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23.2.2.25 Python representation of Symbols.

GDB represents every variable, function and type as an entry in a symbol table. See Examining the Symbol Table. Similarly, Python represents these symbols in GDB with the gdb.Symbol object.

The following symbol-related functions are available in the gdb module:

Function: gdb.lookup_symbol (name [, block [, domain]])

This function searches for a symbol by name. The search scope can be restricted to the parameters defined in the optional domain and block arguments.

name is the name of the symbol. It must be a string. The optional block argument restricts the search to symbols visible in that block. The block argument must be a gdb.Block object. If omitted, the block for the current frame is used. The optional domain argument restricts the search to the domain type. The domain argument must be a domain constant defined in the gdb module and described later in this chapter.

The result is a tuple of two elements. The first element is a gdb.Symbol object or None if the symbol is not found. If the symbol is found, the second element is True if the symbol is a field of a method’s object (e.g., this in C++), otherwise it is False. If the symbol is not found, the second element is False.

Function: gdb.lookup_global_symbol (name [, domain])

This function searches for a global symbol by name. The search scope can be restricted to by the domain argument.

name is the name of the symbol. It must be a string. The optional domain argument restricts the search to the domain type. The domain argument must be a domain constant defined in the gdb module and described later in this chapter.

The result is a gdb.Symbol object or None if the symbol is not found.

A gdb.Symbol object has the following attributes:

Variable: Symbol.type

The type of the symbol or None if no type is recorded. This attribute is represented as a gdb.Type object. See Types In Python. This attribute is not writable.

Variable: Symbol.symtab

The symbol table in which the symbol appears. This attribute is represented as a gdb.Symtab object. See Symbol Tables In Python. This attribute is not writable.

Variable: Symbol.line

The line number in the source code at which the symbol was defined. This is an integer.

Variable: Symbol.name

The name of the symbol as a string. This attribute is not writable.

Variable: Symbol.linkage_name

The name of the symbol, as used by the linker (i.e., may be mangled). This attribute is not writable.

Variable: Symbol.print_name

The name of the symbol in a form suitable for output. This is either name or linkage_name, depending on whether the user asked GDB to display demangled or mangled names.

Variable: Symbol.addr_class

The address class of the symbol. This classifies how to find the value of a symbol. Each address class is a constant defined in the gdb module and described later in this chapter.

Variable: Symbol.needs_frame

This is True if evaluating this symbol’s value requires a frame (see Frames In Python) and False otherwise. Typically, local variables will require a frame, but other symbols will not.

Variable: Symbol.is_argument

True if the symbol is an argument of a function.

Variable: Symbol.is_constant

True if the symbol is a constant.

Variable: Symbol.is_function

True if the symbol is a function or a method.

Variable: Symbol.is_variable

True if the symbol is a variable.

A gdb.Symbol object has the following methods:

Function: Symbol.is_valid ()

Returns True if the gdb.Symbol object is valid, False if not. A gdb.Symbol object can become invalid if the symbol it refers to does not exist in GDB any longer. All other gdb.Symbol methods will throw an exception if it is invalid at the time the method is called.

Function: Symbol.value ([frame])

Compute the value of the symbol, as a gdb.Value. For functions, this computes the address of the function, cast to the appropriate type. If the symbol requires a frame in order to compute its value, then frame must be given. If frame is not given, or if frame is invalid, then this method will throw an exception.

The available domain categories in gdb.Symbol are represented as constants in the gdb module:

gdb.SYMBOL_UNDEF_DOMAIN

This is used when a domain has not been discovered or none of the following domains apply. This usually indicates an error either in the symbol information or in GDB’s handling of symbols.

gdb.SYMBOL_VAR_DOMAIN

This domain contains variables, function names, typedef names and enum type values.

gdb.SYMBOL_STRUCT_DOMAIN

This domain holds struct, union and enum type names.

gdb.SYMBOL_LABEL_DOMAIN

This domain contains names of labels (for gotos).

gdb.SYMBOL_VARIABLES_DOMAIN

This domain holds a subset of the SYMBOLS_VAR_DOMAIN; it contains everything minus functions and types.

gdb.SYMBOL_FUNCTION_DOMAIN

This domain contains all functions.

gdb.SYMBOL_TYPES_DOMAIN

This domain contains all types.

The available address class categories in gdb.Symbol are represented as constants in the gdb module:

gdb.SYMBOL_LOC_UNDEF

If this is returned by address class, it indicates an error either in the symbol information or in GDB’s handling of symbols.

gdb.SYMBOL_LOC_CONST

Value is constant int.

gdb.SYMBOL_LOC_STATIC

Value is at a fixed address.

gdb.SYMBOL_LOC_REGISTER

Value is in a register.

gdb.SYMBOL_LOC_ARG

Value is an argument. This value is at the offset stored within the symbol inside the frame’s argument list.

gdb.SYMBOL_LOC_REF_ARG

Value address is stored in the frame’s argument list. Just like LOC_ARG except that the value’s address is stored at the offset, not the value itself.

gdb.SYMBOL_LOC_REGPARM_ADDR

Value is a specified register. Just like LOC_REGISTER except the register holds the address of the argument instead of the argument itself.

gdb.SYMBOL_LOC_LOCAL

Value is a local variable.

gdb.SYMBOL_LOC_TYPEDEF

Value not used. Symbols in the domain SYMBOL_STRUCT_DOMAIN all have this class.

gdb.SYMBOL_LOC_BLOCK

Value is a block.

gdb.SYMBOL_LOC_CONST_BYTES

Value is a byte-sequence.

gdb.SYMBOL_LOC_UNRESOLVED

Value is at a fixed address, but the address of the variable has to be determined from the minimal symbol table whenever the variable is referenced.

gdb.SYMBOL_LOC_OPTIMIZED_OUT

The value does not actually exist in the program.

gdb.SYMBOL_LOC_COMPUTED

The value’s address is a computed location.


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