For X86 related information, please check the main pages on this website, as a lot of the same tricks will also work with X86 linux sizecoding. This page goes into the specifics of getting actual small binaries on linux using assembler.
While there have been attempts in getting tiny intros to work using self-compilation tricks (using gcc or python hacks), development of actual tiny ELF executables on linux is still in its early days.
So a huge thanks goes out to byteobserver as well as frag/fsqrt for all their research and hard work in producing tiny ELF binaries for linux.
This section of the sizecoding.org wiki targets 32-bit X86 based Linux binaries (ELF format).
Setting up your development platform for Linux development:
- Suggested Distributions : Any X86-based Linux distribution that allows for execution of 32-bit executables.
- Assembler: NASM (or any other linux compatible 32-bit X86 assembler)
Furthermore, it is important that the user has access to the dev/fbo framebuffer. This can be achieved by launching a virtual (fullscreen) console using CTRL-F3/F4 in most distributions, login and making sure the user has access to the video group. If this is not the case for some reason, you can add your user to the videogroup like so:
sudo usermod -a -G video username
ELF Header Information
Like a 32-bit windows executable, a 32-bit binary for linux comes with a pretty hefty ELF header.
org 0x00010000 ehdr: ; Elf32_Ehdr db 0x7F, "ELF", 1, 1, 1, 0 ; e_ident times 8 db 0 dw 2 ; e_type dw 3 ; e_machine dd 1 ; e_version dd _start ; e_entry dd phdr - $$ ; e_phoff dd 0 ; e_shoff dd 0 ; e_flags dw ehdrsize ; e_ehsize dw phdrsize ; e_phentsize dw 1 ; e_phnum dw 0 ; e_shentsize dw 0 ; e_shnum dw 0 ; e_shstrndx phdr: ; Elf32_Phdr dd 1 ; p_type dd 0 ; p_offset dd $$ ; p_vaddr dd $$ ; p_paddr dd filesize ; p_filesz dd filesize ; p_memsz dd 5 ; p_flags dd 0x1000 ; p_align _start: ; your program here
Luckily some parts of the ELF header can be repurposed and used to store some data and code. There is quite an extensive journey about some header optimisations available at http://www.muppetlabs.com/~breadbox/software/tiny/teensy.html for those that are interested, but eventually you can get the header down to about the 30 bytes range with a nifty /dev/fb0 string inserted which we'll be able to use later for setting up the framebuffer.
org $00010000 db $7F,"ELF" ; e_ident dd 1 ; p_type dd 0 ; p_offset dd $$ ; p_vaddr dw 2 ; e_type, p_paddr dw 3 ; e_machine dd entry ; e_version, p_filesz dd entry ; e_entry, p_memsz dd 4 ; e_phoff, p_flags fname: db "/dev/fb0",0 ; e_shoff, p_align, e_flags, e_ehsize entry: ; this next instruction overlaps with a critical part of the elf header ; it needs to look like XX YY YY YY YY where YYYYYYYY=fname ; so you can change the register to something else or use push ; but the four byte pointer to fname cannot be changed. mov ebx,fname ; e_phentsize, e_phnum ; e_shentsize, e_shnum, e_shstrndx are below but we can put whatever code/bytes we want there mov cl,1 ; set read/write mode (1 or inc ecx is sufficient for pcopy method, read/write (3) is needed for mmap) mov al,5 ; 5 = open syscall int 0x80 ; open /dev/fb0 = 3
Interaction with the Linux OS is mostly done via int 0x80 system calls. This usually includes dealing with opening files/framebuffer/audio and handling timers.
A full list of system calls and their expected register arguments is available at: https://syscalls32.paolostivanin.com/
Getting something on screen
To be added soon.
It is possible to output digital audio by binding the the aplay command into your intro. APLAY is available on most of the Linux distributions and can be tested by running:
$ aplay -c8 /dev/urandom
Make some noise
To be added soon.