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Last active October 18, 2022 23:25
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Codesign gdb on OSX

Note: these instructions are for pre-Sierra MacOS. Sierra (10.12) and newer users see by @gravitylow

If you are getting this in gdb on OSX while trying to run a program:

Unable to find Mach task port for process-id 57573: (os/kern) failure (0x5).
 (please check gdb is codesigned - see taskgated(8))
  1. Open Keychain Access
  2. In the menu, open Keychain Access > Certificate Assistant > Create a certificate
  3. Give it a name (e.g. gdbc)
    • Identity type: Self Signed Root
    • Certificate type: Code Signing
    • Check: let me override defaults
  4. Continue until it prompts you for: "specify a location for..."
  5. Set Keychain location to System
  6. Create a certificate and close assistant.
  7. Find the certificate in System keychains, right click it > get info (or just double click it)
  8. Expand Trust, set Code signing to always trust
  9. Restart taskgated in terminal: killall taskgated
  10. Enable root account:
    1. Open System Preferences
    2. Go to User & Groups > Unlock
    3. Login Options > "Join" (next to Network Account Server)
    4. Click "Open Directory Utility"
    5. Go up to Edit > Enable Root User
  11. Run codesign -fs gdbc /usr/local/bin/gdb in terminal: this asks for the root password
  12. Disable root account (see #10)


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No error occurs during the signing. But it does not work. Gdb still requires to be code signed when debugging.

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Executed thoroughly in 10.15.5. Didn't work properly, unfortunately. Error message persists.

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hlissner commented Oct 25, 2020

In case anyone misses the giant text at the top of the gist:

Note: these instructions are for pre-Sierra MacOS. Sierra (10.12) and newer users see by @gravitylow

Though, admittedly, I don't even know if the linked guide works. I haven't been on macOS in nearly 8 years. Good luck!

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hao-lh commented Sep 8, 2022

I needed to run sudo killall taskgated rather than just killall taskgated, which reported No matching processes belonging to you were found.

Thanks for clarification. Using sudo helped for my machine.

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