Separate Debug Files

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Debugging Information in Separate Files

GDB allows you to put a program's debugging information in a file
separate from the executable itself, in a way that allows GDB to find
and load the debugging information automatically.  Since debugging
information can be very large -- sometimes larger than the executable
code itself -- some systems distribute debugging information for their
executables in separate files, which users can install only when they
need to debug a problem.
   If an executable's debugging information has been extracted to a
separate file, the executable should contain a "debug link" giving the
name of the debugging information file (with no directory components),
and a checksum of its contents.  (The exact form of a debug link is
described below.)  If the full name of the directory containing the
executable is EXECDIR, and the executable has a debug link that
specifies the name DEBUGFILE, then GDB will automatically search for
the debugging information file in three places:
   * the directory containing the executable file (that is, it will look
     for a file named `EXECDIR/DEBUGFILE',
   * a subdirectory of that directory named `.debug' (that is, the file
     `EXECDIR/.debug/DEBUGFILE', and
   * a subdirectory of the global debug file directory that includes the
     executable's full path, and the name from the link (that is, the
     the global debug file directory, and EXECDIR has been turned into
     a relative path).
GDB checks under each of these names for a debugging information file
whose checksum matches that given in the link, and reads the debugging
information from the first one it finds.
   So, for example, if you ask GDB to debug `/usr/bin/ls', which has a
link containing the name `ls.debug', and the global debug directory is
`/usr/lib/debug', then GDB will look for debug information in
`/usr/bin/ls.debug', `/usr/bin/.debug/ls.debug', and
   You can set the global debugging info directory's name, and view the
name GDB is currently using.
`set debug-file-directory DIRECTORY'
     Set the directory which GDB searches for separate debugging
     information files to DIRECTORY.
`show debug-file-directory'
     Show the directory GDB searches for separate debugging information
   A debug link is a special section of the executable file named
`.gnu_debuglink'.  The section must contain:
   * A filename, with any leading directory components removed,
     followed by a zero byte,
   * zero to three bytes of padding, as needed to reach the next
     four-byte boundary within the section, and
   * a four-byte CRC checksum, stored in the same endianness used for
     the executable file itself.  The checksum is computed on the
     debugging information file's full contents by the function given
     below, passing zero as the CRC argument.
   Any executable file format can carry a debug link, as long as it can
contain a section named `.gnu_debuglink' with the contents described
   The debugging information file itself should be an ordinary
executable, containing a full set of linker symbols, sections, and
debugging information.  The sections of the debugging information file
should have the same names, addresses and sizes as the original file,
but they need not contain any data -- much like a `.bss' section in an
ordinary executable.
   As of December 2002, there is no standard GNU utility to produce
separated executable / debugging information file pairs.  Ulrich
Drepper's `elfutils' package, starting with version 0.53, contains a
version of the `strip' command such that the command `strip foo -f
foo.debug' removes the debugging information from the executable file
`foo', places it in the file `foo.debug', and leaves behind a debug
link in `foo'.
   Since there are many different ways to compute CRC's (different
polynomials, reversals, byte ordering, etc.), the simplest way to
describe the CRC used in `.gnu_debuglink' sections is to give the
