You can refer to machine register contents, in expressions, as variables with names starting with $. The names of registers are different for each machine; use info registers to see the names used on your machine.
- info registers
- Print the names and values of all registers except floating-point registers (in the selected stack frame).
- info all-registers
- Print the names and values of all registers, including floating-point registers.
- info registers regname ...
- Print the value of each specified register regname. As discussed in detail below, register values are normally relative to the selected stack frame. The regname may be any register name valid on the machine you're using, with or without the initial $.
GDB has four standard register names that are available (in expressions) on most machines—whenever they don't conflict with an architecture's canonical mnemonics for registers:
- Program counter.
- Stack pointer.
- A register that contains a pointer to the current stack frame.
- A register that contains the processor status.
For example, you could print the program counter in hex with:
or print the instruction to be executed next with:
or add four to the stack pointer with:
set $sp += 4
Whenever possible, these four standard register names are available on your machine even though the machine has different canonical mnemonics, so long as there's no conflict. The info registers command shows the canonical names.
GDB always considers the contents of an ordinary register as an integer when the register is examined in this way. Some machines have special registers that can hold nothing but floating point; these registers are considered to have floating point values. There's no way to refer to the contents of an ordinary register as floating point value (although you can print it as a floating point value with print/f $ regname).
Some registers have distinct raw and virtual data formats. This means that the data format in which the register contents are saved by the operating system isn't the same one that your program normally sees. For example, the registers of the 68881 floating point coprocessor are always saved in extended (raw) format, but all C programs expect to work with double (virtual) format. In such cases, GDB normally works with the virtual format only (the format that makes sense for your program), but the info registers command prints the data in both formats.
Normally, register values are relative to the selected stack frame (see Selecting a frame ). This means that you get the value that the register would contain if all stack frames farther in were exited and their saved registers restored. In order to see the true contents of hardware registers, you must select the innermost frame (with frame 0).
However, GDB must deduce where registers are saved, from the machine code generated by your compiler. If some registers aren't saved, or if GDB is unable to locate the saved registers, the selected stack frame makes no difference.