Next: , Previous: , Up: Python API   [Contents][Index] Inferiors In Python

Programs which are being run under GDB are called inferiors (see Inferiors Connections and Programs). Python scripts can access information about and manipulate inferiors controlled by GDB via objects of the gdb.Inferior class.

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

Function: gdb.inferiors ()

Return a tuple containing all inferior objects.

Function: gdb.selected_inferior ()

Return an object representing the current inferior.

A gdb.Inferior object has the following attributes:

Variable: Inferior.num

ID of inferior, as assigned by GDB. You can use this to make Python breakpoints inferior-specific, for example (see The Breakpoint.inferior attribute).

Variable: Inferior.connection

The gdb.TargetConnection for this inferior (see Connections In Python), or None if this inferior has no connection.

Variable: Inferior.connection_num

ID of inferior’s connection as assigned by GDB, or None if the inferior is not connected to a target. See Inferiors Connections and Programs. This is equivalent to gdb.Inferior.connection.num in the case where gdb.Inferior.connection is not None.


Process ID of the inferior, as assigned by the underlying operating system.

Variable: Inferior.was_attached

Boolean signaling whether the inferior was created using ‘attach’, or started by GDB itself.

Variable: Inferior.main_name

A string holding the name of this inferior’s “main” function, if it can be determined. If the name of main is not known, this is None.

Variable: Inferior.progspace

The inferior’s program space. See Progspaces In Python.

Variable: Inferior.arguments

The inferior’s command line arguments, if known. This corresponds to the set args and show args commands. See Arguments.

When accessed, the value is a string holding all the arguments. The contents are quoted as they would be when passed to the shell. If there are no arguments, the value is None.

Either a string or a sequence of strings can be assigned to this attribute. When a string is assigned, it is assumed to have any necessary quoting for the shell; when a sequence is assigned, the quoting is applied by GDB.

A gdb.Inferior object has the following methods:

Function: Inferior.is_valid ()

Returns True if the gdb.Inferior object is valid, False if not. A gdb.Inferior object will become invalid if the inferior no longer exists within GDB. All other gdb.Inferior methods will throw an exception if it is invalid at the time the method is called.

Function: Inferior.threads ()

This method returns a tuple holding all the threads which are valid when it is called. If there are no valid threads, the method will return an empty tuple.

Function: Inferior.architecture ()

Return the gdb.Architecture (see Architectures In Python) for this inferior. This represents the architecture of the inferior as a whole. Some platforms can have multiple architectures in a single address space, so this may not match the architecture of a particular frame (see Frames In Python).

Function: Inferior.read_memory (address, length)

Read length addressable memory units from the inferior, starting at address. Returns a memoryview object, which behaves much like an array or a string. It can be modified and given to the Inferior.write_memory function.

Function: Inferior.write_memory (address, buffer [, length])

Write the contents of buffer to the inferior, starting at address. The buffer parameter must be a Python object which supports the buffer protocol, i.e., a string, an array or the object returned from Inferior.read_memory. If given, length determines the number of addressable memory units from buffer to be written.

Function: Inferior.search_memory (address, length, pattern)

Search a region of the inferior memory starting at address with the given length using the search pattern supplied in pattern. The pattern parameter must be a Python object which supports the buffer protocol, i.e., a string, an array or the object returned from gdb.read_memory. Returns a Python Long containing the address where the pattern was found, or None if the pattern could not be found.

Function: Inferior.thread_from_handle (handle)

Return the thread object corresponding to handle, a thread library specific data structure such as pthread_t for pthreads library implementations.

The function Inferior.thread_from_thread_handle provides the same functionality, but use of Inferior.thread_from_thread_handle is deprecated.

The environment that will be passed to the inferior can be changed from Python by using the following methods. These methods only take effect when the inferior is started – they will not affect an inferior that is already executing.

Function: Inferior.clear_env ()

Clear the current environment variables that will be passed to this inferior.

Function: Inferior.set_env (name, value)

Set the environment variable name to have the indicated value. Both parameters must be strings.

Function: Inferior.unset_env (name)

Unset the environment variable name. name must be a string.

One may add arbitrary attributes to gdb.Inferior objects in the usual Python way. This is useful if, for example, one needs to do some extra record keeping associated with the inferior.

When selecting a name for a new attribute, avoid starting the new attribute name with a lower case letter; future attributes added by GDB will start with a lower case letter. Additionally, avoid starting attribute names with two underscore characters, as these could clash with Python builtin attribute names.

In this contrived example we record the time when an inferior last stopped:

(gdb) python
import datetime

def thread_stopped(event):
    if event.inferior_thread is not None:
        thread = event.inferior_thread
        thread = gdb.selected_thread()
    inferior = thread.inferior
    inferior._last_stop_time =
(gdb) file /tmp/hello
Reading symbols from /tmp/hello...
(gdb) start
Temporary breakpoint 1 at 0x401198: file /tmp/hello.c, line 18.
Starting program: /tmp/hello

Temporary breakpoint 1, main () at /tmp/hello.c:18
18	  printf ("Hello World\n");
(gdb) python print(gdb.selected_inferior()._last_stop_time)
2024-01-04 14:48:41.347036

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