How to Run

Once the DynamoRIO distribution contents are unpacked (see Distribution Contents), configuration and execution of applications under DynamoRIO is handled by a set of libraries and tools. On Windows, the tools are drconfig.exe, drrun.exe, and drinject.exe. The corresponding libraries (whose APIs are exposed by the tools) are drconfiglib.dll and drinjectlib.dll with header files dr_config.h and dr_inject.h. On Linux, the tools are named drconfig, drrun, and drinject, and the libraries are libdrconfiglib.a and libdrinjectlib.a.

When using DynamoRIO as a third-party disassembly library (see Disassembly Library), no deployment is needed, as DynamoRIO does not control a target application when used as a regular library.

Windows Deployment

There are two methods for running a process under DynamoRIO: the one-time configure-and-run, and the two-step separate configuration and execution. The drrun.exe tool supports the first, simpler model, while the drconfig.exe and drinject.exe tools support the second, more powerful model. The drconfig.exe tool, or the corresponding the drconfiglib.dll library, can also be used to nudge running processes.

Configuration information is stored in files in the current user's profile directory, which is obtained from the environment variable USERPROFILE. Thus, configurations are persistent across reboots and are private to each user. If the DYNAMORIO_CONFIGDIR environment variable is set, its value is used instead of USERPROFILE. If neither is set, a temp directory will be used when creating new configuration files for configure-and-run execution.

DynamoRIO also supports global configurations, which are stored in the "config" subdirectory of the directory specified by the DYNAMORIO_HOME registry value in the registry key \HKLM\SOFTWARE\DynamoRIO\DynamoRIO (or for 32-bit on 64-bit Windows (WOW64) \HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\DynamoRIO\DynamoRIO). Setting that DYNAMORIO_HOME value and creating the directory it points to must be done manually. The provided tools support reading and writing both local and global configuration files, and automatically creating the local directory. DynamoRIO gives local files precedence when both exist. Note that applications that do not have a USEPROFILE environment variable can be controlled using DYNAMORIO_CONFIGDIR or global configurations. Also note that by default USERPROFILE is not set over cygwin ssh and must be explicitly set in the shell startup files.

Configurations are per-process, with the basename of the process used for identification (e.g., notepad.exe). One-time configuration also uses the process id to specify that the configuration is for that process instance only.

As an example, assume you have unpacked the DynamoRIO distribution and your current directory is its base directory. Run notepad.exe with the bbsize sample client using the following configure-and-run command:

bin32/drrun.exe -c samples/bin32/bbsize.dll -- notepad

Alternatively, you can first run notepad.exe, and then use drrun to attach to it, but please note that attaching is an experimental feature and is not yet as well-supported as launching a new process:

bin32/drrun.exe -attach <notepad_pid> -c samples/bin32/bbsize.dll

To use system-wide injection, allowing for an application to be run under DynamoRIO regardless of how it is invoked, configure the application first (-syswide_on requires administrative privileges):

bin32/drconfig.exe -reg notepad.exe -syswide_on -c samples/bin32/bbsize.dll

The next time notepad.exe is started by the current user, it will run under DynamoRIO with the bbsize client.

To unregister notepad.exe, issue the following command:

bin32/drconfig.exe -unreg notepad.exe

Invoke any of the drconfig.exe, drrun.exe, or drinject.exe tools with no arguments to see the full list of options available.

By default, DynamoRIO follows into all child processes, with the parent's settings inherited by the child if there is no configuration set up ahead of time for the child application. To instead only follow children that are configured (via drconfig.exe), use the -no_follow_children runtime option.

To ensure a client is loaded into a child process of a different bitwidth (i.e., a 32-bit child created by a 64-bit parent), use the -c32 and -c64 options to drconfig or drrun, with ending the first client's options:

bin32/drrun.exe -c32 samples/bin32/bbsize.dll – -c64 samples/bin64/bbsize.dll – notepad

The order matters: -c32 must come first.

