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[PATCH 4/5] Linux: Skip thread_db thread event reporting if PTRACE_EVENT_CLONE is supported

[A test I wrote stumbled on a libthread_db issue related to thread
event breakpoints.  See glibc PR17705:
 [nptl_db: stale thread create/death events if debugger detaches]

This patch avoids that whole issue by making GDB stop using thread
event breakpoints in the first place, which is good for other reasons
as well, anyway.]

Before PTRACE_EVENT_CLONE (Linux 2.6), the only way to learn about new
threads in the inferior (to attach to them) or to learn about thread
exit was to coordinate with the inferior's glibc/runtime, using
libthread_db.  That works by putting a breakpoint at a magic address
which is called when a new thread is spawned, or when a thread is
about to exit.  When that breakpoint is hit, all threads are stopped,
and then GDB coordinates with libthread_db to read data structures out
of the inferior to learn about what happened.  Then the breakpoint is
single-stepped, and then all threads are re-resumed.  This isn't very
efficient (stops all threads) and is more fragile (inferior's thread
list in memory may be corrupt; libthread_db bugs, etc.) than ideal.

When the kernel supports PTRACE_EVENT_CLONE (which we already make use
of), there's really no need to use libthread_db's event reporting
mechanism to learn about new LWPs.  And if the kernel supports that,
then we learn about LWP exits through regular WIFEXITED wait statuses,
so no need for the death event breakpoint either.

GDBserver has been likewise skipping the thread_db events for a long

There's one user-visible difference: we'll no longer print about
threads being created and exiting while the program is running, like:

 [Thread 0x7ffff7dbb700 (LWP 30670) exited]
 [New Thread 0x7ffff7db3700 (LWP 30671)]
 [Thread 0x7ffff7dd3700 (LWP 30667) exited]
 [New Thread 0x7ffff7dab700 (LWP 30672)]
 [Thread 0x7ffff7db3700 (LWP 30671) exited]
 [Thread 0x7ffff7dcb700 (LWP 30668) exited]

This is exactly the same behavior as when debugging against remote
targets / gdbserver.  I actually think that's a good thing (and as
such have listed this in the local/remote parity wiki page a while
ago), as the printing slows down the inferior.  It's also a
distraction to keep bothering the user about short-lived threads that
she won't be able to interact with anyway.  Instead, the user (and
frontend) will be informed about new threads that currently exist in
the program when the program next stops:

 (gdb) c
 * ctrl-c *
 [New Thread 0x7ffff7963700 (LWP 7797)]
 [New Thread 0x7ffff796b700 (LWP 7796)]

 Program received signal SIGINT, Interrupt.
 [Switching to Thread 0x7ffff796b700 (LWP 7796)]
 clone () at ../sysdeps/unix/sysv/linux/x86_64/clone.S:81
 81              testq   %rax,%rax
 (gdb) info threads

A couple of tests had assumptions on GDB thread numbers that no longer

Tested on x86_64 Fedora 20.

2014-12-16  Pedro Alves  <>

	Skip enabling event reporting if the kernel supports
	* linux-thread-db.c: Include "nat/linux-ptrace.h".
	(thread_db_use_events): New function.
	(try_thread_db_load_1): Check thread_db_use_events before enabling
	event reporting.
	(update_thread_state): New function.
	(attach_thread): Use it.  Check thread_db_use_events before
	enabling event reporting.
	(thread_db_detach): Check thread_db_use_events before disabling
	event reporting.
	(find_new_threads_callback): Check thread_db_use_events before
	enabling event reporting.  Update the thread's state if not using
	libthread_db events.

2014-12-16  Pedro Alves  <>

	* gdb.threads/fork-thread-pending.exp: Switch to the main thread
	instead of to thread 2.
	* gdb.threads/signal-command-multiple-signals-pending.c (main):
	Add barrier around each pthread_create call instead of around all
	* gdb.threads/signal-command-multiple-signals-pending.exp (test):
	Set a break on thread_function and have the child threads hit it
	one at at a time.
 gdb/linux-thread-db.c                              | 39 ++++++++++++++++++----
 gdb/testsuite/gdb.threads/fork-thread-pending.exp  |  2 +-
 .../signal-command-multiple-signals-pending.c      | 11 +++---
 .../signal-command-multiple-signals-pending.exp    |  7 ++++
 4 files changed, 47 insertions(+), 12 deletions(-)

