i am trying to use gdb to analyse a c program but i am a little confused. enter image description here in the above picture you can see i am trying to analyse the stack . On the left we have memory addresses.Since i am using a 64 bit machine ,shouldn't ever memory address have 64 bits?but in the picture every memory location has 32 bits . Also the stack starts at 0x28fed0 and the second address is 0x28fee0 ,where are the address between these.I mean where is 0x28fed1? I studied architecture many years ago and i seem to be missing something basic. Can any one help me out?


1 Answer 1


The stack is not intrinsically 64-bit, it's just a memory area which can contains anything.

You specifically asked gdb to dump the memory in 32-bit quantities:


32 is the count (you can see that you've got 8 lines of 4 columns), x is output format (hexadecimal), and w is the item size ("word" - a 32-bit integer).

If you want to view memory as an array of 64-bit items, replace w by g ("giant word" or a 64-bit integer). To see individual bytes, use b.

As for addressing, each 32-bit item occupies four 8-bit bytes, so a row of four of them adds up to 4*4=16, or 0x10 bytes, that's why the next line starts at 0x28fee0. The byte at address 0x28fed1 is present inside the 32-bit word at 0x28fed0. Try dumping memory in different formats to get the feel for the data layout. Read up on little endian.

  • Amazing answer ,i know about Endianness but got a little confused.just one more thing you said "The stack is not intrinsically 64-bit, it's just a memory area which can contains anything."so how much bits or bytes can be stored on a single memory location i.e single memory address
    – shujaat
    May 10, 2018 at 5:44
  • @shujaat on x86/x64 - one byte (8 bits) per address location
    – Igor Skochinsky
    May 10, 2018 at 6:06

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