To nudge all instances of notepad.exe running under DynamoRIO with argument "5", use:

bin32/drconfig.exe -nudge notepad.exe 0 5

This will result in a nudge event with argument=5 delivered to the client callback registered with dr_register_nudge_event() in all notepad.exe processes running under DynamoRIO. The third argument, 0, is an ID supplied at registration which uniquely identifies the target client (see dr_deploy.h for details).

To view 32-bit or WOW64 processes running under DynamoRIO the drview.exe tool can be used. The bin64 version will display both 32-bit and 64-bit processes and will indicate which are 32-bit. The bin32 version will display 64-bit processes but is unable to determine whether DynamoRIO is present.

Note that on Windows NT a reboot is required after using -syswide_on or -syswide_off.

DynamoRIO uses the \HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppInit_DLLs key (for 32-bit on 64-bit Windows (WOW64), \HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\AppInit_DLLs) for -syswide_on to inject into new processes without having to directly launch them drrun.exe or drinject.exe. For injection to work, the registered process must statically link to user32.dll (only a few small non-graphical windows applications don't link user32.dll). If a target application does not link to user32.dll, DynamoRIO can still inject if the process is launched with drinject.exe or if the parent process (usually cmd.exe or explorer.exe for user launched processes) is running under DynamoRIO. The drinject.exe tool uses the configuration information set by drconfig.exe for the target application.

The -syswide_on, -syswide_off, use of global configuration files, and nudging certain processes may require administrative privileges. On Windows Vista or higher, if UAC is enabled, use an elevated (runas admin) process. When using drconfig.exe and drrun.exe in these scenarios, be sure that the cmd shell being used was started with elevated permissions.

An alternative method to run an application under DynamoRIO is the app_start()/app_stop() interface, which requires modifying application source code.

Linux Deployment

Once DynamoRIO has been unpacked, the same set of helper binaries as on Windows provide flexibility in configuring and executing applications.

There are two methods for invoking an application under DynamoRIO:

  1. Configure and launch in one step via drrun
  2. Configure via drconfig and launch via drinject

As an example of the simpler method, the following command runs ls under DynamoRIO with the bbsize sample client:

% bin32/drrun -c samples/bin32/libbbsize.so -- ls

Alternatively, you can first run the target, and then use drrun to attach to it, but please note that attaching is an experimental feature and is not yet as well-supported as launching a new process. In particular, if the application is in the middle of a blocking syscall, DynamoRIO will wait for that to finish. To instead force interruption of the syscall, additionally pass -skip_syscall.

% bin32/drrun -attach <target_pid> -c samples/bin32/libbbsize.so

This attach feature requires ptrace capabilities, which can be enabled with this command:

% echo 0 | sudo tee /proc/sys/kernel/yama/ptrace_scope

Run drrun with no options to get a list of the options and environment variable shortcuts it supports. To disable following across child execve calls, use the -no_follow_children runtime option.

Use the tools in bin32/ for 32-bit applications and the tools in bin64/ for 64-bit applications.

The two-step method allows for greater control over child processes. The drconfig tool writes a configuration file for a given application name. DynamoRIO reads its options from the configuration file at runtime. Once each process name is configured, the drinject tool can be used to invoke the parent process. The drrun tool can also be used but it creates a temporary configuration file that will override settings requested via drconfig. The configuration file for each application is stored in $DYNAMORIO_CONFIGDIR/.dynamorio/<appname>.config32 (or a config64 suffix for 64-bit). If DYNAMORIO_CONFIGDIR is not set, $HOME/.dynamorio/<appname>.config32 is used; if neither is set, a temp directory will be used when creating new configuration files for configure-and-run execution. On Android, if neither /data/local/tmp nor the current working directory are writable, you will need to specify a writable directory by setting the DYNAMORIO_CONFIGDIR environment variable.

DynamoRIO also supports global configuration files in /etc/dynamorio/<appname>.config32 when a local configuration file is not found. drconfig does not support directly writing a global config file but such files can be copied from or modeled on local files.

