I only occasionally use gdb so I end up spending my time relearning it each time.  Hopefully these notes will make that process easier in the future.  This document assumes you already know the s and n commands and how to list the source code (l).  These are the commands I don’t know off by heart, and have found useful. It’s just a subset, but a useful one so far.  It’s also well worth downloading the manual pdf.

To compile a program with the debug symbols use the -ggdb command line switch.

Here is a basic summary of some of the useful commands.

set args [command line args]
bt # stack trace
up/down # move up the stack
p # print
p/x # display hex value
p/x (int[5]) *0xffffd320 # display values at address as integers
x address # display contents of memory location
x/16b address # display 16 bytes
x/32cb address # display 16 bytes as characters
x/5i address # display as instructions (i.e. assembly)
x/5i $pc - 6 # displays current code
info registers # display register contents
$pc, $sp # program counter and stack pointer, can also use $eip
set $sp += 4 # add 4 to stack pointer
set var variablename = 4 # set a program variable
set {int}0x800321 = 4 # sets memory location 0x800321 to 4
j 0x32211 # jump to 0x32211
find # search memory
b *0xaddress # set breakpoint at an address (b nnn sets at a source line)

I’ve also been using lxc a lot recently and being able to create an x86 based machine is useful.  This creates a machine named x86 for testing x86 code.  The apt-get line is to be run on the machine once it’s loaded to install gdb and the compilers.

lxc-create -n x86 -t ubuntu -- -a i386
apt-get install build-essential gdb

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