The Linux X86 Journey To Main()

Have you ever had a program crash before your main function executes? it is rare, but it can happen. When it does, you need to understand what happens behind the scenes between the time the operating system starts your program and your first line of code in main executes. Luckily [Patrick Horgan] has a tutorial about the subject that’s very detailed. It doesn’t cover statically linked libraries but, as he points out, if you understand what he does cover, that’s easy to figure out on your own.

The operating system, it turns out, knows nothing about main. It does, however, know about a symbol called _start. Your runtime library provides this. That code contains some stack manipulation and eventually calls __libc_start_main which is also provided by the library. Continue reading “The Linux X86 Journey To Main()”