vdso handling

Mike Frysinger vapier@gentoo.org
Wed Mar 12 11:31:00 GMT 2014

On Wed 12 Mar 2014 17:47:02 Alan Modra wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 10, 2014 at 01:04:33PM +0000, Metzger, Markus T wrote:
> > I noticed that the BFD created for the VDSO (system-provided in-memory
> > DSO) does not contain any BFD sections.  Is this intentional?  Or has
> > there just been no need for them?
> [snip]
> > The vdso is processed in symbol_file_add_from_memory at
> > gdb/symfile-mem.c:84.  It calls bfd_from_remote_memory to create a BFD
> > for the vdso and then processes it.
> The underlying cause is that you're trying to debug an ELF binary that
> only contains the execution view.  The linking view (of which the
> sections are a part) is not loaded, so bfd_from_remote_memory does not
> have this information.  See elfcode.h bfd_from_remote_memory.
> You can see similar breakage of gdb and binutils if you zap e_shoff,
> e_shnum, and e_shstrndx of your favourite hello world program.
> I suppose one way to provide something that gdb and other tools expect
> would be to treat the vdso like a core file, and create fake sections
> corresponding to the program headers.  I'm not really keen on the idea
> though, since I know that will open up a can of worms.
> Can't you point gdb at a file image for the vdso?

i don't think distros generally ship it ?  the kernel doesn't install it by 
default (e.g. into /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/vdso/).
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