If a target application executes an execve that discards the HOME environment variable, the resulting process will still run under DynamoRIO control with the same settings as the parent process. Use DYNAMORIO_CONFIGDIR or global configuration files to specify separate options for such a child process.

When running scripts it is best to explicitly invoke the interpreter rather than invoking the script directly:

% bin64/drrun -- /bin/bash myscript.sh

To nudge a process with pid targetpid running under DynamoRIO and pass argument "5" to the nudge callback, use the drnudgeunix tool:

bin32/drnudgeunix -pid targetpid -client 0 5

This will result in a nudge event with argument=5 delivered to the client callback registered with dr_register_nudge_event() in the target process. The 0 argument is an ID supplied at registration which uniquely identifies the target client (see dr_deploy.h for details). If you used the -c argument to drrun or drconfig to register the client, the client's id defaults to 0.

An alternative method to run an application under DynamoRIO is the app_start()/app_stop() interface, which requires modifying application source code.

Android Deployment

Android deployment is generally the same as Linux Deployment except for the following differences.

For pure native applications, the default configuration file location (if DYNAMORIO_CONFIGDIR is not explicitly set) is usually (depending on whether $HOME happens to be writable) /data/local/tmp.

For Android applications on recent versions of Android, SELinux prevents writing to /data/local/tmp. The application's data directory should be pointed at in the TMPDIR or DYNAMORIO_CONFIGDIR environment variables, as shown below in the example wrapper script. We recommend using TMPDIR as its value will also be used by tools such as Dr. Memory for their log files.

To launch an Android application under DynamoRIO, use a wrapper script and point at the script via the logwrapper property set on your application's name prefixed by wrap.. For example, if your application's name is com.myco.appname, set the property for wrap.com.myco.appname, truncating to 31 characters:

setprop wrap.com.myco.appname "logwrapper /system/xbin/wrap.sh"

The wrapper shell script should contain the command line prefix you wish to use to launch your application under DynamoRIO:

export TMPDIR=/data/data/com.myco.appname
exec /system/xbin/dynamorio/bin32/drrun -- $@

Be sure to place the DynamoRIO binaries and the wrapper script in an executable location, such as /system/xbin. Alternatively, disable SELinux via setenforce 0.

If you run into problems with configuration files being created due to SELinux denials (look in the logs for such denials), it may be simplest to disable SELinux via setenforce 0. We have attempted to get everything to work without this step, but we are not able to test on all versions or configurations of Android.

Running Under QEMU

To run DynamoRIO under QEMU, use the -xarch_root option to point at the base directory of the guest system libraries. This is the same path passed to QEMU's -L option:

$ qemu-arm -L /usr/arm-linux-gnueabihf bin32/drrun -xarch_root /usr/arm-linux-gnueabihf -- hello_world

Be sure to install both the qemu-user and qemu-user-binfmt packages in order for QEMU to impose itself across an execve:

$ sudo apt-get install qemu-user qemu-user-binfmt

If using a custom build of QEMU, be sure to update the binfmt rule to ensure the proper build is used across execve: QEMU does not ensure that the same build is preserved and instead relies on the global binfmt rule. On an Ubuntu system, edit /usr/share/binfmts/qemu-arm and replace the interpreter path. Then run:

$ sudo update-binfmts --import /usr/share/binfmts/qemu-arm

Confirm the change took effect:

$ update-binfmts --find bin32/drrun

On Fedora, edit /usr/lib/binfmt.d/qemu-arm-dynamic.conf and then run:

$ sudo systemctl restart systemd-binfmt.service

Passing Options to Clients

All of the earlier examples did not need to pass any arguments to the client. When using the -c argument to set the client, all arguments between the client path and the double dash are passed to the client. When using the -client argument to drrun, the third argument following -client is passed through to the client. For example, all these invocations of drrun pass '-op1 -op2 "value with spaces"' to the client:

bin32/drrun.exe -c libmyclient.dll -op1 -op2 \"value with spaces\" -- notepad
bin32/drrun.exe -client myclient.dll 0 '-op1 -op2 "value with spaces"' -- notepad

