How to set regex breakpoint for shared library in GDB


Assume you are running a program under GDB and it is linked to shared library files. Not all the shared libraries are loaded at the beginning when you start the program with GDB. They are loaded when needed. So, how to set a regex breakpoint in a source file that belongs to one of the shared library files?


  • Setting a normal breakpoint will work if the shared library having that file has already been loaded. You can check the currently loaded shared libraries using the command: info shared

  • If you set a breakpoint for a file which belongs to a shared library that is not yet loaded, GDB will warn you that the breakpoint will only be set once the library is loaded. This is kinda okay.

  • However, if you try to set regex breakpoints (rbreak) that will fail silently if the shared library is not yet loaded. So how to know when is the earliest point when you can set such breakpoints?

  • I find it useful to configure GDB to stop whenever a shared library is loaded. This can be done by setting this option: set stop-on-solib-events 1

  • Now GDB stops every time at the point where one or more shared libraries need to be loaded. If I realize that the shared library I am interested in has now loaded, I run the regex breakpoint command at that point to set the breakpoints. Voila!

Tried with: GDB 7.11.1 and Ubuntu 14.04

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.