Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source

This Project is Unmaintained

Due to a change in occupation, I no longer have access to IDA, so this project is unmaintained. If you are interested in becoming a maintainer, please let me know. Otherwise, it is unlikely I'll will merge anything but trivial merge requests.


dwarfexport is an IDA Pro plugin that allows the user to export dwarf debug information. This can then be imported in to gdb and other tools, allowing you to debug using info you have recovered in IDA even when you cannot connect the IDA debugger.


Pre-compiled copies of dwarfexport are available in the bin folder of this project. Just add these files to your IDA plugins folder (plx and plx64 for linux, plw and p64 for windows) and you will have a new option "Edit->Plugins->Export Dwarf Debug Info". Click this and select a folder for the output.

The plugin will generate two files in the output directory. One will be a .c file with the decompiled functions from the Hexrays decompiler. The other is a .dbg file that contains the debug information. Note that because the plugin performs decompilation on every function in the binary, it can take a while to run.

Move these to the device you want to debug on and load gdb (e.x, gdb a.out). You will have full debug information, like normal gdb with source (shown below using TUI mode):

debugging in gdb

Note: You may need to run list to get the source file loaded.


The following options are available from the plugin GUI

Use Decompiler: On architectures where the decompiler is available, opt out of using it.

Attach Debug Info: When checked, a .dbg file is created with the debug information. However, this will only work if the target is an ELF file. When the target is not an ELF file, uncheck this option to create a group of binary files (one for reach ELF section that would have been created).

Building On Linux

dwarfexport depends on the IDA SDK as well as a libdwarf. Once you have these available (a statically compiled copy of libdwarf is provided), you can set the environment variables IDASDK_PATH and IDA_PATH to the SDK path and your IDA folder location respectively. Then build the plugin using make.

Building On Windows

Windows build can be performed using MSVC Compiler (cl.exe) and NMAKE (nmake.exe). First, download and extract libdwarf source code into deps/libdwarf and libelf source code into deps/libelf-0.8.13. The commands below assume WSL/MinGW/Cygwin, but you can use any other method that you prefer.

$ git clone git:// deps/libdwarf
$ (cd deps/libdwarf && git checkout 988618dc8be8)
$ curl | tar -C deps -xz

Then, NMAKE can be invoked through x86 or x64 Native Tools Command Prompt for VS (depending on whether you need 32-bit or 64-bit plugin) as follows:

dwarfexport> nmake /f Makefile.MSVC IDA_PATH="C:\Program Files\IDA 7.2" IDASDK_PATH="C:\Program Files\IDA 7.2\sdk"

32-bit version will be placed into bin\dwarfexport.dll, 64-bit version will be placed into bin\dwarfexport64.dll.

Building on macOS

To build dwarfexport on macOS, you must build and install 32-bit versions of libelf and libdwarf.

# Download, build, and install libelf (it's a libdwarf prereq)
$ mkdir -p thirdparty
$ pushd thirdparty
$ wget
$ tar zxf libelf-0.8.13.tar.gz
$ pushd libelf-0.8.13
$ CFLAGS=-m32 CXXFLAGS=-m32 ./configure
$ make && make install
$ popd

# Clone, build, and install libdwarf
$ git clone [email protected]:tomhughes/libdwarf.git
$ pushd libdwarf/
$ CFLAGS=-m32 CXXFLAGS=-m32 ./configure
$ make && make install
$ popd
$ popd

# Build dwarfexport for macos
$ IDA_PATH="/Applications/IDA\ Pro\ 6.95/" IDASDK_PATH="<PATH TO IDASDK>" make -f Makefile.osx

Adding Support for Other Architectures

There are three functions that need to be modified to add support for a new architectures. They are all located in platform.cpp:

translate_register_num: Translates from IDA register numbers to DWARF numbers. The IDA register numbering can be found by running idaapi.ph_get_regnames(). The index of a register in the returned list is its 'IDA register number'. A variety of resources exist to find the DWARF mapping for a given architecture. For example, wine has the numbers for some architectures (see x86_64_map_dwarf_register).

disassembler_lvar_reg_and_offset: This function should set the reg and offset parameters to a dwarf register and the offset from that register that should be used to read from a stack variable 'member'. So reg will typically be a register containing a pointer to the top or bottom of the stack (so DW_OP_breg5 is register 5 which is EBP on x86), and the offset will then be the offset from the bottom or top of the stack.

decompiler_lvar_reg_and_offset: On architectures supporting the decompiler, this function should be modified to perform the same work as the above function, but with a lvar_t from the Hexrays decompiler. Note that it may be acceptable to reuse the disassembler logic.


dwarfexport is licensed under the terms of the LGPLv2.1. See the LICENSE file for details.

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