On Linux:

bin32/drrun -c libmyclient.so -op1 -op2 \"value with spaces\" -- ls
bin32/drrun -client libmyclient.so 0 '-op1 -op2 "value with spaces"' -- ls

When using a two-step model, the options are passed to drconfig:

bin32/drconfig.exe -reg notepad.exe -c myclient.dll -op1 -op2 \"value with spaces\"
bin32/drconfig.exe -reg notepad.exe -client myclient.dll 0 '-op1 -op2 "value with spaces"'

The client's options are passed directly to its dr_client_main() initialization routine, in the same manner as arguments are passed to a regular application's main() routine. To match standalone application conventions, argv[0] is set to the client library path, with the actual parameters starting at index 1. The client can also optionally call dr_get_option_array() to retrieve the options passed to it. C++ clients can use the convenience of the DynamoRIO Option Parser.

Client options are not allowed to contain semicolons. Additionally, the client option string combined with the path to the client library cannot contain all three quote characters (', ", `) simultaneously.

To ensure a client is loaded into a child process of a different bitwidth (i.e., a 32-bit child created by a 64-bit parent), use the -c32 and -c64 options to drconfig or drrun, with ending the first client's options:

bin32/drrun -c32 samples/bin32/bbsize.dll – -c64 samples/bin64/bbsize.dll – notepad

The order matters: -c32 must come first.

Multiple Clients

DynamoRIO does support multiple clients. It is each client's responsibility, however, to ensure compatibility with other clients. DynamoRIO makes no attempt to force cooperation among clients. For example, instruction stream modifcations made by one client are visible to other clients. Systems employing multiple clients must be aware of such interactions and design accordingly.

Client registration requires users to specify the priority of each client. DynamoRIO calls each client's dr_client_main() routine sequentially according to this priority. Clients with a numerically lower priority value are called first and therefore given the first opportunity to register callbacks (the client with priority 0 is called first). Since DynamoRIO delivers event callbacks sequentially, client priority and the order of event registration is important. For a given event, the first registered callback is called last. This scheme gives precedence to the first registered callback since that callback is given the final opportunity to modify the instruction stream or influence DynamoRIO's operation.

End-User Tools

A client can be packaged up with DynamoRIO to create an end-user tool. For many tools, a separate front-end executable is not necessary, and drrun is sufficient. Using drrun for a tool is made simpler by the -t option. To use the option, first create a file in the tools subdirectory of the root of the DynamoRIO installation called toolname.drrun32 or toolname.drrun64, depending on the target architecture. Here, toolname is the desired external name of the tool. This file should contain one of the following lines, or two if they are a pair of CLIENT32_* and CLIENT64_* specifiers:




This enables drrun to locate the tool's client library. The 32 and 64 specifiers allow pointing at alternate-bitwidth paths for use if the target application creates a child process of a different bitwidth.

The file can also modify the default DynamoRIO runtime options (see DynamoRIO Runtime Options) via DR_OP= lines. Each line contains only one option string token. For example:

DR_OP=c:\\path with spaces\\subdir

Tool options can also be specified, but normally the defaults should be set up appropriately in the client itself:


Lines beginning with # are considered comments.

When drrun is passed the option string -t toolname, it looks for tools/toolname.drrun64 or tools/toolname.drrun32 and reads the file to determine the client library to use and the default DynamoRIO options. This makes for a simpler launching command, rather than the end user needing to name the exact location of the client library. For example, this command:

bin64/drrun -t mytool -tool_option1 -tool_option2 -- myapp

can be made to expand to this equivalent command:

bin64/drrun -mytool_dr_option1 -mytool_dr_option2 -c tools/mytool/libmytool.so -tool_option1 -tool_option2 -- myapp

For more extensive actions on launching the tool, a custom front-end executable can be created that replaces drrun by using drinjectlib, drconfiglib, and drfrontendlib. These three libraries facilitate creating cross-platform tools for configuring and launching applications under DynamoRIO. For more information about the interfaces they provide, see their header files: dr_inject.h, dr_config.h, dr_frontend.h.

