[lldb-dev] Creating a breakpoint on a target with no process

Zachary Turner zturner at google.com
Thu Dec 4 12:27:08 PST 2014

I started working on implementing a DynamicLoader plugin.

While it's indeed quite simple, I still have some questions about why it's
necessary to make shared library load/unloading work.

I do understand the use case for other platforms, because there is a
non-trivial amount of work required to detect shared library loading /
unloading.  On Windows however, there is no work involved because the OS
tells us at every occurrence of a shared library load or unload.  As a
result, my DynamicLoader implementation basically boils down to some code
like this in my process plugin

if (event is a module load)
else if (event is a module unload)

In each of these two methods, all I do is construct an empty ModuleList,
add a single item to it, set the load address, and call
GetTarget().ModulesDidLoad() or GetTarget().ModulesDidUnload().

So either way I'm calling ModulesDidLoad() / ModulesDidUnload() directly,
it's just am I having the Process plugin tell the DynamicLoader to do it,
or am I having the process do it itself.  Whichever one does it though,
it's the same few lines of code to prepare the call to ModulesDidLoad().

One more question: You said this: "the MacOSX version finds the global list
of shared libraries that are loaded, iterates through them, seaches for any
modules that are in the target, removes any images from the target that
aren't loaded, then sets the section load address for all sections in all
modules to the correct value".

Just to clarify some terminology, are "shared library", "module", and
"image" here the same thing?  Why would you have a shared library that is
loaded but not in the target?  Where else would it be?  As for setting the
section load address for all sections, it sounds like this is the same as
just calling module->SetModuleLoadAddress() to the load address of the
entire shared library.  Is this correct?

On Tue Dec 02 2014 at 2:58:57 PM Greg Clayton <gclayton at apple.com> wrote:

