Patches Proposed So Microsoft Debuggers Can Deal With GCC-Built MinGW Executables

Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 21 March 2021 at 06:13 AM EDT. 24 Comments
Patches have been proposed for the GCC compiler to ultimately allow MinGW Windows executables to be debugged with Microsoft's debuggers.

The set of two dozen patches is for allowing the GNU Compiler Collection to emit debugging information in the PE-specific CodeView format used by Microsoft's debuggers. This PE-specific CodeView format is partially documented by Microsoft and understood via header files open-sourced by Microsoft as part of their PDB (Program Database) symbol file format.

Taking up this effort to allow MinGW EXEs to be handled under Microsoft debuggers is Mark Harmstone, the open-source developer also known for porting Btrfs to Windows as well as writing an open-source bootloader for Windows and other similar projects.

With these patches and using the new "-gcodeview" compiler option, the EXEs have in turn been tested under debuggers like Microsoft Visual Studio, Windbg, Radare2, and Cvdump. Testing has happened on both x86 and AMD64.

Those interested in the prospects of running GCC-built Windows binaries under Microsoft Windows debugging tools can see this patch series on the GCC mailing list.
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