A custom front-end executable can be invoked via a drrun -t configuration file using one of the following lines:




This will cause drrun to transfer control to the specified front-end executable, passing any tool arguments (including client paths, if CLIENT{,32,64}_{ABS,REL} appears after the FRONTEND_* command) followed by "--" and the target application command line.

The path to the DynamoRIO install base can be included in the front-end options via this line


The DynamoRIO runtime options can be included in a single token, preceded by a prefix, via this line, using "-dr_ops" as an example prefix:


A warning message can be presented up front to the user with:

USER_NOTICE=This tool is currently experimental. Please report issues to mytool.com/issues.

Running a Subset of an Application

An alternative to running an entire application under DynamoRIO control is to use the Application Interface to specify a portion of the application to run. This interface consists of the following routines:

When building an executable that uses DynamoRIO's Application Interface, follow the steps for How to Build a Tool to include the header files and link with the DynamoRIO library, but omit the linker flags requesting no standard libraries or startup files. DynamoRIO's CMake support does this automatically, as the linker flags for shared libraries are separate from those for executables.

DynamoRIO Runtime Options

DynamoRIO's behavior can be fine-tuned using runtime parameters. Options are specified via drconfig, drrun, or dr_register_process(). See How to Run.

  • -no_follow_children: By default, DynamoRIO follows all child processes. When this option is disabled via -no_follow_children, DynamoRIO follows only into child processes for which a configuration file exists (typically created by drconfig; see How to Run). On Linux, forked children are always followed and this option only affects execve.

    To follow all children in general but exclude certain children, leave -follow_children on (the default) and create config files that exclude the desired applications by running drconfig with the -norun option.

