D.8 Interrupts

When a program on the remote target is running, gdb may attempt to interrupt it by sending a Ctrl-C, BREAK or a BREAK followed by g, control of which is specified via gdb's interrupt-sequence.

The precise meaning of BREAK is defined by the transport mechanism and may, in fact, be undefined. gdb does not currently define a BREAK mechanism for any of the network interfaces except for TCP, in which case gdb sends the telnet BREAK sequence.

Ctrl-C, on the other hand, is defined and implemented for all transport mechanisms. It is represented by sending the single byte 0x03 without any of the usual packet overhead described in the Overview section (see Overview). When a 0x03 byte is transmitted as part of a packet, it is considered to be packet data and does not represent an interrupt. E.g., an X packet (see X packet), used for binary downloads, may include an unescaped 0x03 as part of its packet.

BREAK followed by g is also known as Magic SysRq g. When Linux kernel receives this sequence from serial port, it stops execution and connects to gdb.

Stubs are not required to recognize these interrupt mechanisms and the precise meaning associated with receipt of the interrupt is implementation defined. If the target supports debugging of multiple threads and/or processes, it should attempt to interrupt all currently-executing threads and processes. If the stub is successful at interrupting the running program, it should send one of the stop reply packets (see Stop Reply Packets) to gdb as a result of successfully stopping the program in all-stop mode, and a stop reply for each stopped thread in non-stop mode. Interrupts received while the program is stopped are discarded.