The Tables of the Binary (GOT/PLT)

Procedure Linkage Table

PLT stands for Procedure Linkage Table which is, put simply, used to call external procedures/functions whose address isn’t known in the time of linking, and is left to be resolved by the dynamic linker at run time.

Simply put, PLT contains the little function instructions which is called when you call a function such as scanf.

It retrieves the data and addresses from the GOT and jumps to it.

Global Offset Table

The Global Offset Table (or GOT) is a section inside of programs that holds addresses of functions that are dynamically linked.

Most of the time, the GOT contains addresses to our functions in our libc.


Hence to put things into perspective, when a simple function such as printf is called;

#include <stdio.h>

int main() {

    printf("Hello world.");
    return 0;

When our binary wants to call printf("hello world."), it will first

call printf@plt <printf@plt>

which calls the Procedure Linkage Table (PLT).

From our PLT, our program will then execute

jmp <printf@got>

which is the Global Offset Table(GOT) for printf.

From the GOT, the program will then execute the instructions for printf in the libc, before returning all the way back to main().


  1. printf() calls printf @ PLT
  2. printf @ PLT calls printf @ GOT
  3. printf @ GOT contains a single address to printf @ LIBC, which it jumps to.
  4. Program successfully executes printf() and returns!

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