PS4GDB_Desktop: How to Debug PS4 Applications by M0rph3us1987

Following his Exploiting PS4 Video Apps Presentation to run unsigned code regardless of Firmware version, his PS4GDB GDB Stub PS4 Port to Debug Userland Apps and PS4GDB Ring 0: GDB Stub to Debug PS4 Kernel today PlayStation 4 Scene developer m0rph3us1987 shared via Twitter a write-up on Github outlining how to debug PS4 applications with PS4GDB_Desktop which is the PC-side component to communicate with PS4GDB:geek:

This comes proceeding several PlayStation 4 debugging / memory editing tools, and for those new in the scene the related articles can be found below sorted by date with the oldest first:

From the PS4GDB_Desktop Github README.mdPS4GDB

PS4GDB consists of two components. The first component is the gdbstub running on your ps4 and the second one is ps4gdb_desktop.


The gdbstub is integrated into Mira as a plugin. PS4GDB has implemented all features except x86 debug registers. I never needed them, but since it’s part of Mira and Mira is open source, feel free to add features you miss. When the stub is loaded it creates a new kernel process, this process will then listen for incoming connections on port 8146.

What is port 8146 used for?

We somehow need to tell the ps4 what process we want to debug, and since hardcoding pids into PS4GDB is not an option, we need a way to communicate and tell PS4GDB what it is supposed to do for us. This communication is done over port 8146. PS4GDB spawns a little RPC server, which accepts a couple of commands. Here is where the second component ps4gdb_desktop comes into play.


ps4gdb_desktop is the component running on your PC able to communicate with PS4GDB. It’s written in Go and the protocol behind it is trivial. It gives you the ability to read a list of processes running on your ps4, attach to a certain pid or kill the PS4GDB kernel process.

To get a list of processes running on your ps4, you just need to run the following command (change the ip to your ps4 ip)

ps4gdb_desktop get-pids

This should give you a result similiar to this:

PS4GDB_Desktop How to Debug PS4 Applications by M0rph3us1987 2.png

This pictures shows the processes running on the ps4 and the corresponding pids. If now for example we want to debug SceRemotePlay we would execute following command:

ps4gdb_desktop attach 95

This is basically all you need to know about ps4gdb_desktop. In the next section I will show how to connect to PS4GDB with gdb and debug an application.

Debug Playroom

In this section I will show you how to debug playroom. What you see here applies to any other userland application. I assume Mira is already loaded at this point. If you have the possibility to disable userland ASLR do it, because it will make your life much easier.

There are a couple of commands we need to pass to gdb in every debug session, to avoid this i created a file in my home directory that’s called ps4.source, the content looks like this:

set architecture i386:oops:86-64
target remote

You must replace my ps4 ip with yours in the second line.

  • Start Playroom
  • When playroom is running we need to find out it’s pid, so we ask ps4gdb_desktop to give us the pid list:
ps4gdb_desktop get-pids

This is what the result looks like:

PS4GDB_Desktop How to Debug PS4 Applications by M0rph3us1987 3.png

eboot.bin pid 112 is our candidate. In your case the pid might be different.

  • Next we attach to pid 112 with the following command:
ps4gdb_desktop attach 112

As soon as you issue the command, Playroom will freeze, this is normal. In kernel log you should see that PS4GDB has now taken control.

[handle_exception] gdb_stub: handle exception start...
[handle_exception] remcomOutBuffer allocated at 0xffff9fbf37108000
[print_register_info] received interrupt 01 - errorCode: 0x0
[print_register_info] RAX: 0x0000000000000004        RBX:  0x000000088005aa80
[print_register_info] RCX: 0x000000088005aa80        RDX:  0x0000000000000006
[print_register_info] RSI: 0x0000000000000008        RDI:  0x000000088005ab24
[print_register_info] RBP: 0x00000007ed761850        RSP:  0x00000007ed7617a8
[print_register_info] R8:  0x0000000000000000        R9:   0x000000000102023d
[print_register_info] R10: 0x000000000515ca11        R11:  0x00000000000002d0
[print_register_info] R12: 0x0000000000000000        R13:  0x000000088005ab20
[print_register_info] R14: 0x0000000000024c5a        R15:  0x0000000000000000
[print_register_info] RIP: 0x0000000800002c4c        FLAGS:0x0000000000000247
[print_register_info] CS:  0x0000000000000043        SS:   0x000000000000003b
[print_register_info] DS:  0x000000000000003b        ES:   0x000000000000003b
[print_register_info] FS:  0x0000000000000013        GS:   0x000000000000001b
[handle_exception] gdb_stub: Entering main loop...
[getpacket] remcomInBuffer allocated at 0xffff9fbf07ee0000
  • Now we start gdb
  • Next we load our ps4.source file created at the beginning using the source command
source ps4.source

After issuing the command, gdb connects to PS4GDB and you can start debugging like you would debug any other PC application. This is what it looks like for me:

PS4GDB_Desktop How to Debug PS4 Applications by M0rph3us1987 4.png

gdb looks like this because I use Andrea Cardacis gdb-dashboard.

Have fun and happy debugging.


  • When you finish debugging, always detach from the process. You can detach by issuing command q in gdb.
  • Beforing resuming execution, make sure you have first set some breakpoints. If after resuming execution your breakpoints don’t trigger, you wont be able to detach from the process anymore.

PS4GDB_Desktop How to Debug PS4 Applications by M0rph3us1987.png

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