Command pcustom

gef provides a way to create and apply to the currently debugged environment, any new structure (in the C-struct way). On top of simply displaying known and user-defined structures, it also allows to apply those structures to the current context. It intends to mimic the very useful WinDBG dt command.

This is achieved via the command pcustom (for print custom), or you can use its alias, dt (in reference to the WinDBG command).


New structures can be stored in the location given by the configuration setting:

gef➤ gef config pcustom.struct_path

By default, this location is in $TEMP/gef/structs (e.g. /tmp/user/1000/gef/structs). The structure can be created as a simple ctypes structure, in a file called <struct_name>.py.

You can naturally set this path to a new location

gef➤ gef config pcustom.struct_path /my/new/location

And save this change so you can re-use it directly next time you use gdb

gef➤ gef save
[+] Configuration saved to '~/.gef.rc'

Using user-defined structures

You can list existing custom structures via

gef➤  dt -l
[+] Listing custom structures:
 →  struct5
 →  struct6

To create or edit a structure, use dt <struct_name> -e to spawn your EDITOR with the targeted structure. If the file does not exist, gef will nicely create the tree and file, and fill it with a ctypes template that you can use straight away!

gef➤  dt mystruct_t -e
[+] Creating '/tmp/gef/structs/' from template

The code can be defined just as any Python (using ctypes) code.

from ctypes import *

typedef struct {
  int age;
  char name[256];
  int id;
} person_t;

class person_t(Structure):
    _fields_ = [
        ("age",  c_int),
        ("name", c_char * 256),
        ("id", c_int),

    _values_ = [
        # You can define a function to substitute the value
        ("age", lambda age: "Old" if age > 40 else "Young"),
        # Or alternatively a list of 2-tuples
        ("id", [
            (0, "root"),
            (1, "normal user"),
            (None, "Invalid person")

pcustom requires at least one argument, which is the name of the structure. With only one argument, pcustom will dump all the fields of this structure.

gef➤  dt person_t
+0000 age c_int (0x4)  →  Young
+0004 name c_char_Array_256 (0x100)
+0104 id c_int (0x1)   →  normal user

By providing an address or a GDB symbol, gef will apply this user-defined structure to the specified address:


This means that we can now create very easily new user-defined structures

For a full demo, watch the following tutorial:


Additionally, if you have successfully configured your IDA settings (see command ida-interact), you can also directly import the structure(s) that was(were) reverse-engineered in IDA directly in your GDB session:


And then use the command ida ImportStructs to import all the structures, or ida ImportStruct <StructName> to only import a specific one:

gef➤  ida ImportStructs
[+] Success

Which will become: