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DWARF Debugging Information Format

DWARF Debugging Information Format

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Published by: Raja Mustafa on Feb 11, 2010
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DWARF Debugging Information Format
Industry Review Draft
 
This document specifies the second generation of symbolic debugging information based on the DWARFformat that has been developed by the UNIX International Programming Language Special Interest Group(SIG). It is being circulated for industry review.Copyright
©
1992, 1993 U
NIX
International, Inc.Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this documentation for any purpose and without fee ishereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice appears in all copies and that both that copyrightnotice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation, and that the name U
NIX
Internationalnot be used in advertising or publicity pertaining to distribution of the software without specific, writtenprior permission. U
NIX
International makes no representations about the suitability of this documentationfor any purpose. It is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.UNIX INTERNATIONAL DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD TO THISDOCUMENTATION, INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY ANDFITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL UNIX INTERNATIONAL BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL,INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTINGFROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT,NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITHTHE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS DOCUMENTATION.NOTICE:U
NIX
International is making this documentation available as a reference point for the industry. While U
NIX
International believes that this specification is well defined in this first release of the document, minorchanges may be made prior to products meeting this specification being made available from U
NIX
SystemLaboratories or U
NIX
International members.Trademarks:Intel386 is a trademark of Intel Corporation.U
NIX
®
is a registered trademark of U
NIX
System Laboratories in the United States and other countries.
Industry Review Draft
 
DWARF Debugging Information Format
1. INTRODUCTION
This document defines the format for the information generated by compilers, assemblers andlinkage editors that is necessary for symbolic, source-level debugging. The debugginginformation format does not favor the design of any compiler or debugger. Instead, the goal is tocreate a method of communicating an accurate picture of the source program to any debugger in aform that is economically extensible to different languages while retaining backwardcompatibility.The design of the debugging information format is open-ended, allowing for the addition of newdebugging information to accommodate new languages or debugger capabilities while remainingcompatible with other languages or different debuggers.
1.1 Purpose and Scope
The debugging information format described in this document is designed to meet the symbolic,source-level debugging needs of different languages in a unified fashion by requiring languageindependent debugging information whenever possible. Individual needs, such as C++ virtualfunctions or Fortran common blocks are accommodated by creating attributes that are used onlyfor those languages. The U
NIX
International Programming Languages SIG believes that thisdocument sufficiently covers the debugging information needs of C, C++, FORTRAN77,Fortran90, Modula2 and Pascal.This document describes DWARF Version 2, the second generation of debugging informationbased on the DWARF format. While DWARF Version 2 provides new debugging informationnot available in Version 1, the primary focus of the changes for Version 2 is the representation of the information, rather than the information content itself. The basic structure of the Version 2format remains as in Version 1: the debugging information is represented as a series of debugginginformation entries, each containing one or more attributes (name/value pairs). The Version 2representation, however, is much more compact than the Version 1 representation. In some cases,this greater density has been achieved at the expense of additional complexity or greater difficultyin producing and processing the DWARF information. We believe that the reduction in I/O andin memory paging should more than make up for any increase in processing time.Because the representation of information has changed from Version 1 to Version 2, Version 2DWARF information is not binary compatible with Version 1 information. To make it easier forconsumers to support both Version 1 and Version 2 DWARF information, the Version 2information has been moved to a different object file section,
.debug_info
.The intended audience for this document are the developers of both producers and consumers of debugging information, typically language compilers, debuggers and other tools that need tointerpret a binary program in terms of its original source.
1.2 Overview
There are two major pieces to the description of the DWARF format in this document. The firstpiece is the informational content of the debugging entries. The second piece is the way thedebugging information is encoded and represented in an object file.The informational content is described in sections two through six. Section two describes theoverall structure of the information and attributes that are common to many or all of the differentdebugging information entries. Sections three, four and five describe the specific debugginginformation entries and how they communicate the necessary information about the source
Tool Interface Standards (TIS) Portable Formats Specification, Version 1.1
1
Industry Review Draft

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