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Vivisect / Vdb / Vtrace

A combined disassembler/static analysis/symbolic execution/debugger framework. More documentation is in the works :)


As in previous vdb releases, the command python vdbbin from the checkout directory will drop you into a debugger prompt on supported platforms. ( Windows / Linux / FreeBSD / OSX... kinda? )

Commands in vdb grow/refine quickly, so use in-line help such as:

vdb> help


vdb> help writemem

to show available commands and options.


Fairly un-documented static analysis / emulation / symbolik analysis framework for PE/Elf/Mach-O/Blob binary formats on various architectures. To start with, you probably want to run a "bulk analysis" pass on a binary using:

python2 -m vivisect.vivbin -B <binaryfile>

which will leave you with .viv

Then run:

python2 -m vivisect.vivbin <binaryfile>.viv

to open the GUI and begin reverse engineering. As with most vtoys, the ui relies fairly heavily on right-click context menus and various memory views.

For the binary ninjas, all APIs used during automatic analysis ( and several that aren't ) are directly accessible for use writing your own custom research tools... The interface should be nearly the same when dealing with a real process ( via vdb/vtrace ) and dealing with an emulator / viv workspace.

UI Dependencies

The vivisect UI can be run under either PyQt4 and PyQt5

For running via PyQt4, first you'll need to install Qt4 and Qt4-Webkit libraries. On Ubuntu, you can do this via:

sudo apt-get install libqt4-dev libqtwebkit-dev

If you're on an older version of python, you may be able to pip install PyQt4 and SIP like so:

pip install PyQt4 SIP

However, on recent (tested on 2.7.15 December 2018) versions of pip, that pip install fails. To get around this, you'll need to download the sources for both PyQt4 and SIP from Riverbank.

  • SIP can be found here
  • PyQt4 can be found here

Untar them to their respective directories and cd in the directory for SIP:

tar -xf sip-4.19.13.tar.gz
tar -xf PyQt4_gpl_x11-4.12.3.tar.gz
cd sip-4.19.13/

Then build the SIP module. Due to the recent version of SIP we're using, we have to build it as a private module like so:

python --sip-module PyQt4.sip
make install

Now cd back to the PyQt4 module and build that one:

cd ../PyQt4_gpl_x11-4.12.3/
make -j4
make install

If you run into an Error 2 status code on the make install line, replace that line with sudo make install, and things should work out fine.

And then you should be able to open up your vivisect workspace with the vivbin script.


Installing PyQt5 via pip is not supported in Python 2.x. So similar steps must be followed to install PyQt5 to get the UI working that way as well.

Install qt5 and the webkit dependency:

sudo apt-get install qt5-default libqt5webkit5-dev

Install the dependencies that PyQt5 needs:

pip install enum34

The rest of the build/install steps are the same, save for changing out the version numbers from PyQt4 to PyQt5.


To enable proper networking:

pip install msgpack

To enable Posix C++ demangling:

pip install cxxfilt

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