  • -xarch_root: Support for running under an emulator, in particular QEMU. This option takes a string pointing at the base directory for guest system libraries, which DynamoRIO uses to prefix the application executable's interpreter, client library paths, and SYS_openat. The option also enables workarounds for problems with QEMU's threads which would otherwise cause a hang while DynamoRIO tries to take them over.
  • -opt_memory: Reduce memory usage, but potentially at the cost of performance. This option can result in memory savings as high as 20%, and usually incurs no noticable performance degradation. However, it conflicts with the -enable_full_api option and cannot be used with dr_unlink_flush_region().
  • -opt_cleancall <number>: Optimize (shrink or inline) the clean call sequences (see Clean Calls). When DynamoRIO analyzes the callee and optimizes each clean call invocation, it assumes that a client will not modify the clean call callee or application instructions after the inserted clean call. If a client changes application instructions after an inserted clean call, the client may need to reduce the -opt_cleancall level to preserve correct execution. There are four optimization levels:
    • 0: no optimization.
    • 1: callee register usage analysis and optimization on context switch.
    • 2: simple callee inline optimization, callee-save register analysis, and aflags usage analysis on the instruction list to be inserted.
    • 3: more aggressive, but potentially unsafe, optimizations. By default, the clean call optimization level is 2. The clean call will only be optimized if it is a leaf function. Currently, the callee will be inlined only if it is small, has at most one argument, and has no control flow other than for the PIC base. Compiling the client with optimizations makes clean call sequences more likely to be optimized. The optimization results (e.g. whether the inserted clean call is inlined or not, and which registers were saved on each context switch) are logged. Users can run DynamoRIO debug build with the runtime option "-loglevel 2 -logmask 0x02000000" (the logmask is optional but reduces the logfile size significantly) and grep for "CLEANCALL" in the log file to retrieve the information about clean call optimization.
  • -opt_speed: By default, DynamoRIO provides a more straightforward code stream to clients in lieu of performance optimizations. This option attempts to obtain higher performance with potential loss of client simplicity. In particular, unconditional branches (both jumps and calls) and in some cases indirect calls may be elided in basic blocks. See also Performance Limitations. Note that dr_insert_mbr_instrumentation() is not supported when -opt_speed is specified.
  • -stack_size <number>: DynamoRIO's per-thread stack is limited to 56KB by default on systems with a 4K page size (this may seem small, but this is much larger than its size when no client is present). For systems with different page sizes, it defaults to 2 * page size. This parameter can be used to increase the size; however, larger stack sizes use significantly more memory when targeting applications with hundreds of threads. The parameter can take a 'K' suffix, and must be a multiple of the page size (4K, 16K, or 64K depending on the system). This stack is used by the routines dr_insert_clean_call(), dr_swap_to_clean_stack(), dr_prepare_for_call(), dr_insert_call_instrumentation(), dr_insert_mbr_instrumentation(), dr_insert_cbr_instrumentation(), and dr_insert_ubr_instrumentation(). The stack is started fresh for each use, so no persistent state may be stored on it.
  • -signal_stack_size <number>: DynamoRIO uses an alternate signal handling stack which is smaller than the regular stack by default, as signal handlers are called in relatively fragile contexts and cannot safely use arbitrary library routines: it is 32K for systems with a 4K page size. For systems with different page sizes, it defaults to 2 * page size. This parameter can be used to change the size. The parameter can take a 'K' suffix, and must be a multiple of the page size (4K, 16K, or 64K depending on the system).
  • -thread_private: By default, DynamoRIO's code caches are shared across threads. This option requests code caches that are private to each thread. For applications with many threads, thread-private code caches use more memory. However, they can be more efficient, particularly when inserting thread-specific instrumentation.
  • -disable_traces: By default, DynamoRIO builds both a basic block code cache and a trace code cache (see Instruction Representation). This option disables trace building, which can have a negative performance impact. When running large, short-running applications, however, disabling traces can improve performance. When traces are disabled, dr_register_trace_event() has no effect. DynamoRIO tries to keep traces transparent to a client who is interested in all code and not only hot code, so there is rarely a reason to disable traces.
  • -enable_full_api: DynamoRIO's default internal options balance performance with API usability. A few API functions, such as dr_unlink_flush_region(), are incompatible with this default mode. Client users can gain access to the entire set of API functions with -enable_full_api. Note that this option may result in a small performance degradation.
  • -reachable_heap: By default, DynamoRIO guarantees that heap allocated directly through its API routines dr_thread_alloc(), dr_global_alloc(), dr_nonheap_alloc(), or dr_custom_alloc() with DR_ALLOC_CACHE_REACHABLE is reachable by a 32-bit displacement from the code cache. However, it does not guarantee that memory allocated through system libraries (including malloc, operator new, and HeapAlloc) or DynamoRIO's own internal memory is reachable. Turning this option on combines all of the heap memory such that it is all guaranteed to be reachable from the code cache, at the risk of running out memory due to the smaller space of available memory.
