10 releases (breaking)
|0.10.2||Sep 9, 2022|
|0.9.0||Apr 13, 2022|
|0.8.0||Sep 1, 2021|
|0.7.0||Jul 30, 2021|
|0.3.0||May 24, 2018|
#422 in Command line utilities
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elf2tab is a tool that converts Tock userland
.elf files to Tock Application Bundles (TABs or
.tab files). TABs
are Tock apps that have been compiled for the various architectures that Tock
USAGE: elf2tab [FLAGS] [OPTIONS] ELF[,ARCHITECTURE]... Converts Tock userspace programs from .elf files to Tock Application Bundles. FLAGS: --deterministic Produce a deterministic TAB file --disable Mark the app as disabled in the TBF flags -h, --help Prints help information -V, --version Prints version information -v, --verbose Be verbose OPTIONS: --access_ids <access_ids>... Storage IDs that this app is allowed to write -o, --output-file <filename> output file name [default: TockApp.tab] --app-heap <heap-size> in bytes [default: 1024] --kernel-heap <kernel-heap-size> in bytes [default: 1024] --kernel-major <kernel-major-version> The kernel version that the app requires --kernel-minor <kernel-minor-version> The minimum kernel minor version that the app requires --minimum-ram-size <min-ram-size> in bytes --permissions <permissions>... A list of driver numbers and allowed commands -n, --package-name <pkg-name> package name --protected-region-size <protected-region-size> Size of the protected region (including headers) --read_ids <read_ids>... Storage IDs that this app is allowed to read --stack <stack-size> in bytes [default: 2048] --write_id <write_id> A storage ID used for writing data --supported-boards <supported-boards> Comma separated list of boards this app is compatible with ARGS: <elf[,architecture]>... application file(s) to package
For example, converting a "blink" app from a compiled .elf file (for a Cortex-M4 device) with this tool would look like:
$ elf2tab -o blink.tab -n blink --stack 1024 --app-heap 1024 --kernel-heap 1024 cortex-m4.elf
It also supports (and encourages!) combining .elf files for multiple architectures into a single tab:
$ elf2tab -o blink.tab -n blink --stack 1024 --app-heap 1024 --kernel-heap 1024 cortex-m0.elf cortex-m3.elf cortex-m4.elf
With rustup installed, simply run:
elf2tab tries to be as generic as possible for creating apps that can be flashed onto a Tock board. It does three main things:
- Extracts the various sections in each .elf file and creates a binary file per .elf from the sections.
- Prepends a Tock Binary Format header to each binary.
- Creates the TAB file by creating a tar file with each of the Tock binaries.
Creating binary files from .elf files
elf2tab tries to process .elf files in as generic of a way as possible. To create the binary file, elf2tab iterates through the sections in the .elf file in their offset order that are writeable, executable, or allocated, have nonzero length, and are of type PROGBITS. The binary data for each of these sections are concatenated into the output file.
Next, elf2tab appends to the binary all writeable or allocated sections that
contain the string
.rel in their name. Because of how these sections are
created for PIC code by the linker, it seems these sections have to be special
cased and not grouped into the first step.
Creating the TBF Header
All Tock apps must start with a Tock Binary Format header so that the kernel
knows how big the app is, how much memory it requires, and other important
properties. elf2tab handles creating this header automatically, and mostly
just requires the
--kernel-heap flags so it
knows the memory requirements.
However, the TBF header also contains information about "writeable flash
regions", or portions of the application's address space in flash that the app
intends to use to store persistent data. This information is added to the header
so that the kernel and other tools know that there is persistent that should be
maintained intact. To specify to elf2tab that a linker section is one of these
writeable flash regions, the name of the section should include the string
.wfr. Any sections in the .elf that include
.wfr in their name will have
their relative address offset included in the TBF header via the
elf2tab will also automatically add a TBF "fixed addresses" TLV header if it
finds that the .elf file was compiled for a fixed address in RAM or flash
instead of being position independent. To detect a fixed flash address, elf2tab
looks to see if the flash segment is at the dummy flash address for PIC apps or
not. To detect a fixed RAM address, elf2tab looks for a
and if it exists checks if the address matches the dummy RAM address for PIC
apps or not.
elf2tab has to choose a length for the protected region after the TBF header and
before the start of the actual application binary. Normally, this defaults to 0.
It can be fixed for all TBFs in the TAB using the command line argument
--protected-region-size (which takes as an argument entire size before the
application binary, including the TBF header). However, a TAB can include both
PIC apps and non-PIC apps, and setting the size for all TBFs isn't always
desirable. Therefore, if
--protected-region-size is not used, for apps
compiled for fixed addresses (as determined above) elf2tab will estimate a
protected region size that tries to ensure the start of the TBF headers and
the application binary are placed at useful addresses in flash. elf2tab will try
to increase the size of the protected region to make the start of the TBF header
at an address aligned to 256 bytes when the application binary is at its correct
elf2tab allows explicitly specifying the syscalls that an app is allowed to
call. This is done with the
An example of allowing driver number
0 and command
1 looks like
$ elf2tab --permissions 1,0 1,1 ...
It is then up to the Tock kernel and board to apply the filters.
elf2tab also allows specifying the storage IDs. These are used to access nonvolatile data from userspace. You can specify a single write_id used to store new data and multiple read_ids and access_ids used to enforce read/write permissions on existing data.
An example looks like this $ elf2tab --write_id 12345678 --read_ids 1 2 --access_ids 2 3 ...
Creating the TAB file
After generating the program binary and TBF header for each .elf file specified
in the command line, elf2tab will store those files along side the .elf files
.tbf extension), and create a TAB
containing each .tbf file. These .tab files are used by tools like Tockloader to
load Tock apps on to boards.
Tockloader can show some details of a .tab file. Simply:
$ tockloader inspect-tab <tab file name>