0.0.25 (Released December 1st, 2023)

These are some of the highlights of drgn 0.0.25. See the GitHub release for the full release notes, including more improvements and bug fixes.

Omitting the prog Argument

As a usability improvement, prog can now be omitted from most function calls. For example, instead of find_task(prog, 1234), you can now simply write find_task(1234). Additionally, instead of prog.stack_trace(1234), you can now write stack_trace(1234). (The old way will continue to be supported.)

Most CLI users don’t need to worry about how this works, but library users may want to understand the Default Program.

It’s tricky balancing interactive convenience and sensible APIs for scripting, but we think this is a nice improvement overall!

Running Without root

drgn debugs the live Linux kernel via /proc/kcore, which can only be accessed by the root user (or a user with the CAP_SYS_RAWIO capability, to be precise). However, it’s not necessary (or ideal) for the rest of drgn to run as root.

Now when drgn is run against the live kernel as an unprivileged user, it will attempt to open /proc/kcore via sudo(8). The rest of drgn will then run without extra privileges.

In other words, in order to debug the live kernel, all you need to do is install debugging symbols and run:

$ drgn

This feature was contributed by Stephen Brennan.

Maple Tree Helpers

Maple trees were introduced in Linux 6.1, initially to store virtual memory areas (VMAs). This release adds a couple of helpers for working with them.

mtree_load() looks up an entry in a maple tree:

>>> mtree_load(task.mm.mm_mt.address_of_(), 0x55d65cfaa000)
(void *)0xffff97ad82bfc930

mt_for_each() iterates over a maple tree:

>>> for first_index, last_index, entry in mt_for_each(task.mm.mm_mt.address_of_()):
...     print(hex(first_index), hex(last_index), entry)
0x55d65cfaa000 0x55d65cfaafff (void *)0xffff97ad82bfc930
0x55d65cfab000 0x55d65cfabfff (void *)0xffff97ad82bfc0a8
0x55d65cfac000 0x55d65cfacfff (void *)0xffff97ad82bfc000
0x55d65cfad000 0x55d65cfadfff (void *)0xffff97ad82bfcb28

VMA Helpers

This release also adds higher-level helpers specifically for VMAs.

vma_find() looks up a VMA by address:

>>> vma_find(task.mm, 0x55d65cfaa000)
*(struct vm_area_struct *)0xffff97ad82bfc930 = {
>>> vma_find(task.mm, 0x55d65cfa9fff)
(struct vm_area_struct *)0

for_each_vma() iterates over every VMA in an address space:

>>> for vma in for_each_vma(task.mm):
...     print(vma)
*(struct vm_area_struct *)0xffff97ad82bfc930 = {
*(struct vm_area_struct *)0xffff97ad82bfc0a8 = {

These helpers also handle older kernels without maple trees.

Wait Queue Helpers

Wait queues are a fundamental data structure and synchronization mechanism in the Linux kernel. Imran Khan contributed a few helpers for working with them.

waitqueue_active() returns whether a wait queue has any waiters:

>>> wq
*(wait_queue_head_t *)0xffff8da80d618e18 = {
        .lock = (spinlock_t){
                .rlock = (struct raw_spinlock){
                        .raw_lock = (arch_spinlock_t){
                                .val = (atomic_t){
                                        .counter = (int)0,
                                .locked = (u8)0,
                                .pending = (u8)0,
                                .locked_pending = (u16)0,
                                .tail = (u16)0,
        .head = (struct list_head){
                .next = (struct list_head *)0xffffae44e3007ce8,
                .prev = (struct list_head *)0xffffae44e3007ce8,
>>> waitqueue_active(wq)

waitqueue_for_each_entry() iterates over each entry in a wait queue:

>>> for entry in waitqueue_for_each_entry(wq):
...     print(entry)
*(wait_queue_entry_t *)0xffffae44e3007cd0 = {
        .flags = (unsigned int)0,
        .private = (void *)0xffff8da7863ec000,
        .func = (wait_queue_func_t)woken_wake_function+0x0 = 0xffffffffa8181010,
        .entry = (struct list_head){
                .next = (struct list_head *)0xffff8da80d618e20,
                .prev = (struct list_head *)0xffff8da80d618e20,

waitqueue_for_each_task() iterates over each task waiting on a wait queue (although note that this does not work for some special wait queues that don’t store tasks):

>>> for task in waitqueue_for_each_task(wq):
...     print(task.pid, task.comm)
(pid_t)294708 (char [16])"zsh"

ppc64 Radix MMU Support

Sourabh Jain contributed ppc64 radix MMU virtual address translation support. This is the state of architecture support in this release:

drgn 0.0.25 Architecture Support


Linux Kernel Modules

Stack Traces

Virtual Address Translation