  • -reachable_client: By default, DynamoRIO guarantees that client libraries are reachable from its code caches by a 32-bit displacement (except for clients statically linked into the application). Disabling this option removes that guarantee and allows a client to be located elsewhere. The option is automatically turned off when DynamoRIO is statically linked into the application.
  • -max_bb_instrs: DynamoRIO stops building a basic block if it hits this application instruction count limit before hitting control flow or other block termination conditions. The default value is 1024; lower it if extensive client instrumentation is running into code cache size limit asserts.
  • -max_trace_bbs: DynamoRIO will not build a trace with larger than this number of constituent basic block. The default value is 128; lower it if extensive client instrumentation is running into code cache size limit asserts.
  • -sysenter_is_int80: This option only applies to Linux. If sysenter is the system call gateway, DynamoRIO normally hooks the vsyscall vdso page when it can. This option requests that DynamoRIO convert sysenter into int 0x80 instead. See Using External Libraries.
  • -disable_rseq: This option only applies to Linux. It returns -ENOSYS from the SYS_rseq system call, forcing applications to fall back to code that does not use restartable sequences. See Restartable Sequence Instrumentation Constraints for more information.
  • -no_ldstex2cas: This option only applies to ARM and AArch64. It disables the conversion of exclusive monitor regions to compare-and-swap operations. That conversion can cause behavior changes in applications, but disabling it can result in failure to add instrumentation. See Exclusive Monitor Instrumentation for more information.
  • -multi_thread_exit: By default, DynamoRIO synchronizes with all remaining threads at process exit time and the process exit event executes with only one live thread. This option requests that in release build the synchronization be avoided. The process exit event must be written in a thread-safe manner. Note that if thread exit events are registered, to avoid the synchronization the -skip_thread_exit_at_exit option must also be set. These options can also be enabled programmatically via dr_set_process_exit_behavior().
  • -skip_thread_exit_at_exit: By default, DynamoRIO synchronizes with all remaining threads at process exit time in order to safely call each thread exit event. This option requests that in release build the synchronization be avoided by removing the invocation of thread exit events at process exit time. Note that if the process exit event is registered, to avoid the synchronization the -multi_thread_exit option must also be set. These options can also be enabled programmatically via dr_set_process_exit_behavior().
  • -persist: Enables persisting of code caches to disk and re-use on subsequent runs. Caches are persisted in units that correspond to application libraries, or sometimes smaller units. Each unit is persisted to its own file in a subdirectory of the base directory specified by -persist_dir. See Persisting Code for more details.
  • -persist_dir <path>: Sets the base directory for persistent code cache files. If unset, the default base directory is the log directory. A different sub-directory will be created for each user inside the specified directory.
  • -translate_fpu_pc: Enables translation of the last floating-point instruction address when the last floating-point instruction is not in the same basic block as the instruction saving the FPU state. This is off by default as it incurs significant performance penalties and few applications require this feature.
  • -syntax_intel: This option causes DynamoRIO to output all disassembly using Intel syntax rather than the default show-implicit-operands syntax. This can also be set using disassemble_set_syntax().
  • -syntax_att: This option causes DynamoRIO to output all disassembly using AT&T syntax rather than the default show-implicit-operands syntax. This can also be set using disassemble_set_syntax().
  • -syntax_arm: This option causes DynamoRIO to output all disassembly using standard ARM assembler syntax rather than the default show-implicit-operands syntax. This can also be set using disassemble_set_syntax().
  • -disasm_mask: This option sets the disassembly style to the specified bitmask of dr_disasm_flags_t values. This option overlaps with -syntax_intel, -syntax_att, and -syntax_arm. The style can also be set using disassemble_set_syntax().
  • -tracedump_text and -tracedump_binary: These options cause DynamoRIO to output all traces that were created to the log file traces-shared.0.TID.html, where TID is the thread id of the initial thread; any thread-private traces (see -thread_private option) produce per-thread files traces.TID.html. Traces are logged whenever they are flushed from the cache (which can be during execution or at the latest at program termination). The two options select either a text dump or a binary dump. The text dump takes up considerable room and time to dump, while the binary dump requires more effort to examine. The binary trace dump format is documented in dr_tools.h, and a sample reader is provided with this distribution.
  • -tracedump_origins When selected by itself with neither -tracedump_text nor -tracedump_binary, dumps only a text list of the constituent basic block tags of each trace to the trace log file. When combined with either of -tracedump_text or -tracedump_binary, adds a full disassembly of the constituent basic blocks to the selected dump.

