execstack is a program which sets, clears, or queries executable stack flag of ELF
binaries and shared libraries. Linux has in the past allowed execution
of instructions on the stack and there are lots of binaries and shared
libraries assuming this behaviour. Furthermore, GCC trampoline code
for e.g. nested functions requires executable stack on many architectures.
To avoid breaking binaries and shared libraries which need executable stack,
ELF binaries and shared libraries now can be marked as requiring executable
stack or not requiring it. This marking is done through the p_flags field
in the PT_GNU_STACK program header entry. If the marking is missing, kernel
or dynamic linker need to assume it might need executable stack.
The marking is done automatically by recent GCC versions (objects using
trampolines on the stack are marked as requiring executable stack,
all other newly built objects are marked as not requiring it) and
linker collects these markings into marking of the whole binary
or shared library. The user can override this at assembly time
--noexecstack assembler options), at link time (through
-z execstack or
-z noexecstack linker options) and using the
execstack tool also on an already linker binary or shared library.
This tool is especially useful for third party shared libraries
where it is known that they dont need executable stack or testing proves
Mark binary or shared library as requiring executable stack.
Mark binary or shared library as not requiring executable stack.
Query executable stack marking of binaries and shared libraries.
For each file it prints either
- when executable stack is not required,
X when executable stack is required or
? when it is unknown whether the object requires or doesnt require
executable stack (the marking is missing).