If I want to debug ls I can run,

radare -d /bin/ls

But, how do I provide an argument or parameter to ls? Like I would do if I wanted to run radare -d /bin/ls -1. I've tried it like that without quotes, which returns

radare2: invalid option -- '1'

I've also tried quoting the whole thing

radare2 -d "/bin/ls -1"
Could not execvp: No such file or directory
[w] Cannot open 'dbg:///bin/ls\ -1' for writing.

The Radare2book's "Basic Debugger Session" says , "or you can start a new program by specifying its name and parameters", but it's not clear how you specify the parameters.


Seems like radare has problems with passing arguments starting with dash ("-"). Please consider open an issue.

Anyway, you can pass arguments to radare2 debugged program in several ways.

The simplest way is:

r2 -d program arg1 arg2 arg3
  • r2 is an alias for radare2.
  • -d is telling radare2 to debug the execuable.
  • arg1..3 are the arguments passed to the executable by radare2.

For example:

$ r2 -d echo Hello, World!
Process with PID 4755 started...
= attach 4755 4755
bin.baddr 0x00400000
Using 0x400000
asm.bits 64
 -- You haxor! Me jane?

[0x7f9b1b000c30]> dc
Hello, World!

Another way is using the ood command inside radare2 shell:

Execute radare2 ./program, then type ood arg1 arg2 arg3. The ood command is used to "reopen in debugger mode (with args)".

$ r2 /bin/ls
 -- Use V! to enter into the visual panels mode (dwm style)

[0x004049a0]> doo -la
Process with PID 4757 started...
File dbg:///bin/ls  -la reopened in read-write mode
= attach 4757 4757

[0x7f5f36600c30]> dc
total 206
drwxrwxrwx 0 root root   512 Feb 13 04:25 .
drwxrwxrwx 0 root root   512 Jan 16 05:30 ..

You can also call ood with dynamic parameters using backticks. For example we want debug our program using the content from a file on our system as an arguments:

ood `!cat file.txt`

Say file.txt content is 'foo bar' so this equivalent to executing ood foo bar

  • backticks are used for passing the output of radare2 commands.
  • ! is running the given command as in system(3).

Another way to pass arguments to radare2 debugged program is by using rarun2 profile files:

$ r2 -R profile.rr2 -d program
$ cat profile.rr2
  • -R [rarun2] specify rarun2 profile to load.
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This comes under the purview of rarun2 which isn't documented in the radare2 book, but instead in radare2-explorations. From man rarun2

The rr2 (rarun2) configuration file accepts the following directives, described as key=value entries and comments defined as lines starting with '#'.

arg[0-N] set value for argument N passed to the program

So you can run that simply by either creating a profile, or doing this

r2 -R arg0="-1" -d /bin/ls
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