Honey, I Shrunk the ELFs: Lightweight Binary Tailoring of Shared Libraries

Ziegler A, Geus J, Heinloth B, Hönig T, Lohmann D (2019)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2019


Book Volume: 18

Pages Range: 102:1-102:23

Article Number: 102

Journal Issue: 5s

URI: https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3358222

DOI: 10.1145/3358222


In the embedded domain, industrial sectors (i.e., automotive industry, avionics) are undergoing radical changes. They broadly adopt commodity hardware and move away from special-purpose control units. During this transition, heterogeneous software components are consolidated to run on commodity operating systems. To efficiently consolidate such components, a modular encapsulation of common functionality into reusable binary files (i.e., shared libraries) is essential. However, shared libraries are often unnecessarily large as they entail a lot of generic functionality that is not required in a narrowly defined scenario. As the source code of proprietary components is often unavailable and the industry is heading towards binary-only distribution, we propose an approach towards lightweight binary tailoring. As demonstrated in the evaluation, lightweight binary tailoring effectively reduces the amount of code in all shared libraries on a Linux-based system by 63 percent and shrinks their files by 17 percent. The reduction in size is beneficial to cut down costs (e.g., lower storage and memory footprint) and eases code analyses that are necessary for code audits.

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Ziegler, A., Geus, J., Heinloth, B., Hönig, T., & Lohmann, D. (2019). Honey, I Shrunk the ELFs: Lightweight Binary Tailoring of Shared Libraries. Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems, 18(5s), 102:1-102:23. https://doi.org/10.1145/3358222


Ziegler, Andreas, et al. "Honey, I Shrunk the ELFs: Lightweight Binary Tailoring of Shared Libraries." Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems 18.5s (2019): 102:1-102:23.

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