Options controlling notifications from DynamoRIO:

  • -msgbox_mask 0xN: Controls whether DynamoRIO uses pop-up message boxes on Windows, or waits for a key press on Linux, when presenting information. The mask takes the following bitfields:

    • INFORMATION = 0x1
    • WARNING = 0x2
    • ERROR = 0x4
    • CRITICAL = 0x8

    dr_messagebox() is not affected by -msgbox_mask. For the provided Windows debug build -msgbox_mask defaults to 0xC. On Linux the default is 0, as this feature reads from standard input and might conflict with some applications. On Linux the pause can be changed to use an infinite loop rather than reading from standard input by passing the -pause_via_loop runtime option, which allows attaching a debugger.

On Vista or higher most Windows services are currently unable to display message boxes (see Limitations). Since these services also don't have an associated console for stderr printing, the -loglevel and -logmask options should be used instead. For the messages that would be displayed by -msgbox_mask, setting any bit in -logmask is sufficient for the message to be included in the logfile.
  • -stderr_mask 0xN: Parallel to -msgbox_mask, but controls DynamoRIO's output to standard error. This option takes the same bitfields as -msgbox_mask. The API routine dr_is_notify_on() can be used to determine if -stderr_mask is non-zero. Messages printed to stderr will only be visible for applications that have an attached console. They will not be visible in the cmd console on Windows 7 or earlier or on any Windows version when running a graphical application in cmd (even with dr_enable_console_printing(), as that only affects clients calling dr_printf() or dr_fprintf()) but the output can be viewed from cmd by redirecting to a file. For the provided Linux debug builds, -stderr_mask defaults to 0xF; for the Linux release builds, its default is 0xE. The default on Windows is 0.

Options aiding in debugging:

  • -no_hide: By default, DynamoRIO hides itself from the Windows module list, for transparency. However, this makes it more difficult to debug a process under DynamoRIO's control. The option -no_hide turns off this module hiding. However, the client library and any libraries it imports from will still be hidden. We provide a windbg script that can locate DynamoRIO, the client library, and all of its dependences, so this option should no longer be necessary (see Debugging). This option is for Windows only.

Options available only in the debug build of DynamoRIO:

  • -loglevel N: If N is greater than 0, DynamoRIO prints out a log of its actions. The greater the value of N, the more information DynamoRIO prints. Useful ranges are from 1 to 6. Verbosity is set to 0 by default, i.e., no log written. All log files are kept in a log directory. There is one directory per address space per run. The directories are named app.NNN, where app is the application name and NNN is a number that is incremented with each directory created. On Windows the directories are located by default in a subdirectory logs of the DynamoRIO home directory as specified in the dr_register_process(), drconfig, or drrun configuration for the target application. The runtime option -logdir can be used to override the default directory. There is one main log file per directory named app.0.TID.html, where TID is the thread identifier of the initial thread. There is also a log file per thread, named log.N.TID.html, where N is the thread's creation ordinal and TID is its thread identifier. The loglevel may be changed during program execution, but if it began at 0 then it cannot be raised later. The -logmask parameter can be used to control which DynamoRIO modules output data to the log files. dr_log() allows the client to write to the above logfiles.

  • -logmask 0xN: Selects which DynamoRIO modules print out logging information, at the -loglevel level. The mask is a combination of the DR_LOG_ bitfields listed in dr_tools.h (DR_LOG_ALL selects all modules).

  • -logdir <path>: Specifies the directory to use for log files. See the documentation for -loglevel for a description of the default log directory.
  • -ignore_assert_list '*': Ignores all DynamoRIO asserts of the form "<file>:1234". * may be replaced by a ; separated list of individual asserts to ignore "foo.c:333;bar.c:12".
DR_APP_API void dr_app_stop_and_cleanup_with_stats(dr_stats_t *drstats)
DR_APP_API int dr_app_setup_and_start(void)
DR_APP_API int dr_app_cleanup(void)
DR_APP_API void dr_app_stop(void)
DR_APP_API void dr_app_start(void)
DR_APP_API int dr_app_setup(void)
DR_APP_API void dr_app_take_over(void)
DR_APP_API bool dr_app_running_under_dynamorio(void)
DR_APP_API void dr_app_stop_and_cleanup(void)