Command syntax

A GDB command is a single line of input. There's no limit on how long it can be. It starts with a command name, which is followed by arguments whose meaning depends on the command name.

For example, the command step accepts an argument that is the number of times to step, as in step 5. You can also use the step command with no arguments. Some command names don't allow any arguments.

GDB command names may always be truncated if that abbreviation is unambiguous. Other possible command abbreviations are listed in the documentation for individual commands. In some cases, even ambiguous abbreviations are allowed; for example, s is specifically defined as equivalent to step even though there are other commands whose names start with s. You can test abbreviations by using them as arguments to the help command.

A blank line as input to GDB (typing just Enter) means to repeat the previous command. Certain commands (for example, run) don't repeat this way; these are commands whose unintentional repetition might cause trouble and which you're unlikely to want to repeat.

When you repeat the list and x commands with Enter, they construct new arguments rather than repeat exactly as typed. This permits easy scanning of source or memory.

GDB can also use Enter in another way: to partition lengthy output, in a way similar to the common utility more. Since it's easy to press one Enter too many in this situation, GDB disables command repetition after any command that generates this sort of display.

Any text from a # to the end of the line is a comment. This is useful mainly in command files.