ABIDW(1)                         Libabigail                         ABIDW(1)

NAME         top

       abidw - serialize the ABI of an ELF file

       abidw reads a shared library in ELF format and emits an XML represen‐
       tation 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  repre‐
       sentation of the globally defined ELF symbols of the file.  The input
       shared library must contain associated  debug  information  in  DWARF

       When  given  the  --linux-tree option, this program can also handle a
       Linux kernel tree.  That is, a directory tree that contains both  the
       vmlinux  binary  and  Linux  kernel modules.  It analyses those Linux
       kernel binaries and emits an  XML  representation  of  the  interface
       between the kernel and its module, to standard output.  In this case,
       we don't call it an ABI, but a KMI (Kernel  Module  Interface).   The
       emitted  KMI  includes  all  the globally defined functions and vari‐
       ables, along with a complete  representation  of  their  types.   The
       input  binaries  must  contain  associated debug information in DWARF

INVOCATION         top

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

OPTIONS         top

          · --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 file.

            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

            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.

          · --no-corpus-path

            Do not emit the path attribute for the ABI corpus.

          · --suppressions | suppr <path-to-suppression-specifications-file>

            Use a suppression specification file located at
            path-to-suppression-specifications-file.  Note that this option
            can appear multiple times on the command line.  In that case,
            all of the provided suppression specification files are taken
            into account.  ABI artifacts matched by the suppression
            specifications are suppressed from the output of this tool.

          · --kmi-whitelist | -kaw <path-to-whitelist>

            When analyzing a Linux kernel binary, this option points to the
            white list of names of ELF symbols of functions and variables
            which ABI must be written out.  That white list is called a "
            Kernel Module Interface white list".  This is because for the
            Kernel, we don't talk about the ABI; we rather talk about the
            interface between the Kernel and its module. Hence the term KMI
            rather than ABI

            Any other function or variable which ELF symbol are not present
            in that white list will not be considered by the KMI writing

            If this option is not provided -- thus if no white list is
            provided -- then the entire KMI, that is, all publicly defined
            and exported functions and global variables by the Linux Kernel
            binaries is emitted.

          · --linux-tree | --lt

            Make abidw to consider the input path as a path to a directory
            containing the vmlinux binary as several kernel modules
            binaries.  In that case, this program emits the representation
            of the Kernel Module Interface (KMI) on the standard output.

            Below is an example of usage of abidw on a Linux Kernel tree.

            First, checkout a Linux kernel source tree and build it.  Then
            install the kernel modules in a directory somewhere.  Copy the
            vmlinux binary into that directory too.  And then serialize the
            KMI of that kernel to disk, using abidw:

                $ git clone git://
                $ cd linux && git checkout v4.5
                $ make allyesconfig all
                $ mkdir build-output
                $ make INSTALL_MOD_PATH=./build-output modules_install
                $ cp vmlinux build-output/modules/4.5.0
                $ abidw --linux-tree build-output/modules/4.5.0 > build-output/linux-4.5.0.kmi

          · --headers-dir | --hd <headers-directory-path-1>

            Specifies where to find the public headers of the first shared
            library that the tool has to consider.  The tool will thus
            filter out types that are not defined in public headers.

          · --no-linux-kernel-mode

            Without this option, if abipkgiff detects that the binaries it
            is looking at are Linux Kernel binaries (either vmlinux or
            modules) then it only considers functions and variables which
            ELF symbols are listed in the __ksymtab and __ksymtab_gpl

            With this option, abipkgdiff considers the binary as a
            non-special ELF binary.  It thus considers functions and
            variables which are defined and exported in the ELF sense.

          · --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
              In the emitted ABI representation, do not show file, line or
              column where ABI artifacts are defined.

          · --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

          · --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.

          · --annotate
              Annotate the ABIXML output with comments above most elements.
              The comments are made of the pretty-printed form types,
              declaration or even ELF symbols.  The purpose is to make the
              ABIXML output more human-readable for debugging or documenting

          · --stats

            Emit statistics about various internal things.

          · --verbose

            Emit verbose logs about the progress of miscellaneous internal

NOTES         top

   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.

AUTHOR         top

       Dodji Seketeli

COPYRIGHT         top

       2014-2016, Red Hat, Inc.

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the libabigail (ABI Generic Analysis and
       Instrumentation Library) project.  Information about the project can
       be found at ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug
       report for this manual page, see
       This page was obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨git://⟩ on 2018-04-30.  (At that
       time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the repos‐
       itory was 2018-04-16.)  If you discover any rendering problems in
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                                Apr 30, 2018                        ABIDW(1)