Toy debugger built on top of ptrace
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lindbg is a linux clone of windbg.

Have you ever wanted to experience the glory of windbg on the linux command line?

Well now you can! lindbg is a remote debugger client that presents a user interface similar to that of windbg. It communicates with ldbserver, which hosts a debuggee. lindbg implements a small subset of windbg commands and supports linux x64 executables.


There are a few dependencies that must be installed prior to building ldbserver. These can be installed with pip and your distro's package manager.

sudo apt install libjansson-dev libb64-dev
sudo -H pip3 install capstone

Once dependencies are installed, ldbserver can be compiled with make.


Debugging an executable

To debug an executable, pass the target process command line to ldbserver. ldbserver will listen on the specified IP and port for a client connection before spawning the target process.

./ldbserver --ip ./test arg1 arg2 ...

Connect to the server with the client to spawn a debug session. Once connected, you can interact with the target as if it were a local windbg session.

$ ./

TwelveTacos (R) Linux Debugger Version 0.1.0 AMD64
Copyright (c) Taco Corporation. All rights reserved.

CommandLine: ./test arg1 arg2 arg3

************* Symbol Path validation summary *************
Response                         Time (ms)     Location
Deferred                                       srv*C:\symbols*
Symbol search path is: srv*C:\symbols*
Executable search path is:
ModLoad: 00000000`00400000 00000000`00602000   /home/user/lindbg/test
ModLoad: 00007fa4`06c25000 00007fa4`06e4c000   /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/

0:000> u
00007fa4`06c25c30 4889e7          mov     rdi, rsp
00007fa4`06c25c33 e8780d0000      call    0x7fa406c269b0
00007fa4`06c25c38 4989c4          mov     r12, rax
00007fa4`06c25c3b 8b0537502200    mov     eax, dword ptr [rip + 0x225037]
00007fa4`06c25c41 5a              pop     rdx
00007fa4`06c25c42 488d24c4        lea     rsp, [rsp + rax*8]
00007fa4`06c25c46 29c2            sub     edx, eax
00007fa4`06c25c48 52              push    rdx
0:000> t
00007fa4`06c25c33 e8780d0000      call    0x7fa406c269b0
0:000> p
00007fa4`06c25c38 4989c4          mov     r12, rax
0:000> bp 00007fa4`06c25c41
0:000> bp 00007fa4`06c25c46
0:000> bl
     0 e Disable Clear  00007fa4`06c25c41     0001 (0001)  0:****
     1 e Disable Clear  00007fa4`06c25c46     0001 (0001)  0:****
0:000> g
00007fa4`06c25c41 5a              pop     rdx
0:000> r
rax=0000000000000000 rbx=0000000000000000 rcx=00007fa406c40537
rdx=000793e500000000 rsi=00000000000284bb rdi=00007fa406e21000
rip=00007fa406c25c41 rsp=00007ffe7621a2f0 rbp=0000000000000000
 r8=0000000000000000  r9=00007fa406e20000 r10=00007fa406e4b030
r11=0000000000000206 r12=0000000000400430 r13=0000000000000000
r14=0000000000000000 r15=0000000000000000
iopl=0         <screw these EFLAGS values>
cs=0033  ss=002b  ds=0000  es=0000  fs=0000  gs=0000             efl=00000206
0:000> db 00007ffe7621a2f0
00007ffe`7621a2f0  04 00 00 00 00 00 00 00-2f c4 21 76 fe 7f 00 00  ......../.!v....
00007ffe`7621a300  36 c4 21 76 fe 7f 00 00-3b c4 21 76 fe 7f 00 00  6.!v....;.!v....
00007ffe`7621a310  40 c4 21 76 fe 7f 00 00-00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  @.!v............
00007ffe`7621a320  45 c4 21 76 fe 7f 00 00-50 c4 21 76 fe 7f 00 00  E.!v....P.!v....
00007ffe`7621a330  63 c4 21 76 fe 7f 00 00-75 c4 21 76 fe 7f 00 00  c.!v....u.!v....
00007ffe`7621a340  c0 c4 21 76 fe 7f 00 00-f0 c4 21 76 fe 7f 00 00  ..!v......!v....
00007ffe`7621a350  fb c4 21 76 fe 7f 00 00-0b c5 21 76 fe 7f 00 00  ..!v......!v....
00007ffe`7621a360  2e c5 21 76 fe 7f 00 00-38 c5 21 76 fe 7f 00 00  ..!v....8.!v....
0:000> bc 0
0:000> bd 1
0:000> bl
     1 d Disable Clear  00007fa4`06c25c46     0001 (0001)  0:****
0:000> g
[+] Target exited with value: 0
0:000> q

Future work

There are a great number of windbg features not supported by lindbg. In addition to missing commands, many of the existing commands are not fully implemented. Some of the bigger missing features are listed here.

  • Masm evaluator for expressions
  • Symbol resolution for identifiers in masm expressions
  • @<reg> syntax for registers
  • Commands to set target memory (eb, ew, ed, eq)
  • Commands to set target registers (r @eax=<val>)
  • Support for properly handling signals other than SIGTRAP in the client. Similarly, lindbg is missing functionality to properly continue when signals are received.

Furthermore, there a few areas for better error handling. In most cases, this handling was omitted in order to build a prototype quickly.

  • ldbserver: No error checks when building json objects.
  • Most LindbgShell command handlers assume the target program is still active and do not behave well if it has terminated.
  • Most LindbgShell command handlers don't check to see if RemoteTarget calls succeeded before attempting to process data.