I am looking for a free & open source alternative to IDA Pro runs on MacOS - the suggestions should have as close to the features of IDA as possible. I should also be able to edit an executable that I am debugging (i.e. change/remove things).


I highly recommend radare2 which seems to suit you the best:

radare2 is an open source framework for reverse engineering and binary analysis which implements a rich command line interface for disassembling, analyzing data, patching binaries, comparing data, searching, replacing, visualizing and more. It has great scripting capabilities, it runs on all major platforms (GNU/Linux, Windows *BSD, iOS, OSX, Solaris…) and it supports tons of architectures and file formats. [...] radare2 is absolutely libre. [Source]

You can find most of the features you have in IDA in radare (including the option to edit a binary that you debug) and in case you lack some feature you can always open a request on the Github page or develop it by yourself. Note that, in my opinion, the learning curve of r2 is pretty steep and it'll take some time to get use to it.

It’s recommended to use the current git version of radare2.
Simply run:

git clone https://github.com/radare/radare2.git
cd radare2

You'll need to perform several more steps in order to sign radare and make it ready to debug applications without the need of root permissions.

Beginners guides

  1. Radare2 Book
  2. Radare2 Explorations
  3. Radare Demystified (Talk)

This should be enough in order to learn the basics of radare.

User Interface
radare2 has a powerful command line visual modes to help you go through the program and super useful while debugging. This is how the Visual Graph Mode looks like:

Visual graph mode

The official graphic user interface of radare2 is called Cutter (originally named Iaito). Cutter is built on top of Qt and C++.

enter image description here

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  • I believe Radare isn't able "to edit an executable that I'm debugging (I.e. change/remove things)", am I wrong? – Vitaly Osipov Jul 29 '17 at 6:00
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    Sure you can :) Editing, pathching, resizing, copying & pasting, etc are all possible with radare. Check for example w? to list write commands and dr? to list registers commands. – Megabeets Jul 29 '17 at 7:34
  • Currently R2 is not even close to IDA, it's UI version is even worse than a text one. Yet it's the best alternative for Mac... – Anton Kukoba Oct 1 '18 at 6:35

This is not free and open source but Hopper Disassembler is $99US for personal use which compared to IDA Pro is super cheap. There is a free trial version if you would like to check it out. https://www.hopperapp.com/

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  • "This does not answer the question but ..." does not answer this question. – usr2564301 Dec 14 '17 at 10:57

There aren't any. Radare is the only open source disassembler (that works on OSX) worth mentioning, and its capabilities are still far away from what you're looking for.

https://github.com/radare/radare2 or

brew install radare2

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The officially supported debugging package for Mac OS X is lldb.
You can always try GDB which is the legendary GNU Debugger. It is not in any way as fancy as IDA buy you can always spice it up with GDB-Dashboard or gdbgui.

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Although they are not free, you can try either Hopper Disassembler and Binary Ninja. Both can be bought starting from $99.

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  • "This does not answer the question but ..." does not answer this question. – usr2564301 Dec 14 '17 at 10:57

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