gdb and OpenJDK

Jeremy Manson jeremymanson at
Wed Feb 11 22:27:16 UTC 2015

Hey folks,

I think I've mentioned to some of the people on this list that we (and by
we, I mean Sasha Smundak) have been working on interoperability between gdb
and Java.  Basically, what we have now allows us to get a backtrace in gdb
that includes Java frames with parameter values (no local variables yet).

Needless to say, this has been terribly, terribly helpful in our JVM and
JNI debugging.

Support for this feature is basically two parts:

First, gdb needed to be extended to support the ability to plug in a frame
unwinder.  The process of submitting this to gdb (which has been ongoing
for quite a while) is finally starting to make reasonable progress.

Next, we need a plugin for OpenJDK.  We have a plugin written that calls
out to the serviceability agent.  (It's written in Python, per gdb's

Pending the gdb support being finalized, we'd love to contribute the plugin
to OpenJDK.    What should we do make that happen?  Write a JEP and submit
it to this list?  Technically, neither of us are committers (which you need
to be to submit a JEP), but I imagine we can work around that.

Here's the gdb patch, for anyone interested:


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