etext, edata, end — end of program segments


extern etext;
extern edata;
extern end;


The addresses of these symbols indicate the end of various program segments:


This is the first address past the end of the text segment (the program code).


This is the first address past the end of the initialized data segment.


This is the first address past the end of the uninitialized data segment (also known as the BSS segment).

Conforming to

Although these symbols have long been provided on most UNIX systems, they are not standardized; use with caution.


The program must explicitly declare these symbols; they are not defined in any header file.

On some systems the names of these symbols are preceded by underscores, thus: _etext, _edata, and _end. These symbols are also defined for programs compiled on Linux.

At the start of program execution, the program break will be somewhere near &end (perhaps at the start of the following page). However, the break will change as memory is allocated via brk(2) or malloc(3). Use sbrk(2) with an argument of zero to find the current value of the program break.


When run, the program below produces output such as the following:

$ ./a.out
First address past:
    program text (etext)       0x8048568
    initialized data (edata)   0x804a01c
    uninitialized data (end)   0x804a024

Program source

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

extern char etext, edata, end; /* The symbols must have some type,
                                   or "gcc -Wall" complains */

main(int argc, char *argv[])
    printf("First address past:\n");
    printf("    program text (etext)      %10p\n", &etext);
    printf("    initialized data (edata)  %10p\n", &edata);
    printf("    uninitialized data (end)  %10p\n", &end);


See Also

objdump(1), readelf(1), sbrk(2), elf(5)


This page is part of release 5.04 of the Linux man-pages project. A description of the project, information about reporting bugs, and the latest version of this page, can be found at

Referenced By


The man pages edata(3) and etext(3) are aliases of end(3).

2019-03-06 GNU Linux Programmer's Manual