A tool for checking backward API/ABI compatibility of a C/C++ library
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README.md

ABICC 2.3

ABI Compliance Checker (ABICC) — a tool for checking backward binary and source-level compatibility of a C/C++ software library.

Contents

  1. About
  2. Install
  3. Usage
  4. Test suite

About

The tool analyzes changes in API/ABI (ABI=API+compiler ABI) that may break binary compatibility and/or source compatibility: changes in calling stack, v-table changes, removed symbols, renamed fields, etc.

The tool can create and compare ABI dumps for header files and shared objects of a library. The ABI dump for a library can also be created by the ABI Dumper tool (https://github.com/lvc/abi-dumper) if shared objects include debug-info.

The tool is intended for developers of software libraries and Linux maintainers who are interested in ensuring backward compatibility, i.e. allow old applications to run or to be recompiled with newer library versions.

The tool is a core of the ABI Tracker and Upstream Tracker projects: https://abi-laboratory.pro/tracker/

The tool is developed by Andrey Ponomarenko.

Install

sudo make install prefix=/usr
Requires
  • Perl 5
  • GCC C++ (3.0 or newer)
  • GNU Binutils
  • Ctags
  • ABI Dumper (1.1 or newer)
Platforms
  • Linux
  • Mac OS X
  • Windows

Usage

With ABI Dumper
  1. Library should be compiled with -g -Og GCC options to contain DWARF debug info

  2. Create ABI dumps for both library versions using the ABI Dumper (https://github.com/lvc/abi-dumper) tool:

     abi-dumper OLD.so -o ABI-1.dump -lver 1
     abi-dumper NEW.so -o ABI-2.dump -lver 2
    
  3. You can filter public ABI with the help of additional -public-headers option of the ABI Dumper tool

  4. Compare ABI dumps to create report:

     abi-compliance-checker -l NAME -old ABI-1.dump -new ABI-2.dump
    
Compile headers
abi-compliance-checker -lib NAME -old OLD.xml -new NEW.xml

OLD.xml and NEW.xml are XML-descriptors:

<version>
    1.0
</version>

<headers>
    /path/to/headers/
</headers>

<libs>
    /path/to/libraries/
</libs>
Adv. usage

For advanced usage, see doc/index.html or output of -help option.

Test suite

The tool is tested properly in the ABI Tracker and Upstream Tracker projects, by the community and by the internal test suite:

abi-compliance-checker -test

There are about 100 test cases for C and 200 test cases for C++ API/ABI breaks.