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[PATCH] gas: section name substitution sequence

I created a patch on top of upstream binutils for a feature I need which 
should be universally useful.  Therefore I'm posting this here in the 
hope it could be applied to the mainline binutils tree.  If this is not 
the right procedure for patch submission then please advise.

----- >8

Subject: [PATCH] gas: introduce section name substitution support

This patch adds the ability to automatically construct a section name 
based on the prior section.

When gas is invoked with --sectname-subst, the occurrence of %S in a 
section name will be substituted by the name of the current section. For 

	.macro exception_code
	.pushsection %S.exception
	[exception code here]


	.section .init
	[init code]

The first and second exception_code invocations create the 
.text.exception and the .init.exception sections respectively.  This is 
useful e.g. to discriminate between anciliary sections that are tied to 
.init code and can be discarded at run time when initialization is over 
vs anciliary sections tied to .text sections that need to stay resident.

This would also allow for actually omitting __exit sections from the 
Linux kernel binary for compiled-in modules even when that code 
generates exception table entries.

Signed-off-by: Nicolas Pitre <>

diff --git a/gas/ChangeLog b/gas/ChangeLog
index 4b78a51..9fa602c 100644
--- a/gas/ChangeLog
+++ b/gas/ChangeLog
@@ -1,3 +1,11 @@
+2015-06-03  Nicolas Pitre <>
+	* as.c (show_usage): Document --sectname-subst.
+	(parse_args): Add --sectname-subst.
+	* as.h (flag_sectname_subst): New.
+	* config/obj-elf.c (obj_elf_section_name): Add %S substitution.
+	* doc/as.texinfo: Document it.
 2015-06-08  Nick Clifton  <>
 	* config/tc-rx.c (rx_op): Correct handling of integer bignums.
diff --git a/gas/as.c b/gas/as.c
index 2a8923f..fecfcd2 100644
--- a/gas/as.c
+++ b/gas/as.c
@@ -284,6 +284,8 @@ Options:\n\
   fprintf (stream, _("\
 			  ELF .size directive check (default --size-check=error)\n"));
+  fprintf (stream, _("\
+  --sectname-subst        enable section name substitution sequences\n"));
   fprintf (stream, _("\
   -f                      skip whitespace and comment preprocessing\n"));
@@ -447,6 +449,7 @@ parse_args (int * pargc, char *** pargv)
@@ -481,6 +484,7 @@ parse_args (int * pargc, char *** pargv)
     ,{"execstack", no_argument, NULL, OPTION_EXECSTACK}
     ,{"noexecstack", no_argument, NULL, OPTION_NOEXECSTACK}
     ,{"size-check", required_argument, NULL, OPTION_SIZE_CHECK}
+    ,{"sectname-subst", no_argument, NULL, OPTION_SECTNAME_SUBST}
     ,{"fatal-warnings", no_argument, NULL, OPTION_WARN_FATAL}
     ,{"gdwarf-2", no_argument, NULL, OPTION_GDWARF2}
@@ -848,6 +852,10 @@ This program has absolutely no warranty.\n"));
 	    as_fatal (_("Invalid --size-check= option: `%s'"), optarg);
+	  flag_sectname_subst = 1;
+	  break;
 	case 'Z':
 	  flag_always_generate_output = 1;
diff --git a/gas/as.h b/gas/as.h
index 6de319e..635b2c5 100644
--- a/gas/as.h
+++ b/gas/as.h
@@ -589,6 +589,9 @@ COMMON enum
+/* If section name substitution sequences should be honored */
+COMMON int flag_sectname_subst;
diff --git a/gas/config/obj-elf.c b/gas/config/obj-elf.c
index 4d7a8a7..78dc6d9 100644
--- a/gas/config/obj-elf.c
+++ b/gas/config/obj-elf.c
@@ -917,6 +917,27 @@ obj_elf_section_name (void)
       name = (char *) xmalloc (end - input_line_pointer + 1);
       memcpy (name, input_line_pointer, end - input_line_pointer);
       name[end - input_line_pointer] = '\0';
+      while (flag_sectname_subst)
+        {
+	  char *subst = strchr (name, '%');
+	  if (subst && subst[1] == 'S')
+	    {
+	      int oldlen = strlen (name);
+	      int substlen = strlen (now_seg->name);
+	      int newlen = oldlen - 2 + substlen;
+	      char *newname = (char *) xmalloc (newlen + 1);
+	      int headlen = subst - name;
+	      memcpy (newname, name, headlen);
+	      strcpy (newname + headlen, now_seg->name);
+	      strcat (newname + headlen, subst + 2);
+	      xfree (name);
+	      name = newname;
+	    }
+	  else
+	    break;
+	}
 #ifdef tc_canonicalize_section_name
       name = tc_canonicalize_section_name (name);
diff --git a/gas/doc/as.texinfo b/gas/doc/as.texinfo
index 5710e1c..6694b23 100644
--- a/gas/doc/as.texinfo
+++ b/gas/doc/as.texinfo
@@ -238,7 +238,7 @@ gcc(1), ld(1), and the Info entries for @file{binutils} and @file{ld}.
  @var{objfile}] [@b{-R}] [@b{--reduce-memory-overheads}] [@b{--statistics}]
  [@b{-v}] [@b{-version}] [@b{--version}] [@b{-W}] [@b{--warn}]
  [@b{--fatal-warnings}] [@b{-w}] [@b{-x}] [@b{-Z}] [@b{@@@var{FILE}}]
- [@b{--size-check=[error|warning]}]
+ [@b{--sectname-subst}] [@b{--size-check=[error|warning]}]
  [@b{--target-help}] [@var{target-options}]
  [@b{--}|@var{files} @dots{}]
@@ -766,6 +766,14 @@ This option reduces GAS's memory requirements, at the expense of making the
 assembly processes slower.  Currently this switch is a synonym for
 @samp{--hash-size=4051}, but in the future it may have other effects as well.
+@ifset ELF
+@item --sectname-subst
+Honor substitution sequences in section names.
+@ifclear man
+@xref{Section Name Substitutions,,@code{.section @var{name}}}.
+@end ifclear
+@end ifset
 @item --statistics
 Print the maximum space (in bytes) and total time (in seconds) used by
@@ -6259,6 +6267,38 @@ For ELF targets, the @code{.section} directive is used like this:
 .section @var{name} [, "@var{flags}"[, @@@var{type}[,@var{flag_specific_arguments}]]]
 @end smallexample
+@anchor{Section Name Substitutions}
+@kindex --sectname-subst
+@cindex section name substitution
+If the @samp{--sectname-subst} command-line option is provided, the @var{name}
+argument may contain a substitution sequence. Only @code{%S} is supported
+at the moment, and substitutes the current section name. For example:
+.macro exception_code
+.section %S.exception
+[exception code here]
+.section .init
+[init code]
+@end smallexample
+The two @code{exception_code} invocations above would create the
+@code{.text.exception} and @code{.init.exception} sections respectively.
+This is useful e.g. to discriminate between anciliary sections that are
+tied to setup code to be discarded after use from anciliary sections that
+need to stay resident without having to define multiple @code{exception_code}
+macros just for that purpose.
 The optional @var{flags} argument is a quoted string which may contain any
 combination of the following characters:
 @table @code

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