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David A's

This is libdwarf

Updated 19 September 2021 For release libdwarf-0.2.0

BUILDING from a libdwarf.tar.xz

This is always recommended as it's not necessary to have GNU autotools installed. These examples show doing a build in a directory different than the source as that is generally recommended practice.

GNU configure build

rm -rf /tmp/build
mkdir /tmp/build
cd /tmp
tar xf <path to>/libdwarf-0.2.0.tar.xz
cd  /tmp/build
make check

cmake build

README.cmake has details on the available cmake options.

Just like configure, except instead of configure do:

cmake  /tmp/libdwarf-0.2.0
ctest -R self

BUILDING from a git clone of the source tree with configure

This is not recommended as it requires you have GNU autotools and pkg-config installed. Here we assume the source is in a directory named /path/to/code

For example, on Ubuntu 20.04 sudo apt-get install autoconf libtool pkg-config

Using the source/build directories from above as examples, do:

cd /path/to/code
cd /tmp/build
make check

BUILDING from a git clone of the source tree with cmake

It's always recommended to do cmake builds in a clean directory. See also README.cmake Start just as in the above configure steps by running, then instead of configure do:

cmake  /path/to/code
ctest -R self

Options to configure on Linux/Unix

By default configure compiles and uses libdwarf.a. With --enable-shared appended to the configure step, both libdwarf.a and are built and the runtimes built will reference

With --enable-shared --disable-static appended to the configure step, is built and used; libdwarf.a is not built.

Other options of possible interest:

--enable-wall to turn on compiler diagnostics 
--enable-dwarfexample to compile the example programs.

configure -h     shows the options available.

Sanity checking: gcc has some checks that can be done at runtime. -fsanitize=undefined is turned on by --enable-sanitize

Options to configure on Windows

All libdwarf builds are automatically shared object (dll) builds. No static libdwarf.a is supported.


When ready to create a new source distribution do a build and then

make distcheck

INCOMPATIBILITIES. Changes to interfaces

Comparing libdwarf-0.2.0 to libdwarf-20210528 (the final non-semantic-version release) there are significant changes.

Many functions that only supported DWARF before DWARF5 have been dropped in favor of functions that support all DWARF versions through DWARF5. The later versions add a _a_ (or _b_ or _c_ or _d_) to the end of the function name. In nearly all cases the libdwarf-0.2.0 interface was already available in libdwarf-20210528 along with older interfaces that only worked with earlier DWARF.

Specific functions whose argument lists changed

Some arguments were removed from


the arguments were unused and/or unnecessary. The argument list to


changed to allow use with DWARF5.

libdwarf.h still has

struct Dwarf_Frame_Op_s

but these will be dropped since they only work with DWARF2. A usable interface is not yet available.

Reading DWARF from memory

If one has DWARF bytes in memory or in a kind of file system libdwarf cannot understand one should use

dwarf_object_init_b() libdwarf functions...

and create source to provide functions and data for the three struct types:

struct Dwarf_Obj_Access_Interface_a_s
struct Dwarf_Obj_Access_Methods_a_s
struct Dwarf_Obj_Access_Section_a_s

These functions and structs now seem complete (unlike the earlier libdwarf versions), hence the name and content changes.

For a worked out example of reading DWARF direct from memory with no file system involved see


David Anderson.