gdb.info: Arrays

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Artificial arrays

It is often useful to print out several successive objects of the same
type in memory; a section of an array, or an array of dynamically
determined size for which only a pointer exists in the program.
   You can do this by referring to a contiguous span of memory as an
"artificial array", using the binary operator `@'.  The left operand of
`@' should be the first element of the desired array and be an
individual object.  The right operand should be the desired length of
the array.  The result is an array value whose elements are all of the
type of the left argument.  The first element is actually the left
argument; the second element comes from bytes of memory immediately
following those that hold the first element, and so on.  Here is an
example.  If a program says
     int *array = (int *) malloc (len * sizeof (int));
you can print the contents of `array' with
     p *array@len
   The left operand of `@' must reside in memory.  Array values made
with `@' in this way behave just like other arrays in terms of
subscripting, and are coerced to pointers when used in expressions.
Artificial arrays most often appear in expressions via the value history
(*note Value history: Value History.), after printing one out.
   Another way to create an artificial array is to use a cast.  This
re-interprets a value as if it were an array.  The value need not be in
memory:
     (gdb) p/x (short[2])0x12345678
     $1 = {0x1234, 0x5678}
   As a convenience, if you leave the array length out (as in
`(TYPE[])VALUE') GDB calculates the size to fill the value (as
`sizeof(VALUE)/sizeof(TYPE)':
     (gdb) p/x (short[])0x12345678
     $2 = {0x1234, 0x5678}
   Sometimes the artificial array mechanism is not quite enough; in
moderately complex data structures, the elements of interest may not
actually be adjacent--for example, if you are interested in the values
of pointers in an array.  One useful work-around in this situation is
to use a convenience variable (*note Convenience variables: Convenience
Vars.) as a counter in an expression that prints the first interesting
value, and then repeat that expression via <RET>.  For instance,
suppose you have an array `dtab' of pointers to structures, and you are
interested in the values of a field `fv' in each structure.  Here is an
example of what you might type:

set $i = 0 p dtab[$i++]->fv <RET> <RET> ...