the Chromium logo

The Chromium Projects

Remote Debugging in ChromiumOS

See the CrOS developer guide for instructions on using a script that automates most of the below steps.

Device Setup

For details on copying a binary over to your developer device in order to debug it, see Host File Access.

You will need to open a port on your device so that gdbserver can be reached by gdb:

sudo /sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 1234 -j ACCEPT

On the target device, run gdbserver. You can run it with a new process or attach to an existing process:

gdbserver :1234 /bin/ls        # Debug a new instance of /bin/ls
gdbserver --attach :1234 6301  # Attach to existing process with pid: 6301
gdbserver --attach :1234 $(pgrep chrome -P $(pgrep session_manager))  # Attach to primary chrome browser process

Host Setup

Build a cross-gdb on your host machine (inside the chroot).

sudo USE=expat emerge cross-i686-pc-linux-gnu/gdb         # (x86)
sudo USE=expat emerge cross-x86_64-cros-linux-gnu/gdb     # (amd64)
sudo USE=expat emerge cross-armv7a-cros-linux-gnueabi/gdb # (arm)

Run gdb and set the appropriate paths to sysroot and debug symbols:

(gdb) set sysroot /build/x86-alex
(gdb) set solib-absolute-prefix /build/x86-alex
(gdb) set solib-search-path /build/x86-alex
(gdb) set debug-file-directory /build/x86-alex/usr/lib/debug
(gdb) file /build/x86-alex/bin/ls
(gdb) target remote

If you want to debug a chrome build with cros_chrome_make, first install to a temporary directory:

cros_chrome_make --install

And use the following instead (the binary specified in the file command is the one you want to copy over):

```none (gdb) set debug-file-directory /build/x86-alex/tmp/portage/chromeos-base/chromeos-chrome-9999/image/usr/lib/debug (gdb) file /build/x86-alex/tmp/portage/chromeos-base/chromeos-chrome-9999/image/opt/google/chrome/chrome (gdb) target remote ```

The program is now paused and you have control over it from your host machine. To start execution:

(gdb) continue

Helpful hint: you can place the above commands into a file and use the GDB "source" command to read it:

set sysroot /build/x86-alex
set solib-absolute-prefix /build/x86-alex
set solib-search-path /build/x86-alex
set debug-file-directory /build/x86-alex/usr/lib/debug
file /build/x86-alex/opt/google/chrome/chrome
# You can include setting breakpoints you know you're going to need.
b ChromeMain
target remote

Then save that as a file (e.g. "remote.gdb") and do this:

(gdb) source remote.gdb

Additional notes for remote debugging Chrome on ChromeOS

To get line number info in chrome builds (Note: don't use FEATURES="nostrip"


To debug the installed chrome from outside the chroot (e.g. from emacs) using /usr/bin/gdb + gdbserver on the device as described above, in .gdbinit (or sourced file):

set sysroot ~/chromeos/chroot/build/x86-alex
set solib-absolute-prefix ~/chromeos/chroot/build/x86-alex
set debug-file-directory ~/chromeos/chroot/build/x86-alex/usr/lib/debug
file ~/chromeos/chroot/build/x86-alex/opt/google/chrome/chrome
target remote

To debug chrome built with emerge or cros_chrome_make without installing, as above except:

file ~/chromeos/chroot/var/cache/chromeos-chrome/chrome-src/src/out_x86-alex/Release/chrome