pwndbg (/poʊndbæg/) is a GDB plug-in that makes debugging with GDB suck less, with a focus on features needed by low-level software developers, hardware hackers, reverse-engineers and exploit developers.
It has a boatload of features, see FEATURES.md.
Vanilla GDB is terrible to use for reverse engineering and exploit development. Typing
x/g30x $esp is not fun, and does not confer much information. The year is 2023 and GDB still lacks a real hexdump command! GDB's syntax is arcane and difficult to approach. Windbg users are completely lost when they occasionally need to bump into GDB.
Pwndbg is a Python module which is loaded directly into GDB, and provides a suite of utilities and crutches to hack around all of the cruft that is GDB and smooth out the rough edges.
Many other projects from the past (e.g., gdbinit, PEDA) and present (e.g. GEF) exist to fill some these gaps. Each provides an excellent experience and great features -- but they're difficult to extend (some are unmaintained, and all are a single 100KB, 200KB, or 363KB file (respectively)).
Pwndbg exists not only to replace all of its predecessors, but also to have a clean implementation that runs quickly and is resilient against all the weird corner cases that come up. It also comes batteries-included, so all of its features are available if you run
Installation is straightforward:
git clone https://github.com/pwndbg/pwndbg cd pwndbg ./setup.sh
Pwndbg is supported on Ubuntu 20.04, and 22.04 with GDB 9.2 and later. We do not test on any older versions of Ubuntu, so
pwndbg may not work on these versions (for Ubuntu 18.04 use the 2023.07.17: ubuntu18.04-final release). We may accept pull requests fixing issues in older versions on a case by case basis, please discuss this with us on Discord first. You can also always checkout an older version of
pwndbg from around the time the Ubuntu version you're interested in was still supported by Canonical, or you can attempt to build a newer version of GDB from source.
Other Linux distributions are also supported via
- Debian-based OSes (via apt-get)
- Fedora and Red Hat (via dnf)
- Clear (via swiped)
- OpenSUSE LEAP (via zypper)
- Arch and Manjaro (via community AUR packages)
- Void (via xbps)
- Gentoo (via emerge)
If you use any Linux distribution other than Ubuntu, we recommend using the latest available GDB built from source. You can build it as:
cd <gdb-sources-dir> mkdir build cd build ../configure --disable-nls --disable-werror --with-system-readline --with-python=`which python3` --with-system-gdbinit=/etc/gdb/gdbinit --enable-targets=all make -j7
For further info about features/functionalities, see FEATURES.
Pwndbg is an open-source project, maintained by many contributors!
Pwndbg was originally created by Zach Riggle, who is no longer with us. We want to thank Zach for all of his contributions to Pwndbg and the wider security community.
To run tests locally you can do this in docker image, after cloning repo run simply
docker-compose run main ./tests.sh
Disclaimer - this won't work on apple silicon macs.