gdbserver - Linux


gdbserver is a command-line tool that allows remote debugging of programs using the GNU Debugger (GDB). It enables developers to connect to a running program and control its execution, inspect memory, and modify variables remotely from a GDB client.


gdbserver [options] port [prog [arguments ...]]


  • -a address: Specify the address to listen on. Default: localhost
  • -c cmdfile: Specify a file containing GDB commands to execute at connect time.
  • -d: Run in debug mode, printing debug messages.
  • -F: Run the program in full mode (set a full breakpoint on the entry function).
  • -g: Enable core file generation.
  • -h: Print usage information.
  • -i pid: Attach to a running process with the specified PID.
  • -p: Print output in a format compatible with ps.
  • -q: Quiet mode, suppress informational messages.
  • -u: Allow untrusted clients to connect.


Simple usage:

gdbserver :12345 program

Remote debugging via SSH:

ssh user@remotehost -L 12345:localhost:12345
gdbserver :12345 program

Attach to a running process:

gdbserver -i 12345

Capture a core file:

gdbserver -g :12345 program

Common Issues

  • Ensure that port forwarding is set up correctly if debugging remotely.
  • Check that the program is compiled with debugging symbols for remote debugging.
  • Address mismatched endianness between the client and server machines.


  • Use gdbserver in conjunction with gdb for remote debugging.
  • Combine with tools like valgrind for memory profiling and debugging.
  • Integrate into automated testing frameworks for debugging failures.

Related Commands

  • gdb: GNU Debugger
  • lldb: LLVM Debugger
  • dtrace: System tracing and debugging tool
  • strace: Trace system calls
  • memcheck: Valgrind memory leak detector and profiler