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In
computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and software. It has sci ...

computing
, a dynamic linker is the part of an
operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples of system software include operating systems (OS) like macOS, Linux, Android (operating system), Android and Mi ...

operating system
that loads and
links Link or Links may refer to: Places * Link, West Virginia, an unincorporated community in the US * Link River, Klamath Falls, Oregon, US People with the name * Link (singer) (Lincoln Browder, born 1964), American R&B singer * Link (surname) * ...
the
shared libraries In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of ...
needed by an
executable In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and ...
when it is executed (at " run time"), by copying the content of libraries from
persistent storage In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of com ...
to
RAM Random-access memory (RAM; ) is a form of computer memory In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic proces ...

RAM
, filling
jump table In computer programming Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable computer program to accomplish a specific computing result or to perform a particular task. Programming involves tasks such as analysis, gener ...
s and relocating
pointers Pointer may refer to: Places * Pointer, Kentucky * Pointers, New Jersey * Pointers Airport, Wasco County, Oregon, United States * The Pointers, a pair of rocks off Antarctica People with the name * Pointer (surname), a surname (including a list ...
. The specific operating system and executable format determine how the dynamic linker functions and how it is implemented. Linking is often referred to as a process that is performed when the executable is
compiled In computing, a compiler is a computer program that Translator (computing), translates computer code written in one programming language (the ''source'' language) into another language (the ''target'' language). The name "compiler" is primarily ...
, while a dynamic linker is a special part of an operating system that loads external shared libraries into a running
process A process is a series or set of activities that interact to produce a result; it may occur once-only or be recurrent or periodic. Things called a process include: Business and management *Business process A business process, business method ...
and then binds those shared libraries dynamically to the running
process A process is a series or set of activities that interact to produce a result; it may occur once-only or be recurrent or periodic. Things called a process include: Business and management *Business process A business process, business method ...
. This approach is also called dynamic linking or late linking.


Implementations


Microsoft Windows

Dynamic-link library Dynamic-link library (DLL) is Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation which produces Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal c ...
, or DLL, is
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation which produces Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Its best-know ...

Microsoft
's implementation of the
shared library In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of ...
concept in the
Microsoft Windows Microsoft Windows, commonly referred to as Windows, is a group of several proprietary {{Short pages monitor">https://archive.today/20200114224817/https://linker.iecc.com/ 2020-01-14 -->


External links



''IECC.com''
Dynamic Linking in Linux and Windows, part one
''Symantec.com''
Anatomy of Linux dynamic libraries
''IBM.com'' {{Application binary interface Computer libraries Computer security exploits Compilers