Jul 20, 2023

Generic stack unwinding library

The primary goal of this project is to define a portable and efficient C programming interface API to determine the call-chain of a program. The API additionally provides the means to manipulate the preserved callee-saved state of each call-frame and to resume execution at any point in the call-chain non-local goto. The API supports both local same-process and remote across-process operation. As such, the API is useful in a number of applications. Some examples include

  • exception handling The libunwind API makes it trivial to implement the stack-manipulation aspects of exception handling.
  • debuggers The libunwind API makes it trivial for debuggers to generate the call-chain backtrace of the threads in a running program.
  • introspection It is often useful for a running thread to determine its call-chain. For example, this is useful to display error messages to show how the error came about and for performance monitoring/analysis.
  • efficient setjmp With libunwind, it is possible to implement an extremely efficient version of setjmp. Effectively, the only context that needs to be saved consists of the stack-pointers.

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