> You must implement a DynamicLoaderWindows. Shared library
> loading/unloading won't work otherwise.
> The theory is simple: after launching or attaching, the plug-in will find
> the list of shared libraries to get the initial state. Also when you
> program dynamically loads/unloads DLLs, you need to update anything that
> changed (load/unload sections for things that got loaded/unloaded).
> Please do NOT call ModulesDidLoad directly. You can do this temporarily,
> but you really do need a dynamic loader.
> The MacOSX version finds the global list of shared libraries that are
> loaded, iterates though them, searches for and adds any modules that are in
> the target, removes any images from the target that aren't loaded, then
> sets the section load addresses for all sections in all modules to the
> correct value and then calls ModulesDidLoad(). This causes all breakpoints
> to get resolved.
> We then set a breakpoint at a location that gets hit after /usr/lib/dyld
> loads/unloads new shared libraries so we can keep up. This is a synchronous
> breakpoint where we detect the new shared libraries that were
> loaded/unloaded, we add/remove modules and set them to the loaded or
> unloaded and then continue. So it is a very easy plug-in to write and is
> required so that dynamic plug-in loading/unloaded can track breakpoints
> correctly.
> Greg
> > On Dec 2, 2014, at 2:29 PM, Zachary Turner <zturner at google.com> wrote:
> >
> > Thanks.  For now I'll experiment with your suggestion of just calling
> ModulesDidLoad directly in the callback, since getting the actual
> notification that a library is loaded is trivial on Windows and all the
> work is done for us by the OS.  Is it safe to update the module list from a
> thread other than the main thread?  All threads of the inferior will be
> stopped while I process this notification, but I know for example that with
> thread creation / thread exit, I have to maintain this thread list, and
> then only in UpdateThreadList do I actually update the thread list on the
> target.  Is this restriction not the same with the module list?
> >
> > One more question, how do I find the module that is loaded at a specific
> address?  When this shared library is unloaded, the only information I have
> is its load address, but the only method for getting a Module from the
> target is to call GetSharedModule() with a ModuleSpec, which I won't have.
> Is there a way to search based only on the load address?
> >
> > On Tue Dec 02 2014 at 2:19:33 PM <jingham at apple.com> wrote:
> > The dynamic loader plugin has a couple of different jobs.
> >
> > The one that is relevant to your question is that it is responsible for
> hooking up the mechanism whereby lldb gets notified of new shared library
> loads.  It gets called when we attach or launch a process, at which point
> it is supposed to make whatever instrumentation is needed for tracking the
> loader.  On most platforms this is done by setting some breakpoint in the
> correct place in the loader code and then decoding the meaning of the event
> when the breakpoint to gets hit (load or unload, what got loaded, etc.)
> Since this is often a non-trivial bit of code, and one that changes as the
> versions of the OS go by, so it seemed worthwhile to have it be a separate
> module.  If you wanted to use this model for Windows, you would have your
> DynamicLoader plugin register the callback for the "Shared libraries
> changed" event that your main loop is getting, and then call into that to
> process the event.
> >
> > In the short term you can probably just call ModulesDidLoad in the code
> you have below.  Note, this isn't done in GetSharedModule because it is
> expensive to go looking through new modules for breakpoints, so you don't
> want to hang it off some call that might be called many times.  Instead we
> have an explicit "Okay here's the set of new libraries" type call.
> >
> > There isn't good documentation on this in the code, which we should
> fix.  Also, it would arguably be cleaner to separate out the "discover new
> modules" part of the DynamicLoader, and the "Make these new modules work
> correctly" into separate steps within the Dynamic loader plugin.  The
> former is going to be specific to the various subclasses, but the latter
> job is pretty generic.  Then each port would know it had to call the
> DynamicLoader::RegisterNewModules or whatever it was when it was done
> with the platform specific side of registering them.  But since that job
> currently consists of calling Target::ModulesDidLoad, we haven't been
> motivated to move the code around to do this.
> >
> > The other main dynamic loader job is not relevant to your question, but
> for completeness sake is that it is also the place where knowledge of the
> library intercalling mechanism resides.  Most importantly, most
> inter-library calls are implemented using some sort of stub that
> trampolines over to the actual call. That stub generally doesn't have debug
> information, so the normal behavior of "next" when it lands in the stub
> would be to say "I've stepped into code with no debug information, so I'll
> step out".  But if the stub was going to resolve to a routine that did have
> debug info, that would be the wrong behavior.  So before we decide to step
> out of unknown code, we always ask the current dynamic loader plugin to
> "GetStepThroughTrampolinePlan" to see if it knows how to get from this PC
> to somewhere more interesting, and if so to return a plan that does that
> job.
> >
> > Jim
> >
> >
> > > On Dec 2, 2014, at 1:15 PM, Zachary Turner <zturner at google.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > I actually don't even have a dynamic loader plugin implemented at
> all.  I wasn't completely sure what the purpose of it was.  I saw that
> Virgile had implemented one in his original patch to get debugging working
> on Windows [https://github.com/xen2/lldb/commit/
> 515956244784a9162183a6135068e893ba994532], but it did very little actual
> work, and in particular does not seem to do anything related to what you
> are suggesting above.
> > >
> > > As for adding new modules when they load, basically this is the
> entirety of what I do.
> > >
> > >     Error error;
> > >     ModuleSP module = GetTarget().GetSharedModule(module_spec,
> &error);
> > >     module->SetLoadAddress(GetTarget(), module_addr, false, false);
> > >
> > > However, as mentioned I don't do this from a DynamicLoader plugin.
> Instead I just run this code directly from the same background thread that
> gets other debug events from the process, such as thread creation,
> exceptions, etc.
> > >
> > > I guess can you elaborate a little bit on the interaction between the
> DynamicLoader plugin and the process plugin, and the responsibilities of
> each?
> > >
> > > On Tue Dec 02 2014 at 1:07:35 PM <jingham at apple.com> wrote:
> > > It is the responsibility of the dynamic loader plugin to tell the
> breakpoints to re-scan for new locations when shared libraries get added to
> the process.  You should do this by collecting a list of the added
> libraries, and calling:
> > >
> > > m_process->GetTarget().ModulesDidLoad(added_list);
> > >
> > > How are you adding new modules as they get loaded?
> > >
> > > Jim
> > >
> > >
> > > > On Dec 2, 2014, at 12:45 PM, Zachary Turner <zturner at google.com>
> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > In my effort to get tests working on Windows, I've run across an
> issue with test\expression_command\timeout\TestCallWithTimeout.py ::
> TestCallWithTimeout.ExprCommandWithTimeoutsTestCase
> > > >
> > > > This test creates a target and immediately puts a breakpoint on it
> before attempting to launch the process.  Is this something that is
> supposed to work?  BreakpointLocation::ResolveBreakpointSite() contains
> this line:
> > > >
> > > >     Process *process = m_owner.GetTarget().GetProcessSP().get();
> > > >     if (process == NULL)
> > > >         return false;
> > > >
> > > > So naturally the breakpoint site cannot be resolved because there is
> no process.  The end result of this is that this breakpoint never gets hit
> and the test fails.
> > > >
> > > > Presumably this test works on other platforms, so any tips as to
> where I should look to track down this bug on Windows?
> > > > _______________________________________________
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> > >
> >
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