DWARF Version 5 Public Review Draft Released
October 14, 2016
The DWARF Debugging Information Format Committee has released the public review draft of Version 5
of the DWARF Debugging Information Format standard. The DWARF debugging format is used to
communicate debugging information between a compiler and debugger to make it easier for programmers
to develop, test, and debug programs.
DWARF is used by a wide range of compilers and debuggers, both proprietary and open source, to
support debugging of Ada, C, C++, Cobol, FORTRAN, Java, and other programming languages. DWARF
V5 adds support for new languages like Rust, Swift, Ocaml, Go, and Haskell, as well as support for
new features in the older languages. DWARF can be used with many processor architectures, from
8-bit to 64-bit.
DWARF is the standard debugging format for Linux and several versions of Unix and is widely used
with embedded processors. DWARF is designed to be extended easily to support new languages and new
The DWARF Version 5 Standard has been in development for six years. DWARF Committee members include
representatives from over a dozen major companies with extensive experience in compiler and debugger
development. Version 5 incorporates improvements in many areas: better data compression,
separation of debugging data from executable files, improved description of macros and source files,
faster searching for symbols, improved debugging optimized code, as well as numerous improvements in
functionality and performance.
The public review draft of DWARF Version 5 standard can be downloaded without charge from the DWARF
website (http://dwarfstd.org). The DWARF Committee will accept public comments on DWARF Version 5
until November 30, after which a finalized version will be published. Additional information about
DWARF, including how to subscribe to the DWARF mailing list, can also be found on the website.
Questions about the DWARF Debugging Information Format or the DWARF Committee can be directed to the
DWARF Committee Chair, Michael Eager at i...@dwarfstd.org.
Michael Eager, Chair, DWARF Debugging Format Standards Committee