Speaker Kevin Pulo
Time 2009-01-23 16:00
Conference LCA2009


  • environment variable
  • entries containin / are treated as full path, otherwise usual LD search applies.
  • system wide basis: */etc/profile (overiddable) or /etc/ld.so.preload (non-overridable)
    • affects all programs - be careful!
  • does not work for statically linked programs. Can be good and bad.
  • effects all child processes (unless library takes care to remove itself).
  • does not work for setuid/setgid unless libraries are in standard path and also setuid/setgid.
  • can only override library functions, not system calls.
  • only way to get parameters is through environment.

Existing hacks

Filesystem - a lot of these before FUSE, often a better solution.


Debugging and testing - force library functions to fail when they would

  • failmalloc - intercepts malloc and causes it to fail.
  • libeatmydata - disables fsync

Debugging and testing

  • electric fence
  • segv_handler - produces stack track that dumps back trace on segfault.


  • libglfps - adds framerate display to OpenGL programs.

Writing hacks

dlfcn - Dynamic Linker FunCtioNs - use these functions to call original library.



We want a library that overrides the return value of this sysconf, and ensure closed source process doesn’t spawn to many threads on a shared system.


strace/ltrace like program for X-Windows calls. Interpret and displays libx11 specific data structures. More portable.


multiple head displays


Currently: Redraws reflected on both windows.