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10.1 Expressions

print and many other GDB commands accept an expression and compute its value. Any kind of constant, variable or operator defined by the programming language you are using is valid in an expression in GDB. This includes conditional expressions, function calls, casts, and string constants. It also includes preprocessor macros, if you compiled your program to include this information; see Compilation.

GDB supports array constants in expressions input by the user. The syntax is {element, element…}. For example, you can use the command print {1, 2, 3} to create an array of three integers. If you pass an array to a function or assign it to a program variable, GDB copies the array to memory that is malloced in the target program.

Because C is so widespread, most of the expressions shown in examples in this manual are in C. See Using GDB with Different Languages, for information on how to use expressions in other languages.

In this section, we discuss operators that you can use in GDB expressions regardless of your programming language.

Casts are supported in all languages, not just in C, because it is so useful to cast a number into a pointer in order to examine a structure at that address in memory.

GDB supports these operators, in addition to those common to programming languages:


@’ is a binary operator for treating parts of memory as arrays. See Artificial Arrays, for more information.


::’ allows you to specify a variable in terms of the file or function where it is defined. See Program Variables.

{type} addr

Refers to an object of type type stored at address addr in memory. The address addr may be any expression whose value is an integer or pointer (but parentheses are required around binary operators, just as in a cast). This construct is allowed regardless of what kind of data is normally supposed to reside at addr.

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