diff --git a/gdb/linux-thread-db.c b/gdb/linux-thread-db.c
index 4b26984..35181f0 100644
--- a/gdb/linux-thread-db.c
+++ b/gdb/linux-thread-db.c
@@ -38,6 +38,7 @@
 #include "observer.h"
 #include "linux-nat.h"
 #include "nat/linux-procfs.h"
+#include "nat/linux-ptrace.h"
 #include "nat/linux-osdata.h"
 #include "auto-load.h"
 #include "cli/cli-utils.h"
@@ -77,6 +78,16 @@ static char *libthread_db_search_path;
    by the "set auto-load libthread-db" command.  */
 static int auto_load_thread_db = 1;
+/* Returns true if we need to use thread_db thread create/death event
+   breakpoints to learn about threads.  */
+static int
+thread_db_use_events (void)
+  /* Not necessary if the kernel supports clone events.  */
+  return !linux_supports_traceclone ();
 /* "show" command for the auto_load_thread_db configuration variable.  */
 static void
@@ -832,7 +843,7 @@ try_thread_db_load_1 (struct thread_db_info *info)
     push_target (&thread_db_ops);
   /* Enable event reporting, but not when debugging a core file.  */
-  if (target_has_execution)
+  if (target_has_execution && thread_db_use_events ())
     enable_thread_event_reporting ();
   return 1;
@@ -1260,6 +1271,17 @@ thread_db_inferior_created (struct target_ops *target, int from_tty)
   check_for_thread_db ();
+/* Update the thread's state (what's displayed in "info threads"),
+   from libthread_db thread state information.  */
+static void
+update_thread_state (struct private_thread_info *private,
+		     const td_thrinfo_t *ti_p)
+  private->dying = (ti_p->ti_state == TD_THR_UNKNOWN
+		    || ti_p->ti_state == TD_THR_ZOMBIE);
 /* Attach to a new thread.  This function is called when we receive a
    TD_CREATE event or when we iterate over all threads and find one
    that wasn't already in our list.  Returns true on success.  */
@@ -1341,8 +1363,7 @@ attach_thread (ptid_t ptid, const td_thrhandle_t *th_p,
   gdb_assert (ti_p->ti_tid != 0);
   private->th = *th_p;
   private->tid = ti_p->ti_tid;
-  if (ti_p->ti_state == TD_THR_UNKNOWN || ti_p->ti_state == TD_THR_ZOMBIE)
-    private->dying = 1;
+  update_thread_state (private, ti_p);
   /* Add the thread to GDB's thread list.  */
   if (tp == NULL)
@@ -1354,7 +1375,7 @@ attach_thread (ptid_t ptid, const td_thrhandle_t *th_p,
   /* Enable thread event reporting for this thread, except when
      debugging a core file.  */
-  if (target_has_execution)
+  if (target_has_execution && thread_db_use_events ())
       err = info->td_thr_event_enable_p (th_p, 1);
       if (err != TD_OK)
@@ -1393,7 +1414,7 @@ thread_db_detach (struct target_ops *ops, const char *args, int from_tty)
   if (info)
-      if (target_has_execution)
+      if (target_has_execution && thread_db_use_events ())
 	  disable_thread_event_reporting (info);
@@ -1629,7 +1650,7 @@ find_new_threads_callback (const td_thrhandle_t *th_p, void *data)
 	 need this glibc bug workaround.  */
       info->need_stale_parent_threads_check = 0;
-      if (target_has_execution)
+      if (target_has_execution && thread_db_use_events ())
 	  err = info->td_thr_event_enable_p (th_p, 1);
 	  if (err != TD_OK)
@@ -1666,6 +1687,12 @@ find_new_threads_callback (const td_thrhandle_t *th_p, void *data)
 	   iteration: thread_db_find_new_threads_2 will retry.  */
 	return 1;
+  else if (target_has_execution && !thread_db_use_events ())
+    {
+      /* Need to update this if not using the libthread_db events
+	 (particularly, the TD_DEATH event).  */
+      update_thread_state (tp->private, &ti);
+    }
   return 0;
diff --git a/gdb/testsuite/gdb.threads/fork-thread-pending.exp b/gdb/testsuite/gdb.threads/fork-thread-pending.exp
index 57e45c9..357cb9e 100644
--- a/gdb/testsuite/gdb.threads/fork-thread-pending.exp
+++ b/gdb/testsuite/gdb.threads/fork-thread-pending.exp
@@ -46,7 +46,7 @@ gdb_test "continue" "Catchpoint.*" "1, get to the fork event"
 gdb_test "info threads" " Thread .* Thread .* Thread .* Thread .*" "1, multiple threads found"
-gdb_test "thread 2" ".*" "1, switched away from event thread"
+gdb_test "thread 1" ".*" "1, switched away from event thread"
 gdb_test "continue" "Not resuming.*" "1, refused to resume"
diff --git a/gdb/testsuite/gdb.threads/signal-command-multiple-signals-pending.c b/gdb/testsuite/gdb.threads/signal-command-multiple-signals-pending.c
index 2fc5f53..761bef1 100644
--- a/gdb/testsuite/gdb.threads/signal-command-multiple-signals-pending.c
+++ b/gdb/testsuite/gdb.threads/signal-command-multiple-signals-pending.c
@@ -76,12 +76,13 @@ main (void)
   signal (SIGUSR1, handler_sigusr1);
   signal (SIGUSR2, handler_sigusr2);
-  pthread_barrier_init (&barrier, NULL, 3);
   for (i = 0; i < 2; i++)
-    pthread_create (&child_thread[i], NULL, thread_function, NULL);
-  pthread_barrier_wait (&barrier);
+    {
+      pthread_barrier_init (&barrier, NULL, 2);
+      pthread_create (&child_thread[i], NULL, thread_function, NULL);
+      pthread_barrier_wait (&barrier);
+      pthread_barrier_destroy (&barrier);
+    }
   all_threads_started ();
diff --git a/gdb/testsuite/gdb.threads/signal-command-multiple-signals-pending.exp b/gdb/testsuite/gdb.threads/signal-command-multiple-signals-pending.exp
index b5ec00a..f574c57 100644
--- a/gdb/testsuite/gdb.threads/signal-command-multiple-signals-pending.exp
+++ b/gdb/testsuite/gdb.threads/signal-command-multiple-signals-pending.exp
@@ -46,6 +46,13 @@ proc test { schedlock } {
 	gdb_test "handle SIGUSR2 stop print pass"
 	gdb_test "break all_threads_started" "Breakpoint .* at .*$srcfile.*"
+	# Create threads one at a time, to insure stable thread
+	# numbers between runs and targets.
+	gdb_test "break thread_function" "Breakpoint .* at .*$srcfile.*"
+	gdb_test "continue" "thread_function.*" "thread 2 created"
+	gdb_test "continue" "thread_function.*" "thread 3 created"
 	gdb_test "continue" "all_threads_started.*"
 	# Using schedlock, let the main thread queue a signal for each

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