complete code for a function that computes it:
     unsigned long
     gnu_debuglink_crc32 (unsigned long crc,
                          unsigned char *buf, size_t len)
       static const unsigned long crc32_table[256] =
           0x00000000, 0x77073096, 0xee0e612c, 0x990951ba, 0x076dc419,
           0x706af48f, 0xe963a535, 0x9e6495a3, 0x0edb8832, 0x79dcb8a4,
           0xe0d5e91e, 0x97d2d988, 0x09b64c2b, 0x7eb17cbd, 0xe7b82d07,
           0x90bf1d91, 0x1db71064, 0x6ab020f2, 0xf3b97148, 0x84be41de,
           0x1adad47d, 0x6ddde4eb, 0xf4d4b551, 0x83d385c7, 0x136c9856,
           0x646ba8c0, 0xfd62f97a, 0x8a65c9ec, 0x14015c4f, 0x63066cd9,
           0xfa0f3d63, 0x8d080df5, 0x3b6e20c8, 0x4c69105e, 0xd56041e4,
           0xa2677172, 0x3c03e4d1, 0x4b04d447, 0xd20d85fd, 0xa50ab56b,
           0x35b5a8fa, 0x42b2986c, 0xdbbbc9d6, 0xacbcf940, 0x32d86ce3,
           0x45df5c75, 0xdcd60dcf, 0xabd13d59, 0x26d930ac, 0x51de003a,
           0xc8d75180, 0xbfd06116, 0x21b4f4b5, 0x56b3c423, 0xcfba9599,
           0xb8bda50f, 0x2802b89e, 0x5f058808, 0xc60cd9b2, 0xb10be924,
           0x2f6f7c87, 0x58684c11, 0xc1611dab, 0xb6662d3d, 0x76dc4190,
           0x01db7106, 0x98d220bc, 0xefd5102a, 0x71b18589, 0x06b6b51f,
           0x9fbfe4a5, 0xe8b8d433, 0x7807c9a2, 0x0f00f934, 0x9609a88e,
           0xe10e9818, 0x7f6a0dbb, 0x086d3d2d, 0x91646c97, 0xe6635c01,
           0x6b6b51f4, 0x1c6c6162, 0x856530d8, 0xf262004e, 0x6c0695ed,
           0x1b01a57b, 0x8208f4c1, 0xf50fc457, 0x65b0d9c6, 0x12b7e950,
           0x8bbeb8ea, 0xfcb9887c, 0x62dd1ddf, 0x15da2d49, 0x8cd37cf3,
           0xfbd44c65, 0x4db26158, 0x3ab551ce, 0xa3bc0074, 0xd4bb30e2,
           0x4adfa541, 0x3dd895d7, 0xa4d1c46d, 0xd3d6f4fb, 0x4369e96a,
           0x346ed9fc, 0xad678846, 0xda60b8d0, 0x44042d73, 0x33031de5,
           0xaa0a4c5f, 0xdd0d7cc9, 0x5005713c, 0x270241aa, 0xbe0b1010,
           0xc90c2086, 0x5768b525, 0x206f85b3, 0xb966d409, 0xce61e49f,
           0x5edef90e, 0x29d9c998, 0xb0d09822, 0xc7d7a8b4, 0x59b33d17,
           0x2eb40d81, 0xb7bd5c3b, 0xc0ba6cad, 0xedb88320, 0x9abfb3b6,
           0x03b6e20c, 0x74b1d29a, 0xead54739, 0x9dd277af, 0x04db2615,
           0x73dc1683, 0xe3630b12, 0x94643b84, 0x0d6d6a3e, 0x7a6a5aa8,
           0xe40ecf0b, 0x9309ff9d, 0x0a00ae27, 0x7d079eb1, 0xf00f9344,
           0x8708a3d2, 0x1e01f268, 0x6906c2fe, 0xf762575d, 0x806567cb,
           0x196c3671, 0x6e6b06e7, 0xfed41b76, 0x89d32be0, 0x10da7a5a,
           0x67dd4acc, 0xf9b9df6f, 0x8ebeeff9, 0x17b7be43, 0x60b08ed5,
           0xd6d6a3e8, 0xa1d1937e, 0x38d8c2c4, 0x4fdff252, 0xd1bb67f1,
           0xa6bc5767, 0x3fb506dd, 0x48b2364b, 0xd80d2bda, 0xaf0a1b4c,
           0x36034af6, 0x41047a60, 0xdf60efc3, 0xa867df55, 0x316e8eef,
           0x4669be79, 0xcb61b38c, 0xbc66831a, 0x256fd2a0, 0x5268e236,
           0xcc0c7795, 0xbb0b4703, 0x220216b9, 0x5505262f, 0xc5ba3bbe,
           0xb2bd0b28, 0x2bb45a92, 0x5cb36a04, 0xc2d7ffa7, 0xb5d0cf31,
           0x2cd99e8b, 0x5bdeae1d, 0x9b64c2b0, 0xec63f226, 0x756aa39c,
           0x026d930a, 0x9c0906a9, 0xeb0e363f, 0x72076785, 0x05005713,
           0x95bf4a82, 0xe2b87a14, 0x7bb12bae, 0x0cb61b38, 0x92d28e9b,
           0xe5d5be0d, 0x7cdcefb7, 0x0bdbdf21, 0x86d3d2d4, 0xf1d4e242,
           0x68ddb3f8, 0x1fda836e, 0x81be16cd, 0xf6b9265b, 0x6fb077e1,
           0x18b74777, 0x88085ae6, 0xff0f6a70, 0x66063bca, 0x11010b5c,
           0x8f659eff, 0xf862ae69, 0x616bffd3, 0x166ccf45, 0xa00ae278,
           0xd70dd2ee, 0x4e048354, 0x3903b3c2, 0xa7672661, 0xd06016f7,
           0x4969474d, 0x3e6e77db, 0xaed16a4a, 0xd9d65adc, 0x40df0b66,
           0x37d83bf0, 0xa9bcae53, 0xdebb9ec5, 0x47b2cf7f, 0x30b5ffe9,
           0xbdbdf21c, 0xcabac28a, 0x53b39330, 0x24b4a3a6, 0xbad03605,
           0xcdd70693, 0x54de5729, 0x23d967bf, 0xb3667a2e, 0xc4614ab8,
           0x5d681b02, 0x2a6f2b94, 0xb40bbe37, 0xc30c8ea1, 0x5a05df1b,
       unsigned char *end;
       crc = ~crc & 0xffffffff;
       for (end = buf + len; buf < end; ++buf)
         crc = crc32_table[(crc ^ *buf) & 0xff] ^ (crc >> 8);
       return ~crc & 0xffffffff;