/BASE (Base address)

Specifies the base address for a program.


/BASE:{address[,size] | @filename,key}



For security reasons, Microsoft recommends you use the /DYNAMICBASE option instead of specifying base addresses for your executables. /DYNAMICBASE generates an executable image that can be randomly rebased at load time by using the address space layout randomization (ASLR) feature of Windows. The /DYNAMICBASE option is on by default.

The /BASE linker option sets a base address for the program. It overrides the default location for an EXE or DLL file. The default base address for an EXE file is 0x400000 for 32-bit images or 0x140000000 for 64-bit images. For a DLL, the default base address is 0x10000000 for 32-bit images or 0x180000000 for 64-bit images. On operating systems that don't support address space layout randomization (ASLR), or when the /DYNAMICBASE:NO option was set, the operating system first attempts to load a program at its specified or default base address. If insufficient space is available there, the system relocates the program. To prevent relocation, use the /FIXED option.

The linker issues an error if address isn't a multiple of 64K. You can optionally specify the size of the program. The linker issues a warning if the program can't fit in the size you specified.

On the command line, another way to specify the base address is by using a base address response file. A base address response file is a text file that contains the base addresses and optional sizes of all the DLLs your program uses, and a unique text key for each base address. To specify a base address by using a response file, use an at sign (@) followed by the name of the response file, filename, followed by a comma, then the key value for the base address to use in the file. The linker looks for filename in either the specified path, or if no path is specified, in the directories specified in the LIB environment variable. Each line in filename represents one DLL and has the following syntax:

key address [size] ; comment

The key is a string of alphanumeric characters and isn't case sensitive. It's usually the name of a DLL, but that's not required. The key is followed by a base address in C-language, hexadecimal, or decimal notation and an optional maximum size. All three arguments are separated by spaces or tabs. The linker issues a warning if the specified size is less than the virtual address space required by the program. A comment is specified by a semicolon (;) and can be on the same or a separate line. The linker ignores all text from the semicolon to the end of the line. This example shows part of such a file:

main   0x00010000    0x08000000    ; for PROJECT.exe
one    0x28000000    0x00100000    ; for DLLONE.DLL
two    0x28100000    0x00300000    ; for DLLTWO.DLL

If the file that contains these lines is called DLLS.txt, the following example command applies this information:

link dlltwo.obj /dll /base:@dlls.txt,two

Another way to set the base address is by using the BASE argument in a NAME or LIBRARY statement. The /BASE and /DLL options together are equivalent to the LIBRARY statement.

To set this linker option in the Visual Studio development environment

  1. Open the project's Property Pages dialog box. For details, see Set C++ compiler and build properties in Visual Studio.

  2. Select the Configuration Properties > Linker > Advanced property page.

  3. Modify the Base Address property.

To set this linker option programmatically

See also

MSVC linker reference
MSVC linker options