms, a short form and a long form, each of which may be followed by a variable number of arguments. The following definitions describe the short and long forms:
#define CTF_MAX_SIZE    0xfffe  /* max size of a type in bytes */
#define CTF_LSIZE_SENT  0xffff  /* sentinel for ctt_size */
#define CTF_MAX_LSIZE   UINT64_MAX

typedef struct ctf_stype {         uint_t ctt_name;        /* reference to name in string table */         ushort_t ctt_info;      /* encoded kind, variant length */         union {                 ushort_t _size; /* size of entire type in bytes */                 ushort_t _type; /* reference to another type */         } _u; } ctf_stype_t;

typedef struct ctf_type {         uint_t ctt_name;        /* reference to name in string table */         ushort_t ctt_info;      /* encoded kind, variant length */         union {                 ushort_t _size; /* always CTF_LSIZE_SENT */                 ushort_t _type; /* do not use */         } _u;         uint_t ctt_lsizehi;     /* high 32 bits of type size in bytes */         uint_t ctt_lsizelo;     /* low 32 bits of type size in bytes */ } ctf_type_t;

#define ctt_size _u._size       /* for fundamental types that have a size */ #define ctt_type _u._type       /* for types that reference another type */

Type sizes are stored in bytes. The basic small form uses a ushort_t to store the number of bytes. If the number of bytes in a structure would exceed 0xfffe, then the alternate form, the ctf_type_t, is used instead. To indicate that the larger form is being used, the member ctt_size is set to value of CTF_LSIZE_SENT (0xffff). In general, when going through the type section, consumers use the ctf_type_t structure, but pay attention to the value of the member ctt_size to determine whether they should increment their scan by the size of the ctf_stype_t or ctf_type_t. Not all kinds of types use ctt_size. Those which do not, will always use the ctf_stype_t structure. The individual sections for each kind have more information.
.Lp Types are written out in order. Therefore the first entry encountered has a type id of 0x1, or 0x8000 if a child. The member ctt_name is encoded as described in the section String Identifiers. The string that it points to is the name of the type. If the identifier points to an empty string (one that consists solely of a null terminator) then the type does not have a name, this is common with anonymous structures and unions that only have a typedef to name them, as well as pointers and qualifiers.
.Lp The next member, the ctt_info, is encoded as described in the section Type Encoding. The type's kind tells us how to interpret the remaining data in the ctf_type_t and any variable length data that may exist. The rest of this section will be broken down into the interpretation of the various kinds.

Encoding of Integers

Integers, which are of type CTF_K_INTEGER, have no variable length arguments. Instead, they are followed by a four byte uint_t which describes their encoding. All integers must be encoded with a variable length of zero. The ctt_size member describes the length of the integer in bytes. In general, integer sizes will be rounded up to the closest power of two.
.Lp The integer encoding contains three different pieces of information:

This encoding can be expressed through the following macros:

#define CTF_INT_ENCODING(data)  (((data) & 0xff000000) >> 24)
#define CTF_INT_OFFSET(data)    (((data) & 0x00ff0000) >> 16)
#define CTF_INT_BITS(data)      (((data) & 0x0000ffff))

#define CTF_INT_DATA(encoding, offset, bits) \         (((encoding) << 24) | ((offset) << 16) | (bits))

The following flags are defined for the encoding at this time:

#define CTF_INT_SIGNED          0x01
#define CTF_INT_CHAR            0x02
#define CTF_INT_BOOL            0x04
#define CTF_INT_VARARGS         0x08

.Lp By default, an integer is considered to be unsigned, unless it has the CTF_INT_SIGNED flag set. If the flag CTF_INT_CHAR is set, that indicates that the integer is of a type that stores character data, for example the intrinsic C type char would have the CTF_INT_CHAR flag set. If the flag CTF_INT_BOOL is set, that indicates that the integer represents a boolean type. For example, the intrinsic C type _Bool would have the CTF_INT_BOOL flag set. Finally, the flag CTF_INT_VARARGS indicates that the integer is used as part of a variable number of arguments. This encoding is rather uncommon.

