Static Initializers

Some background on the original decision to ban static initializers:

Note: Another name for static initializers is “global constructors”.

How Static Initializers are Checked

Removing Static Initializers

Common fixes include:

  • Add constexpr.
  • Move global variable to be a static variable within a function that returns it, often wrapped in base::NoDestructor.

Listing Static Initializers

Option 1 -

For Linux:

tools/linux/ out/Release/chrome

For Android:

# Build with: is_official_build=true is_chrome_branded=true
# This will dump the list of SI's only when they don't match the expected
# number in static_initializers.gni (this is what the bots use).
ninja chrome/android:check_chrome_static_initializers
# or, to dump directly:
tools/linux/ out/Release/lib.unstripped/

Option 2 - Ask compiler to report them

If the source of the new initializers is not obvious from Step 1, you can ask the compiler to pinpoint the exact source line.

  1. Edit //build/config/ and add "//build/config/compiler:wglobal_constructors" to default_compiler_configs
  2. Remove the config from the configs in //base:base
  3. Set GN arg treat_warnings_as_errors=false
  4. Compile and look for warnings from the files identified by step 1 (may want to pipe ninja output to a file).
The compiler warning triggers for every static initializer that exists before optimization. We care only about those that survive optimization. More details in crbug/1136086.

Option 3 - Manual Verification

You can manually go through the steps that does.

  1. Locate the address range of the .init_array section with:
$ third_party/llvm-build/Release+Asserts/bin/llvm-readelf \
    --hex-dump=.init_array out/Release/lib.unstripped/
Hex dump of section '.init_array':
0x04064624 294a1a02 154acb00 79d3be01 894c1a02 )J...J..y....L..
  • 0x04064624 is the location of .init_array.
  • The other four entries are addresses of functions in little endian.
  1. Convert the address into a function name with:
# Reverse hex pairs to account for endianness.
$ third_party/llvm-build/Release+Asserts/bin/llvm-symbolizer \
    --functions -e out/Release/lib.unstripped/ 0x021a4a29
  1. If any .init_array slots are zero, that means they their address is exists within the relocation table. To find the address:
# Use the location of ".init_array" printed in step 1, plus an offset for subsequent slots.
$ third_party/llvm-build/Release+Asserts/bin/llvm-readelf \
    --relocations out/Release/lib.unstripped/ | grep 0x04064624
03dfb7b0  00000017 R_ARM_RELATIVE                    0