The first public version of the CHERIoT ABI used different relocation types for read-only and read-write globals. These are accessed via either pcc or cgp (all memory accesses must be via some authorising capability). The former requires an auipcc instruction, the latter may use auicgp for large displacements but usually applies a linker relaxation and ends up using cgp directly.

This set of different relocations caused some problems if you were inconsistent in use of const for globals defined in other compilation units. The difference between C and C++ interpretation of const for extern also introduced some problems that were visible using BearSSL from C++.

The new design also centralises the logic in the linker, rather than splitting it between the compiler and linker, which should make exploring variations on the linkage model easier.

The new version of the toolchain unifies these (see the PR on the specification for details of how). Unfortunately, this means that old object files are not compatible with the new linker and assembly that used these relocations explicitly needed to be updated.

This means that you need to update both your compiler (the dev container is updated if you’re using that, but you will need to re-pull it, if you built the toolchain yourself then you will need to update it) and the RTOS code together. Sorry for the inconvenience!

If you see errors about unsupported relocation types, it’s because xmake is being somewhat too aggressive about caching. Try deleting your .xmake and build directories.

If you have existing assembly code that uses the relocations then it may need updating:

  • cheri_compartment_pccrel_hicheriot_compartment_hi
  • cheri_compartment_cgprel_hicheriot_compartment_hi
  • cheri_compartment_pccrel_locheriot_compartment_lo_i
  • cheri_compartment_cgprel_lo_icheriot_compartment_lo_i
  • cheri_compartment_cgprel_lo_scheriot_compartment_lo_s

This renaming also reflects the fact that these are specific to the CHERIoT platform and not (necessarily) used on other RISC-V CHERI targets.

In somewhat happier news, the new dev container also brings in a newer version of the Ibex, which (as of last week) now has the correct exception priorities. This let us remove the last work around for Ibex bugs in the RTOS code.