Troskyvs Troskyvs - 9 months ago 57
C Question

Why gdb "set" command doesn't recognize global variable, must add "::" or "variable"?

I was trying to set value in gdb, I have:

int i=0;
int main(){
int j=i+2;
return 0;

break at "return", and "r"

(gdb) set j=4
(gdb) set i=5
Ambiguous set command "i=5": .
(gdb) set ::i=6
(gdb) set variable i=6

It's weird, "j" is local variable in main, so "set" with no problem.
While "i" is a global one, seems I should add either "::" or "variable" to make it set.

I searched internet, and it says "variable" is used to set gdb/reg variables used inside debugging sesssion.

Why "i" still requires "variable"?

Answer Source

Your example is:

(gdb) set i=5
Ambiguous set command "i=5": .

This is not a name lookup error but rather the consequence of how gdb parses commands. (That trailing : . looks like it ought to mean something, or list something; but it just seems odd.)

set can be used to evaluate an expression, as you discovered with set j = 4 -- but this only happens because there is no gdb command starting with set j.

That is, set tries any matching subcommands first, recognizing abbreviations. And since there are multiple commands starting set i (such as set inferior-tty, set input-radix, ...), gdb doesn't know which to choose. So, it complains that the command is ambiguous.

The real command to set a variable is set variable, which is why the final try worked.

Note that other commands taking an expression can also evaluate an assignment. I tend to use p (aka print) interactively rather than set variable just because it is shorter.