6/22/2017 - 11:43 PM



Core dump

Ensure your system generates core dumps on crash (segfault):

  • ulimit -c unlimited
  • /proc/sys/kernel/core_pattern


Start hacking, the program won't start yet, to be able to configure stuff in gdb first (like breakpoints):

$ gdb program
> start

We can also provide a core dump:

$ gdb program core.dump

We can also start a ASCII UI, to display the source code in a small window, if available:

$ gdb --tui ...
  • b function: break(point) on this particular function

Then we can run the program:

  • r args: run the program now

When we break, we can:

  • bt: backtrace, show the stacktrace

  • si: step one instruction ahead

  • step: step over

  • next: step into

  • c: continue

  • list [function]: display the source code of the given function

  • i: info!

    • i r: print all the registries and their value
    • i b: print all the breakpoints set
  • cond 1 $rdi==0x0: add a condition on a breakpoint (the value 1 comes from i b)

  • p: print!

    • p/a [address]: the value at that address
    • p/x [register]: the value of the register, as hex
  • set: set the value of the thing

    • set [register]=[value]: directy a register, dangerous
    • set [variable name]=[value]: only if symbols are present
  • ret: returns! "alter" the code by returning now

  • disas: dissamble!

    • disas/s: with the source
  • record: record all the changes to registries from now. Later (on a break, or a crash), it's possible to step backwards and know registries values:

    • reversestepi
  • command [n]: do some command when breakpoint n is triggered. for instance > record > continue > end

  • rc: (reverse continue) continue a program being debugged but run it in reverse, need to be recorded first


  • [address] is of the form: "0x..."
  • [register] is of the form: "$rdi"


By default, a lot of symbols won't be known "??".

  • apt-get install python-dbg: this provides symbols in gdb, "py-bt", the python stack-trace (instead of the assembly one), "py-list" for the code..

Google: "gdb [language]" to find the symbol


It's possible to use python in gdb:

> python print(gdb.breakpoints())