10.27. Binutils-2.24

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

10.27.1. Installation of Binutils

Verify that the PTYs are working properly inside the build environment. Check that everything is set up correctly by performing a simple test:

expect -c "spawn ls"

This command should give the following output:

spawn ls

If, instead, it gives a message saying to create more ptys, 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 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:

CC="gcc -isystem /usr/include ${BUILD64}" \
LDFLAGS="-Wl,-rpath-link,/usr/lib64:/lib64:/usr/lib:/lib ${BUILD64}" \
  ../binutils-2.24/configure --prefix=/usr \
    --enable-shared --enable-64-bit-bfd --libdir=/usr/lib64

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). Because this is a custom system, this target-specific directory in /usr is not required.



Due to Binutils' critical role in a properly functioning system, the CLFS developers strongly recommend running the testsuite.

Test the results:

make check

Install the package:

make tooldir=/usr install

10.27.2. Contents of Binutils

Installed programs: addr2line, ar, as, c++filt, elfedit, gprof, ld, ld.bfd, nm, objcopy, objdump, ranlib, readelf, size, strings, strip
Installed libraries: libbfd.[a,so], 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


Updates the ELF header of ELF files


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


Hard link to ld


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


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.