[PATCHv3,2/9] bfd/binutils: support for gdb target descriptions in the core file

Message ID cebf0d078cd1abc479cd66e6a7eb459d8a57f701.1613410057.git.andrew.burgess@embecosm.com
State New
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Commit Message

Andrew Burgess Feb. 15, 2021, 5:29 p.m.
This commit lays the ground work for allowing GDB to write its target
description into a generated core file.

The goal of this work is to allow a user to connect to a remote
target, capture a core file from within GDB, then pass the executable
and core file to another user and have the user be able to examine the
state of the machine without needing to connect to a running target.

Different remote targets can have different register sets and this
information is communicated from the target to GDB in the target

It is possible for a user to extract the target description from GDB
and pass this along with the core file so that when the core file is
used the target description can be fed back into GDB, however this is
not a great user experience.

It would be nicer, I think, if GDB could write the target description
directly into the core file, and then make use of this description
when loading a core file.

This commit performs the binutils/bfd side of this task, adding the
boiler plate functions to access the target description from within a
core file note, and reserving a new number for a note containing the
target description.  Later commits will extend GDB to make use of

The new note is given the name 'GDB' and a type NT_GDB_TDESC.  This
should hopefully protect us if there's ever a reuse of the number
assigned to NT_GDB_TDESC by some other core file producer.  It should
also, hopefully, make it clearer to users that this note carries GDB
specific information.


	* elf-bfd.h (elfcore_write_gdb_tdesc): Declare new function.
	* elf.c (elfcore_grok_gdb_tdesc): New function.
	(elfcore_grok_note): Handle NT_GDB_TDESC.
	(elfcore_write_gdb_tdesc): New function.
	(elfcore_write_register_note): Handle NT_GDB_TDESC.


	* readelf.c (get_note_type): Handle NT_GDB_TDESC.


	* elf/common.h (NT_GDB_TDESC): Define.
 bfd/ChangeLog        |  9 +++++++++
 bfd/elf-bfd.h        |  2 ++
 bfd/elf.c            | 35 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 binutils/ChangeLog   |  5 +++++
 binutils/readelf.c   |  2 ++
 include/ChangeLog    |  5 +++++
 include/elf/common.h |  4 ++++
 7 files changed, 62 insertions(+)



diff --git a/bfd/elf-bfd.h b/bfd/elf-bfd.h
index 4b79ee8eb62..8b989e71580 100644
--- a/bfd/elf-bfd.h
+++ b/bfd/elf-bfd.h
@@ -2796,6 +2796,8 @@  extern char *elfcore_write_aarch_pauth
   (bfd *, char *, int *, const void *, int);
 extern char *elfcore_write_arc_v2
   (bfd *, char *, int *, const void *, int);
+extern char *elfcore_write_gdb_tdesc
+  (bfd *, char *, int *, const void *, int);
 extern char *elfcore_write_lwpstatus
   (bfd *, char *, int *, long, int, const void *);
 extern char *elfcore_write_register_note
diff --git a/bfd/elf.c b/bfd/elf.c
index 087f05e5cc8..2d66e9b999f 100644
--- a/bfd/elf.c
+++ b/bfd/elf.c
@@ -9912,6 +9912,15 @@  elfcore_grok_arc_v2 (bfd *abfd, Elf_Internal_Note *note)
   return elfcore_make_note_pseudosection (abfd, ".reg-arc-v2", note);
+/* Convert NOTE into a bfd_section called ".gdb-tdesc".  Return TRUE if
+   successful otherwise, return FALSE.  */
+static bfd_boolean
+elfcore_grok_gdb_tdesc (bfd *abfd, Elf_Internal_Note *note)
+  return elfcore_make_note_pseudosection (abfd, ".gdb-tdesc", note);
 #if defined (HAVE_PRPSINFO_T)
 typedef prpsinfo_t   elfcore_psinfo_t;
 #if defined (HAVE_PRPSINFO32_T)		/* Sparc64 cross Sparc32 */
@@ -10570,6 +10579,13 @@  elfcore_grok_note (bfd *abfd, Elf_Internal_Note *note)
 	return TRUE;
+    case NT_GDB_TDESC:
+      if (note->namesz == 4
+          && strcmp (note->namedata, "GDB") == 0)
+        return elfcore_grok_gdb_tdesc (abfd, note);
+      else
+        return TRUE;
     case NT_PRPSINFO:
     case NT_PSINFO:
       if (bed->elf_backend_grok_psinfo)
@@ -11951,6 +11967,23 @@  elfcore_write_arc_v2 (bfd *abfd,
 			     note_name, NT_ARC_V2, arc_v2, size);
+/* Write the target description (a string) pointed to by TDESC, length
+   SIZE, into the note buffer BUF, and update *BUFSIZ.  ABFD is the bfd the
+   note is being written into.  Return a pointer to the new start of the
+   note buffer, to replace BUF which may no longer be valid.  */
+char *
+elfcore_write_gdb_tdesc (bfd *abfd,
+			 char *buf,
+			 int *bufsiz,
+			 const void *tdesc,
+			 int size)
+  const char *note_name = "GDB";
+  return elfcore_write_note (abfd, buf, bufsiz,
+                             note_name, NT_GDB_TDESC, tdesc, size);
 char *
 elfcore_write_register_note (bfd *abfd,
 			     char *buf,
@@ -12035,6 +12068,8 @@  elfcore_write_register_note (bfd *abfd,
     return elfcore_write_aarch_pauth (abfd, buf, bufsiz, data, size);
   if (strcmp (section, ".reg-arc-v2") == 0)
     return elfcore_write_arc_v2 (abfd, buf, bufsiz, data, size);
+  if (strcmp (section, ".gdb-tdesc") == 0)
+    return elfcore_write_gdb_tdesc (abfd, buf, bufsiz, data, size);
   return NULL;
diff --git a/binutils/readelf.c b/binutils/readelf.c
index 755634dfe5d..277fcd3bc5a 100644
--- a/binutils/readelf.c
+++ b/binutils/readelf.c
@@ -18318,6 +18318,8 @@  get_note_type (Filedata * filedata, unsigned e_type)
 	return _("NT_PRPSINFO (prpsinfo structure)");
       case NT_TASKSTRUCT:
 	return _("NT_TASKSTRUCT (task structure)");
+      case NT_GDB_TDESC:
+        return _("NT_GDB_TDESC (GDB XML target description)");
       case NT_PRXFPREG:
 	return _("NT_PRXFPREG (user_xfpregs structure)");
       case NT_PPC_VMX:
diff --git a/include/elf/common.h b/include/elf/common.h
index e7d55ae0782..e6e9c278faa 100644
--- a/include/elf/common.h
+++ b/include/elf/common.h
@@ -677,6 +677,10 @@ 
 #define NT_SIGINFO	0x53494749	/* Fields of siginfo_t.  */
 #define NT_FILE		0x46494c45	/* Description of mapped files.  */
+/* The range 0xff000000 to 0xffffffff is set aside for notes that don't
+   originate from any particular operating system.  */
+#define NT_GDB_TDESC	0xff000000	/* Contains copy of GDB's target description XML.  */
 /* Note segments for core files on dir-style procfs systems.  */
 #define NT_PSTATUS	10		/* Has a struct pstatus */