Encoding of Floats

Floats, which are of type CTF_K_FLOAT, are similar to their integer counterparts. They have no variable length arguments and are followed by a four byte encoding which describes the kind of float that exists. The ctt_size member is the size, in bytes, of the float. The float encoding has three different pieces of information inside of it:
.Lp
.Lp This encoding can be expressed through the following macros:
#define CTF_FP_ENCODING(data)   (((data) & 0xff000000) >> 24)
#define CTF_FP_OFFSET(data)     (((data) & 0x00ff0000) >> 16)
#define CTF_FP_BITS(data)       (((data) & 0x0000ffff))

#define CTF_FP_DATA(encoding, offset, bits) \         (((encoding) << 24) | ((offset) << 16) | (bits))


.Lp Where as the encoding for integers is a series of flags, the encoding for floats maps to a specific kind of float. It is not a flag-based value. The kinds of floats correspond to both their size, and the encoding. This covers all of the basic C intrinsic floating point types. The following are the different kinds of floats represented in the encoding:
#define CTF_FP_SINGLE   1       /* IEEE 32-bit float encoding */
#define CTF_FP_DOUBLE   2       /* IEEE 64-bit float encoding */
#define CTF_FP_CPLX     3       /* Complex encoding */
#define CTF_FP_DCPLX    4       /* Double complex encoding */
#define CTF_FP_LDCPLX   5       /* Long double complex encoding */
#define CTF_FP_LDOUBLE  6       /* Long double encoding */
#define CTF_FP_INTRVL   7       /* Interval (2x32-bit) encoding */
#define CTF_FP_DINTRVL  8       /* Double interval (2x64-bit) encoding */
#define CTF_FP_LDINTRVL 9       /* Long double interval (2x128-bit) encoding */
#define CTF_FP_IMAGRY   10      /* Imaginary (32-bit) encoding */
#define CTF_FP_DIMAGRY  11      /* Long imaginary (64-bit) encoding */
#define CTF_FP_LDIMAGRY 12      /* Long double imaginary (128-bit) encoding */

Encoding of Arrays

Arrays, which are of type CTF_K_ARRAY, have no variable length arguments. They are followed by a structure which describes the number of elements in the array, the type identifier of the elements in the array, and the type identifier of the index of the array. With arrays, the ctt_size member is set to zero. The structure that follows an array is defined as:
typedef struct ctf_array {
        ushort_t cta_contents;  /* reference to type of array contents */
        ushort_t cta_index;     /* reference to type of array index */
        uint_t cta_nelems;      /* number of elements */
} ctf_array_t;

.Lp The cta_contents and cta_index members of the ctf_array_t are type identifiers which are encoded as per the section Type Identifiers. The member cta_nelems is a simple four byte unsigned count of the number of elements. This count may be zero when encountering C99's flexible array members.

Encoding of Functions

Function types, which are of type CTF_K_FUNCTION, use the variable length list to be the number of arguments in the function. When the function has a final member which is a varargs, then the argument count is incremented by one to account for the variable argument. Here, the ctt_type member is encoded with the type identifier of the return type of the function. Note that the ctt_size member is not used here.
.Lp The variable argument list contains the type identifiers for the arguments of the function, if any. Each one is represented by a uint16_t and encoded according to the
Type Identifiers section. If the function's last argument is of type varargs, then it is also written out, but the type identifier is zero. This is included in the count of the function's arguments. An extra type identifier may follow the argument and return type identifiers in order to maintain four-byte alignment for the following type definition. Such a type identifier is not included in the argument count and has a value of zero.

Encoding of Structures and Unions

Structures and Unions, which are encoded with CTF_K_STRUCT and CTF_K_UNION respectively, are very similar constructs in C. The main difference between them is the fact that members of a structure follow one another, where as in a union, all members share the same memory. They are also very similar in terms of their encoding in ctf. The variable length argument for structures and unions represents the number of members that they have. The value of the member ctt_size is the size of the structure and union. There are two different structures which are used to encode members in the variable list. When the size of a structure or union is greater than or equal to the large member threshold, 8192, then a different structure is used to encode the member, all members are encoded using the same structure. The structure for members is as follows:
typedef struct ctf_member {
        uint_t ctm_name;        /* reference to name in string table */
        ushort_t ctm_type;      /* reference to type of member */
        ushort_t ctm_offset;    /* offset of this member in bits */
} ctf_member_t;

typedef struct ctf_lmember {         uint_t ctlm_name;       /* reference to name in string table */         ushort_t ctlm_type;     /* reference to type of member */         ushort_t ctlm_pad;      /* padding */         uint_t ctlm_offsethi;   /* high 32 bits of member offset in bits */         uint_t ctlm_offsetlo;   /* low 32 bits of member offset in bits */ } ctf_lmember_t;


.Lp Both the ctm_name and ctlm_name refer to the name of the member. The name is encoded as an offset into the string table as described by the section String Identifiers. The members ctm_type and ctlm_type both refer to the type of the member. They are encoded as per the section Type Identifiers.
.Lp The last piece of information that is present is the offset which describes the offset in memory at which the member begins. For unions, this value will always be zero because each member of a union has an offset of zero. For structures, this is the offset in bits at which the member begins. Note that a compiler may lay out a type with padding. This means that the difference in offset between two consecutive members may be larger than the size of the member. When the size of the overall structure is strictly less than 8192 bytes, the normal structure, ctf_member_t, is used and the offset in bits is stored in the member ctm_offset. However, when the size of the structure is greater than or equal to 8192 bytes, then the number of bits is split into two 32-bit quantities. One member, ctlm_offsethi, represents the upper 32 bits of the offset, while the other member, ctlm_offsetlo, represents the lower 32 bits of the offset. These can be joined together to get a 64-bit sized offset in bits by shifting the member ctlm_offsethi to the left by thirty two and then doing a binary or of ctlm_offsetlo.

