exec-file-mismatch and native-gdbserver testing

Philippe Waroquiers philippe.waroquiers@skynet.be
Sun May 17 20:11:25 GMT 2020

On Sun, 2020-05-17 at 20:50 +0100, Pedro Alves wrote:
> > E.g. I am wondering if the below will be visible and cause
> > an (understandable) warning/error/behaviour for the user:
> > If the user has debugged a first process with orig_exe,
> > then the user copied orig_exe to copy_orig_exe, and then GDB is
> > attached to a process that runs copy_orig_exe, the user does not expect
> > to have orig_exe protected/accessed anymore, and so might change it
> > or remove it or ..., while GDB still use orig_exe instead of copy_orig_exe.
> But this seems like a pretty benign problem?  But I'm not sure
> I understood it.  What exactly goes wrong in this scenario?
The user expects orig_exe to not be 'busy' anymore, and so
expects to be able to freely modify it, without e.g. impacting
the GDB session debugging the executable running copy_orig_exe.
(I guess that orig_exe will not cause 'Text busy' error, as no
process is still executing it from the kernel point of view).

> > So, I was wondering if such a case of equal build ID
> > but different (local?) file names are not worth a warning.
> IMO it isn't, because it is very common to have different
> filenames (if you consider the whole path) for executable
> loaded in gdb compared to the executable that the process is
> running when you consider remote debugging.
> > > I'm thinking, if we support build ID validation, do we really want
> > > to fallback to filename validation?  It seems to me that it causes
> > > more false positives than desirable.
> > You mean that the filename comparison is useless (or even harmful)
> > if we found the build ID in the files ?
> > Effectively, if build ID are different but filenames are equal,
> > that is likely a false positive 'file are matching'
> > (only possible in remote debugging setup I suppose).
> No, I mean, let's consider the feature from scratch again.
> I'm saying that IMHO filename comparison on its own is pretty
> weak and annoyingly chatty.  I'd think e.g., a basename
> match + segments match (compare addresses and sizes of 
> of text, data, etc, segments) would already be much better.
> But that's a path that's been considered in all other scenarios
> where we have to match binaries, and ultimately, build ID
> was invented to fix this kind of scenario without heuristics,
> because heuristics can always fail.  
> So given that we can do buildid matching, shouldn't we just forget
> all other kinds of matching, and just stick with build id matching,
> with no fallback?  I.e., add build id matching, remove the filename
> matching, and raise the bar for any fallback matching -- as in if
> you want some fallback, it has to be better than just filenames.
> IIRC, the main motivation for the feature is when you attach to
> a process running bar, while you have foo (completely unrelated to bar)
> loaded in gdb.  GDB previously would assume that foo is the symbol file
> for bar, so it gladly continued debugging bar with the foo binary.
> Buildid detects this, and also detects the scenario of attaching to
> a process that is running an older version of bar than the version
> you have loaded in gdb (because you rebuilt the program before 
> attaching, for example).
> More contrived use cases can be imagined, but it seems to me like
> if you want to catch them, then you're better off making sure your
> binaries include build ids.  Which is true by default on modern
> GNU/Linux OSs at least.
At my work, objdump -h some_exe does not show a build ID, not clear
why (RHEL 7.8, but using gold linker from Adacore gnatpro).

So, my main original use case needs filename comparison :(.


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