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OK. So I am really trying to figure out how to use the "Intel 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer's Manual" for myself, since it seems like the authoritative source for x86(_64) machine code.

I am looking at a program in Ghidra (specifically, a dynamically linked .so file to the program I actually care about). File info for the .so file:

ELF 64-bit LSB shared object, x86-64, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked

I come to the following instruction in Ghidra:

ff 25 de ad be ef  --- deadbeef being a substitute for the real bytes.

I have Ghidra set up so that I can right click on the instruction and go to the relevant page in the processor manual, which brings me to the JMP reference (p.590 in the version of the manual I have). Cool.

From looking through the options there, I find the ff opcode rows that correspond to the instruction I am looking at. Further, I know that my ModR/M byte is 25H which corresponds to MOD = 00B, REG = 100B and R/M = 101B so I know that this narrows it down to the FF /4 rows in the JMP instruction description table. But how do I know if it is referring to JMP r/m16 or JMP r/m32 or JMP r/m64? Also what is the difference between those three? And further, I know from looking at tables 2-1 through 2-3 (combined with how Ghidra interprets the instruction) that de ad be ef actually ends up being a disp32 that gets added to the index. But how would I have known which table to reference in tables 2-1 to 2-3, and how does that information correspond to choosing between JMP r/m16 or JMP r/m32 or JMP r/m64?

  • The r in r/m16 et al means register. m16/m32/m64 means memory, either 16- 32- or 64-bit address width. If mod is 11, r/m is interpreted as r, otherwise m. If the CPU were operating in 16-bit mode, only ff 25 would contribute to the instruction, resulting in jmp [di] followed by four gibberish bytes. For differentiating 32/64, it depends on the operating mode -- it's probably going to be 64-bit based on your .so info and question tags. – smitelli Oct 23 at 0:38
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    @smitelli please post this in the answer box. comments should be used for clarifications, not for answers – Igor Skochinsky Oct 23 at 10:50

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