GEF - GDB Enhanced Features

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GEF (pronounced ʤɛf - "Jeff") is a kick-ass set of commands for X86, ARM, MIPS, PowerPC and SPARC to make GDB cool again for exploit dev. It is aimed to be used mostly by exploit developers and reverse-engineers, to provide additional features to GDB using the Python API to assist during the process of dynamic analysis and exploit development.

It has full support for both Python2 and Python3 indifferently (as more and more distros start pushing gdb compiled with Python3 support).

gef-context

A few of GEF features include:

  • One single GDB script
  • Entirely OS Agnostic, NO dependencies: GEF is battery-included and is installable instantly
  • Fast limiting the number of dependencies and optimizing code to make the commands as fast as possible
  • Provides a great variety of commands to drastically change your experience in GDB.
  • Easily extensible to create other commands by providing more comprehensible layout to GDB Python API.
  • Full Python3 support (Python2 support was dropped - see gef-legacy).
  • Built around an architecture abstraction layer, so all commands work in any GDB-supported architecture such as x86-32/64, ARMv5/6/7, AARCH64, SPARC, MIPS, PowerPC, etc.
  • Suited for real-life debugging, exploit development, just as much as for CTFs

Check out the Screenshot page for more.

Or try it online (user:gef/password:gef-demo)

Setup

Quick install

Simply make sure you have GDB 7.7 or higher.

$ bash -c "$(curl -fsSL http://gef.blah.cat/sh)"

For more details and other ways to install GEF please see ./config.md.

Run

Then just start playing (for local files):

$ gdb -q /path/to/my/bin
gef➤  gef help

Or (for remote debugging):

remote:~ $ gdbserver 0.0.0.0:1234 /path/to/file
Running as PID: 666

And:

local:~ $ gdb -q
gef➤  gef-remote -t your.ip.address:1234 -p 666

Update

If your host/VM is connected to the Internet, you can update gef easily to the latest version (even without git installed). with python /path/to/gef.py --update

$ python ~/.gdbinit-gef.py --update
Updated

This will deploy the latest version of gef's master branch from Github. If no updates are available, gef will respond No update instead.

Install via Git

To install from Git, simply clone this repository and specify the path to gef.py inside the ~/.gdbinit file:

$ git clone https://github.com/hugsy/gef.git
$ echo source `pwd`/gef/gef.py >> ~/.gdbinit

If you like living on the edge, you can then switch to the dev branch:

$ git checkout dev

Dependencies

There are none: GEF works out of the box!

However, to enjoy all the coolest features from some commands, it is recommended to install:

For a quick installation, simply use the pip packaged version:

$ pip3 install capstone unicorn keystone-engine ropper

Just make sure you are using the pip corresponding to the version of Python your GDB was compiled with. If you are experiencing issues installing them, post an issue on the GitHub of the respective projects. If your bug is not related to GEF, you will not get an answer.

Additional commands

GEF was built to also provide a solid base for external scripts. The repository gef-extras is an open repository where anyone can freely submit their own commands to extend GDB via GEF's API.

To benefit from it:

# via the install script
$ bash -c "$(wget https://github.com/hugsy/gef/raw/master/scripts/gef-extras.sh -O -)"

# manually
# clone the repo
$ https://github.com/hugsy/gef-extras.git
# specify gef to load this directory
$ gdb -ex 'gef config gef.extra_plugins_dir "/path/to/gef-extras/scripts"' -ex 'gef save' -ex quit
[+] Configuration saved

You can also use the structures defined from this repository:

$ gdb -ex 'gef config pcustom.struct_path "/path/to/gef-extras/structs"' -ex 'gef save' -ex quit
[+] Configuration saved

There, you're now fully equipped epic pwnage with all GEF's goodness!!

Bugs & Feedbacks

To discuss gef, gdb, exploitation or other topics, feel free to join our Discord channel.

For bugs or feature requests, just go here and provide a thorough description if you want help.

Side Note: GEF fully relies on the GDB API and other Linux-specific sources of information (such as /proc/<pid>). As a consequence, some of the features might not work on custom or hardened systems such as GrSec.

Contribution

gef was created and maintained by myself, @_hugsy_, but kept fresh thanks to all the contributors.

Or if you just like the tool, feel free to drop a simple "thanks" on Discord, Twitter or other, it is always very appreciated.

Sponsors

We would like to thank in particular the following people who've been sponsoring GEF allowing us to dedicate more time and resources to the project:

Extra Credits

Happy hacking