Encoding of Enumerations

Enumerations, noted by the type CTF_K_ENUM, are similar to structures. Enumerations use the variable list to note the number of values that the enumeration contains, which we'll term enumerators. In C, an enumeration is always equivalent to the intrinsic type int, thus the value of the member ctt_size is always the size of an integer which is determined based on the current model. For FreeBSD systems, this will always be 4, as an integer is always defined to be 4 bytes large in both ILP32 and LP64, regardless of the architecture. For further details, see arch(7).
.Lp The enumerators encoded in an enumeration have the following structure in the variable list:
typedef struct ctf_enum {
        uint_t cte_name;        /* reference to name in string table */
        int cte_value;          /* value associated with this name */
} ctf_enum_t;

The member cte_name refers to the name of the enumerator's value, it is encoded according to the rules in the section String Identifiers. The member cte_value contains the integer value of this enumerator.

Encoding of Forward References

Forward references, types of kind CTF_K_FORWARD, in a ctf file refer to types which may not have a definition at all, only a name. If the ctf file is a child, then it may be that the forward is resolved to an actual type in the parent, otherwise the definition may be in another ctf container or may not be known at all. The only member of the ctf_type_t that matters for a forward declaration is the ctt_name which points to the name of the forward reference in the string table as described earlier. There is no other information recorded for forward references.

Encoding of Pointers, Typedefs, Volatile, Const, and Restrict

Pointers, typedefs, volatile, const, and restrict are all similar in ctf. They all refer to another type. In the case of typedefs, they provide an alternate name, while volatile, const, and restrict change how the type is interpreted in the C programming language. This covers the ctf kinds CTF_K_POINTER, CTF_K_TYPEDEF, CTF_K_VOLATILE, CTF_K_RESTRICT, and CTF_K_CONST.
.Lp These types have no variable list entries and use the member ctt_type to refer to the base type that they modify.

Encoding of Unknown Types

Types with the kind CTF_K_UNKNOWN are used to indicate gaps in the type identifier space. These entries consume an identifier, but do not define anything. Nothing should refer to these gap identifiers.

Dependencies Between Types

C types can be imagined as a directed, cyclic, graph. Structures and unions may refer to each other in a way that creates a cyclic dependency. In cases such as these, the entire type section must be read in and processed. Consumers must not assume that every type can be laid out in dependency order; they cannot.

The String Section

The last section of the ctf file is the string section. This section encodes all of the strings that appear throughout the other sections. It is laid out as a series of characters followed by a null terminator. Generally, all names are written out in ASCII, as most C compilers do not allow any characters to appear in identifiers outside of a subset of ASCII. However, any extended characters sets should be written out as a series of UTF-8 bytes.
.Lp The first entry in the section, at offset zero, is a single null terminator to reference the empty string. Following that, each C string should be written out, including the null terminator. Offsets that refer to something in this section should refer to the first byte which begins a string. Beyond the first byte in the section being the null terminator, the order of strings is unimportant.

Data Encoding and ELF Considerations

ctf data is generally included in ELF objects which specify information to identify the architecture and endianness of the file. A ctf container inside such an object must match the endianness of the ELF object. Aside from the question of the endian encoding of data, there should be no other differences between architectures. While many of the types in this document refer to non-fixed size C integral types, they are equivalent in the models ILP32 and LP64. If any other model is being used with ctf data that has different sizes, then it must not use the model's sizes for those integral types and instead use the fixed size equivalents based on an ILP32 environment.
.Lp When placing a ctf container inside of an ELF object, there are certain conventions that are expected for the purposes of tooling being able to find the ctf data. In particular, a given ELF object should only contain a single ctf section. Multiple containers should be merged together into a single one.
.Lp The ctf file should be included in its own ELF section. The section's name must be ‘.SUNW_ctf’. The type of the section must be SHT_PROGBITS. The section should have a link set to the symbol table and its address alignment must be 4.

SEE ALSO

dtrace(1), elf(3), gelf(3), a.out(5), elf(5), arch(7)

CTF (5) Sep 26, 2014

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Please direct any comments about this manual page service to Ben Bullock.

On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
— Charles Babbage