How to set a breakpoint on imported Win32 function?

Luis Machado
Thu Jan 16 18:14:00 GMT 2020

On 1/16/20 2:16 PM, Ruslan Kabatsayev wrote:
> On Thu, 16 Jan 2020 at 17:53, Luis Machado <> wrote:
>> On 1/15/20 7:42 PM, Ruslan Kabatsayev wrote:
>>> Hello,
>>> I have a program without any debug info, which has an import table
>>> with some functions imported by name. E.g. kernel32!ExitProcess is
>>> imported, and the debugger should know its name and address.
>>> But whenever I run GDB (from mingw-w64) with my test exe and try to
>>> set breakpoint on ExitProcess, GDB complains that no symbol table is
>>> loaded and asks if I want it set on future library load. After I agree
>>> and let the debuggee run, the debuggee exits without any trap
>>> (although it does exit via this exact function).
>>> OTOH, on Linux I can set a breakpoint on e.g. exit, which gets located
>>> in /lib/i386-linux-gnu/ for which I don't have any debug
>>> symbols, and the breakpoint successfully traps.
>>> So, how can I set a breakpoint on an imported function in Windows? Or
>>> is the handling of PE import table to fill GDB's symbol table not
>>> implemented?
>>> Thanks,
>>> Ruslan
>> Given what you described, i think GDB doesn't know how to properly
>> locate that symbol. Can you at least see the symbol somewhere, in
>> disassemble output for example?
> No, apparently GDB doesn't indeed know about this symbol. The
> disassembly (both at the call site and in the function itself) simply
> shows the address, without any hints about symbols.
> Has this ever worked on Windows GDB? Or was it simply not implemented?

I'm not well versed in GDB on Windows, so i'm not so sure. It could be both.

I've cc-ed Eli, who tends to touch more mingw stuff.

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