Redirectors

When implementing a new C standard library (referred to as libc henceforth in this document) starting from scratch, it is unrealistic to expect that we will have the entire library available from day one. In such a scenario, a practical approach is to redirect calls to the unimplemented functions to the same functions from another fully functional libc implementation. Such a scheme can also serve users who would like to mix and match implementations from LLVM libc and another libc implementation. On most platforms, this other libc can be the system libc itself. In this document, we present a strategy one can employ to build redirectors to redirect from LLVM libc to the system libc. For now, the scheme presented is limited to ELF platforms.

Highlevel Mechanism

The highlevel scheme is as below:

<img src=”./redirectors_schematic.svg”>

As shown in the diagram, the mechanism involves a redirector dynamic library which goes in between the llvm-libc static library and the system libc dynamic library. Essentially, LLVM libc provides implementations for all public functions. However, some of the implementations do not actually implement the expected functionality. Instead, they just call the corresponding function in the redirector library, which in turn calls the same function from the system libc.

Implementation of redirecting entrypoints

Let us take the round function from math.h as an example to see what it’s implementation looks like when it just redirects to the round function from the system libc:

namespace llvm_libc {

double __redirected_round(double);

double LLVM_LIBC_ENTRYPOINT(round)(double x) {
    return __redirected_round(x);
}

} // namespace llvm_libc

As can be seen, the round function from LLVM libc does not call the round function from the system libc directly. It calls a function __redirected_round from the redirector library. The rest of the code follows the conventions described in the implementation standard document.

Implementation of the redirector function

The function __redirected_round calls the round function from the system libc. Its implementation is as follows:

#include <math.h>  // Header file from the system libc

namespace llvm_libc {

double __redirected_round(double x) {
    return ::round(x);  // Call to round from the system libc
}

} // namespace llvm_libc