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[[Category:Program life cycle]]'''Link time''' refers to the linking phase of the program life cycle. Link-time actions are performed by the [[OS]] linker and/or loader. The main objective of linking is mapping the higher-level language semantics onto the lower-level environment ([[OS]] and the hardware). Traditionally this includes address translation, binding the external objects (modules), code optimization, machine code translation (like for example in [[OpenVMS]]).
The linker's input is the object code generated by the [[compiler]]. The output is either an executable code or a partially linked code in the form of an object [[Libraries|library]] or a dynamically linked library.