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Date: Mon, 27 Apr 2015 13:32:35 +0200
From: Alex Dowad <>
Subject: [PATCH] generate debug_frame info for __syscall_cp_asm (i386) so gdb can get backtrace

__syscall_cp_asm needs to use EBP to pass the 6th argument to syscalls with
6 arguments, so it can't use it for a frame pointer. Without frame pointers,
GDB can only show backtraces if it gets CFI information from a .debug_frame
or .eh_frame section.

GCC automatically generates .debug_frame info for all the functions implemented
in C, so GDB can get backtraces for them. But the assembler can't generate
.debug_frame info for functions implemented in asm, unless you tell it how to
find the call frame.

With no backtraces, GDB's "catch syscall" is almost useless for syscalls which
are implemented using syscall_cp, like close and writev. Adding the CFI info makes
it possible to catch these syscalls and find out exactly where a program is using
them from.
 src/thread/i386/syscall_cp.s | 20 ++++++++++++++++++++
 1 file changed, 20 insertions(+)

Dear musl devs,

Please have a look at this patch, and CC me on any discussion. (I've never worked on
musl before and haven't joined the mailing list.) Your feedback will be appreciated.
(Just to let you know, I have build-tested this code and tried it in gdb.)

If you would like to add similar stack frame debug information to other asm functions,
I would be happy to send more patches. The CFI directives can be made more concise
using asm macros if desired.

By the way, I absolutely and utterly LOVE your Makefile and configure scripts. They're
so... so SANE. I never thought a configure script could make me this happy! Thank you!

Alex Dowad <>

diff --git a/src/thread/i386/syscall_cp.s b/src/thread/i386/syscall_cp.s
index 7dce1eb..baba145 100644
--- a/src/thread/i386/syscall_cp.s
+++ b/src/thread/i386/syscall_cp.s
@@ -9,12 +9,23 @@
 .global __syscall_cp_asm
 .hidden __syscall_cp_asm
 .type   __syscall_cp_asm,@function
+.cfi_sections .debug_frame
 	mov 4(%esp),%ecx
 	pushl %ebx
+.cfi_adjust_cfa_offset 4
+.cfi_offset ebx,-8
 	pushl %esi
+.cfi_adjust_cfa_offset 4
+.cfi_offset esi,-12
 	pushl %edi
+.cfi_adjust_cfa_offset 4
+.cfi_offset edi,-16
 	pushl %ebp
+.cfi_adjust_cfa_offset 4
+.cfi_offset ebp,-20
 	movl (%ecx),%eax
 	testl %eax,%eax
@@ -29,10 +40,19 @@ __cp_begin:
 	int $128
 	popl %ebp
+.cfi_adjust_cfa_offset -4
+.cfi_restore ebp
 	popl %edi
+.cfi_adjust_cfa_offset -4
+.cfi_restore edi
 	popl %esi
+.cfi_adjust_cfa_offset -4
+.cfi_restore esi
 	popl %ebx
+.cfi_adjust_cfa_offset -4
+.cfi_restore ebx
 	popl %ebp
 	popl %edi

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