Ruby plugin for IDAPro
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IdaRub, what what

Alpha 0.8, June 2006

 -- Introduction

IdaRub is an IDA plugin that wraps the IDA SDK for remote and local access from
the Ruby programming language.  It works on both IDA 4.9 and 5.0, although 5.0
API additions are not accessible from IdaRub.

 -- Installation

The IdaRub plugin requires a native win32 (not cygwin) install of Ruby.  I
suggest the Ruby "one click installer".  The IdaRub client libraries should
work on any Ruby installation (cygwin, native win32, linux, osx, etc).

After installing the Ruby interpreter, to install the IdaRub plugin, simply
copy the idarub.plw plugin to your IDA plugin directory.  No installation
should be necessary for the IdaRub client libraries.

 -- Usage

After installing the IdaRub plugin, it should be accessible from the IDA plugin
menu, or from the hotkey ALT-F7.  This will present a GUI allowing you to start
IdaRub as a server (for remote access), or to load a IdaRub script locally.
The dialog also presents a few options (which only apply to server mode).  The
options allow you to pick which IP address the server will listen on, and the
range of ports to try to listen on.  While IdaRub only requires a single port,
the range port option is make it easier to run multiple IdaRub server
instances.  The IdaRub plugin will incrementally try the ports in the range,
and will print which port it bound to if successful.

To use the IdaRub client libraries, you simply instantiate a IdaRub object,
which will be covered below.  You should see a message in the IDA message
window when a new client has connected, and when a client disconnects.  The
IdaRub plugin supports unlimited simultaneous connections.

 -- Programming with the IdaRub client libraries

The first step to accessing the IdaRub plugin remotely, is instantiating an
IdaRub object, and telling it how to connect to the IdaRub plugin.  This can
be done two ways.  The first way, is to call IdaRub.new_client(host, port),
which will return an IdaRub session object (responsible for managing the
connection).  In order to get the IDA front object (which corresponds to the
SDK), you simple call the front method on the session object.  So for example:

require 'idarub'
sess = IdaRub.new_client('', 1234)
ida  = sess.front

An alternative, and generally easier approach, is to use the auto_client
method.  There are two conveniences with this.  First, for remote scripts, it
will automatically look at ARGV[0], and parse the host/port in the form of
host:port, where the port is optional.  It will then remove this entry from
ARGV, so any additional options passed to your script will start at ARGV[0].

Another advantage is that calling auto_client from a locally running script
will detect the script is running locally, and return the IDA SDK object.  This
allows simple scripts that use auto_client to work both remotely and locally
with no additional logic.

The auto_client method returns both the session and the IDA object, returning
the IDA object first.  This is convenient for simple scripts, where you don't
need to worry about any of the functionality accessible through the session
object.  An example of using auto_client that will work both remotely and

require 'idarub'
ida, = IdaRub.auto_client
puts "Hello there! Your current ea: 0x%08x" % ida.get_screen_ea

If you want a copy of the session object (so you can disconnect from the
server, or other operations accessible through this object), you can simple

ida, sess = IdaRub.auto_client

Now, once you have the IDA object, you are going to want to call IDA SDK
functions.  This is generally quite simple, although there is a few things
to beware of:

Generally in Ruby, you would access a constant with code like "Foo::BAR", to
access the BAR constant in the Foo module.  However, for several technical
reasons, you need to access IDA constants differently for IdaRub.  In order to
access constants, you should treat them as if they were methods.  For example,
to access the BADADDR constant defined by the SDK, you would do:


This also applies for accessing classes, most likely for creating a new
instance of a class.  For example:

will create a new "curloc" class. Notice how the constant names are just the
normal IDA classes, except the first letter is capitalized.  This should apply
to all IDA classes (Insn_t, Sistack_t, etc, etc).

You might encounter an issue trying to call a remote method, but a local
method on RefObject exists by the same name.  An example of this would be
listing the methods on a remote object.  If you call obj.methods, you'll get
the method listing for the local object (RefObject).  If you want the call to
be remoted, you can do it two different ways.  You can call send_remote, ie
obj.send_remote(:methods), which works the same as send, but will pass any
calls to the remote object.  The more convenient way is to simply prefix
the method with "remote_".  If you want to call the "methods" method on an obj,
you can simply call obj.remote_methods, and it will get dispatched as the
"methods" method on the remote object.

 -- Building the IdaRub IDA plugin

Note: Building requires VC++ 6.0, Ruby, cygwin, SWIG 1.3.28 (or higher?)

Unfortunately the build process for the IDA plugin is a bit messy, so try to
stay with me.  The first step is to copy the entire "idarub" directory to the
"plugins" directory in the IDA SDK.  The way the library and header includes
work require this to be just so.  You should end up with a path something like
"sdk/plugins/idarub/plugin/idarub.cpp", etc.

The next thing to make sure is that you have the Ruby include and library
directories added to Visual Studio (Tools -> Options -> Directories).  For
"Include files", I have "c:\ruby\lib\ruby\1.8\i386-mswin32".  For "Library
files" I have "c:\ruby\bin" and "c:\ruby\lib".

Since it would be rude to DataRescue to bundle copies of the modified headers,
the changes are distributed as a patch.  Copy the SDK "include" directory (the
directory itself, not just it's contents) to the "swig" directory.  Then run
"", and this should copy the appropiate headers from the includes and
patch them to work for the SWIG bindings.

Next, go to the "plugin" directory, and run and  The source
should now be ready to be built.  Open idarub.dsw in Visual Studio.  Select the
appropriate build configuration (Build -> Set Active Configuration).  Hit F7
and hope everything goes well.  If the build failed, check to make sure it's
finding the IDA headers/libraries and the Ruby (one-click) headers/libraries.

The generated plugin should be located at bin/idarub.plw.  Rinse and repeat.