Atmocreations Atmocreations - 3 months ago 15
C++ Question

C/C++ with GCC: Statically add resource files to executable/library

Does anybody have an idea how to statically compile any resource file right into the executable or the shared library file using GCC?

For example I'd like add image files that never change (and if they do, I'd have to replace the file anyway) and wouldn't want them to lie around in the file system.

If this is possible (and I think it is because Visual C++ for Windows can do this, too), how can I load the files which are stored in the own binary? Does the executable parse itself, find the file and extract the data out of it?

Maybe there's an option for GCC I haven't seen yet. Using search engines didn't really spit out the right stuff.

I would need this to work for shared libraries and normal ELF-executables.

Any help is appreciated


With imagemagick:

convert file.png data.h

Gives something like:

  data.h (PNM).
static unsigned char
  MagickImage[] =
    0x50, 0x36, 0x0A, 0x23, 0x43, 0x72, 0x65, 0x61, 0x74, 0x65, 0x64, 0x20, 
    0x77, 0x69, 0x74, 0x68, 0x20, 0x47, 0x49, 0x4D, 0x50, 0x0A, 0x32, 0x37, 
    0x37, 0x20, 0x31, 0x36, 0x32, 0x0A, 0x32, 0x35, 0x35, 0x0A, 0xFF, 0xFF, 
    0xFF, 0xFF, 0xFF, 0xFF, 0xFF, 0xFF, 0xFF, 0xFF, 0xFF, 0xFF, 0xFF, 0xFF, 


For compatibility with other code you can then use either fmemopen to get a "regular" FILE * object, or alternatively std::stringstream to make an iostream. std::stringstream is not great for this though and you can of course just use a pointer anywhere you can use an iterator.

If you're using this with automake don't forget to set BUILT_SOURCES appropriately.

The nice thing about doing it this way is:

  1. You get text out, so it can be in version control and patches sensibly
  2. It is portable and well defined on every platform