GNU C Compiler Internals/GCC Hacks

Function overloading as in C++Edit

This example was presented previously.

toString() method for each structure as in JavaEdit

Invoke a block of code from a function as in RubyEdit

Linux implementation of lists allows to invoke a block of code on each element of the list:


       list_for_each_prev(pos, head) {
                struct nfs_page *p = nfs_list_entry(pos);
                if (page_index(p->wb_page) < pg_idx)

list_for_each_prev takes the code in the brackets as a parameter. The trick is to use a macro that rolls out to a for() loop whose body becomes the code in the brackets. The goal of this project is to allow programmers to use code blocks in function calls.

Dereference function results when a structure is returnedEdit

C allows one to dereference the return value of a function if it is a pointer to a structure:


If the function returns the structure, not a pointer to it, then a compile-time error is generated:

 > request for member `field' in something not a structure or union

This extension addresses the problem of dereferencing structures that are return values.

Use functions to initialize a variableEdit

When a variable is defined and initialized the initializers is constant. You will get an error if you try to use a function, no matter what this function is:

 int getint() { return 1; }
 int i=getint();
 > initializer element is not constant

When a variable is used the function it was initialized with is called.

Default values of function arguments as in C++Edit

 void func(int a=0) {
   printf("a=%d\n", a);
 int main() {
 > syntax error before '=' token

Reference parameters as in C++Edit

 void test(int &a, int &b);
 int x,y;

Return address protection (RAD)Edit


Repair of control-hijacking attacks (DIRA)Edit


Array bounds checking using segmentation hardware (CASH)Edit


Detecting interger overflows (DIVINE)Edit


Develop in userland, install in kernel (DUSK)Edit


Dynamic Information Flow Tracking (GDIF)Edit


GCC switches in object fileEdit

GCC switches in object file

The -fstack-protector featureEdit

GCC 4.1 implements a protection mechanism against buffer overflow attacks and exposes it to a programmer with a -fstack-protector option. This is an example of functionality that benefits from modular implementation because it has nothing to do with core functionality of the compiler. Does GCC have enough hooks to implement -fstack-protector module?