[lldb-dev] RFC: packet to identify a standalone aka firmware binary UUID / location

Jason Molenda via lldb-dev lldb-dev at lists.llvm.org
Mon Mar 22 23:01:30 PDT 2021

Hi, I'm working with an Apple team that has a gdb RSP server for JTAG debugging, and we're working to add the ability for it to tell lldb about the UUID and possibly address of a no-dynamic-linker standalone binary, or firmware binary.  Discovery of these today is ad-hoc and each different processor has a different way of locating the main binary (and possibly sliding it to the correct load address).

We have two main ways of asking the remote stub about binary images today:  jGetLoadedDynamicLibrariesInfos on Darwin systems with debugserver, and qXfer:libraries-svr4: on Linux. 

 jGetLoadedDynamicLibrariesInfos has two modes: "tell me about all libraries" and "tell me about libraries at these load addresses" (we get notified about libraries being loaded/unloaded as a list of load addresses of the binary images; binaries are loaded in waves on a Darwin system).  The returned JSON packet is heavily tailored to include everything lldb needs to know about the binary image so it can match a file it finds on the local disk to the description and not read any memory at debug time -- we get the mach-o header, the UUID, the deployment target OS version, the load address of all the segments.  The packets lldb sends to debugserver look like

qXfer:libraries-svr4: returns an XML description of all binary images loaded, tailored towards an ELF view of binaries from a brief skim of ProcessGDBRemote.  I chose not to use this because we'd have an entirely different set of values returned in our xml reply for Mach-O binaries and to eliminate extraneous read packets from lldb, plus we needed a way of asking for a subset of all binary images.  A rich UI app these days can link to five hundred binary images, so fetching the full list when only a couple of binaries was just loaded would be unfortunate.

I'm trying to decide whether to (1) add a new qStandaloneBinaryInfo packet which returns the simple gdb RSP style "uuid:<UUID>;address:0xADDR;" response, or (2) if we add a third mode to jGetLoadedDynamicLibrariesInfos (jGetLoadedDynamicLibrariesInfos:{"standalone_binary_image_info":true}) or (3) have the JTAG stub support a qXfer XML request (I wouldn't want to reuse the libraries-svr4 name and return an XML completely different, but it could have a qXfer:standalone-binary-image-info: or whatever).  

I figured folks might have opinions on this so I wanted to see if anyone cares before I pick one and get everyone to implement it.  For me, I'm inclined towards adding a qStandaloneBinaryInfo packet - the jtag stub already knows how to construct these traditional gdb RSP style responses - but it would be trivially easy for the stub to also assemble a fake XML response as raw text with the two fields.


More information about the lldb-dev mailing list