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abidw - serialize the ABI of an ELF file

abidw reads a shared library in ELF format and emits an XML representation of its ABI to
standard output. The emitted representation includes all the globally defined functions
and variables, along with a complete representation of their types. It also includes a
representation of the globally defined ELF symbols of the file. The input shared library
must contain associated debug information in DWARF format.


abidw [options] [<path-to-elf-file>]


· --help | -h

Display a short help about the command and exit.

· --version | -v

Display the version of the program and exit.

· --debug-info-dir | -d <dir-path>

In cases where the debug info for path-to-elf-file is in a separate file that is
located in a non-standard place, this tells abidw where to look for that debug info

Note that dir-path must point to the root directory under which the debug information
is arranged in a tree-like manner. Under Red Hat based systems, that directory is
usually <root>/usr/lib/debug.

Note that this option is not mandatory for split debug information installed by your
system's package manager because then abidw knows where to find it.

· --out-file <file-path>

This option instructs abidw to emit the XML representation of path-to-elf-file into
the file file-path, rather than emitting it to its standard output.

· --noout

This option instructs abidw to not emit the XML representation of the ABI. So it
only reads the ELF and debug information, builds the internal representation of the
ABI and exits. This option is usually useful for debugging purposes.

· --check-alternate-debug-info <elf-path>

If the debug info for the file elf-path contains a reference to an alternate debug
info file, abidw checks that it can find that alternate debug info file. In that
case, it emits a meaningful success message mentioning the full path to the alternate
debug info file found. Otherwise, it emits an error code.

· --no-show-locs
Do not show information about where in the second shared library the respective
type was changed.

· --check-alternate-debug-info-base-name <elf-path>

Like --check-alternate-debug-info, but in the success message, only mention the base
name of the debug info file; not its full path.

· --load-all-types

By default, libabigail (and thus abidw) only loads types that are reachable from
functions and variables declarations that are publicly defined and exported by the
binary. So only those types are present in the output of abidw. This option however
makes abidw load all the types defined in the binaries, even those that are not
reachable from public declarations.

· --abidiff
Load the ABI of the ELF binary given in argument, save it in libabigail's XML
format in a temporary file; read the ABI from the temporary XML file and compare
the ABI that has been read back against the ABI of the ELF binary given in
argument. The ABIs should compare equal. If they don't, the program emits a
diagnostic and exits with a non-zero code.

This is a debugging and sanity check option.

· --stats

Emit statistics about various internal things.

· --verbose

Emit verbose logs about the progress of miscellaneous internal things.


Alternate debug info files
As of the version 4 of the DWARF specification, Alternate debug information is a GNU
extension to the DWARF specification. It has however been proposed for inclusion into the
upcoming version 5 of the DWARF standard. You can read more about the GNU extensions to
the DWARF standard here.

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