[ros-dev] On the use of stabs

Samuel serapion samdwise51 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 17 09:24:14 CEST 2008

In my recent endeavors into porting ReactOS to the amd64 architecture I have
discovered that the the x86_64-pc-mingw32 target uses DWARF debugging
symbols by default.
The reason for this change was very simple, stabs are strictly 32bit. A
stabs record only has 32 bits to represent an address, it represents less
information, was never properly standardized, so gdb is pretty much the only
debugger which can handle gcc stabs in their full glory, and it is larger to
boot. DWARF is better in every aspect. There is no reason to use stabs these

encoded         • does i386-mingw32 support DWARF2 ?
NightStrike     • the plan is that gcc4.3 will
NightStrike     • more specifically, it will also drop support for sjlj

Dwarf 2 Unwind frames for mingw32/cygwin

mingw32-gcc4.3 packages are so patched afaics:

Right now ReactOS has a tool called rsym that parses stabs and coff symbol

arty            • rsym was made to keep compact line number info

Ask yourself:

Could we eliminate an entire build step that is imposed on all ros binaries?
How hard would it be to teach the kernel about DWARF? (If we really wanted

sedwards        • wine dbghelp supports pdb too
sedwards        • CV, PDB, Stabs and Dwarf
sedwards        • as far as I know

Reading Material:

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