NMEDIT(1) General Commands Manual NMEDIT(1)
nmedit - change global symbols to local symbols
nmedit -s list_file [-R list_file] [-p] [-A] [-] [[-arch arch_type] ...] object_file ... [-o output]
Nmedit changes the global symbols not listed in the list_file file of the -s list_file option to static symbols. Undefined symbols and
common symbols are not effected and shouldn't be listed in list_file. For dynamic libraries symbols are turned into private extern symbols
that are no longer external (rather than static symbols). This is done so that the references between modules of a dynamic library are
resolved to the symbols in the dynamic library. Nmedit differs from strip(1) in that it also changes the symbolic debugging information
(produce by the -g option to cc(1)) for the global symbols it changes to static symbols so that the resulting object can still be used with
Nmedit like strip(1) is useful to limit the symbols for use with later linking. This allows control of the interface that the executable
wants to provide to the objects that it will dynamically load, and it will not have to publish symbols that are not part of its interface.
For example an executable that wishes to allow only a subset of its global symbols but all of the shared libraries globals to be used would
have its symbol table edited with:
% nmedit -s interface_symbols -A executable
where the file interface_symbols would contain only those symbols from the executable that it wishes the objects loaded at runtime to have
access to. Another example is an object that is made up of a number of other objects that will be loaded into an executable would built
and then have its symbol table edited with:
% ld -o relocatable.o -r a.o b.o c.o
% nmedit -s interface_symbols relocatable.o
which would leave only the symbols listed in the file interface_symbols (and the undefined and common symbols) as global symbols in the
The one or more of the following options is required to nmedit(1) is:
Leave the symbol table entries for the global symbols listed in filename global but turn all other global symbols (except undefined
and common symbols) into static symbols. The symbol names listed in filename must be one per line. Leading and trailing white space
are not part of the symbol name. Lines starting with # are ignored, as are lines with only white space.
Change the symbol table entries for the global symbols listed in filename into static symbols. This file has the same format as the
-s filename option above. If the -R filename option is specified without the -s filename option, then all symbols not listed in the
-R filename option's filename are left as globals. If both a -R filename and a -s filename are given the symbols listed in the -R
filename are basically ignored and only those symbols listed in the -s filename are saved.
-p Change symbols to private externs instead of static. This is allowed as the only option to change all defined global symbols to
The options to nmedit(1) are:
-A Leave all global absolute symbols except those with a value of zero, and save objective-C class symbols as globals. This is
intended for use of programs that load code at runtime and want the loaded code to use symbols from the shared libraries.
- Treat all remaining arguments as file names and not options.
Specifies the architecture, arch_type, of the file for nmedit(1) to process when the file is a fat file (see arch(3) for the cur-
rently know arch_types). The arch_type can be all to process all architectures in the file. The default is to process all archi-
tectures that are contained in the file.
Write the result into the file output.
strip(1), ld(1), arch(3)
The changing of the symbolic debugging information by nmedit is not known to be totally correct and could cause the debugger to crash, get
confused or produce incorrect information.
Apple Computer, Inc. March 19, 2002 NMEDIT(1)