I want to reverse engineer a program. I managed to find the entry point but every time I want to launch the application I get the same error `During startup program exited with code 126.

Here is what I did:

└─$ gdb guessy\?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjoxNDM4LCJ0ZWFtX2lkIjpudWxsLCJmaWxlX2lkIjoxNjd9.YIyJZA.QQbX2E3vChspI95coiZvSzAwDOo
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Reading symbols from guessy?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjoxNDM4LCJ0ZWFtX2lkIjpudWxsLCJmaWxlX2lkIjoxNjd9.YIyJZA.QQbX2E3vChspI95coiZvSzAwDOo...
(No debugging symbols found in guessy?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjoxNDM4LCJ0ZWFtX2lkIjpudWxsLCJmaWxlX2lkIjoxNjd9.YIyJZA.QQbX2E3vChspI95coiZvSzAwDOo)
(gdb) break 1
No symbol table is loaded.  Use the "file" command.
(gdb) break 0x0000000000006160
Function "0x0000000000006160" not defined.
Make breakpoint pending on future shared library load? (y or [n]) 
(gdb) run
Starting program: /home/kali/Documents/Guessy/guessy?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjoxNDM4LCJ0ZWFtX2lkIjpudWxsLCJmaWxlX2lkIjoxNjd9.YIyJZA.QQbX2E3vChspI95coiZvSzAwDOo 
zsh:1: permission denied: /home/kali/Documents/Guessy/guessy?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjoxNDM4LCJ0ZWFtX2lkIjpudWxsLCJmaWxlX2lkIjoxNjd9.YIyJZA.QQbX2E3vChspI95coiZvSzAwDOo
During startup program exited with code 126.

I found the entrypoint with this:

└─$ objdump -f /bin/ls                                                                                                                                                                                                                 130 ⨯

/bin/ls:     file format elf64-x86-64
architecture: i386:x86-64, flags 0x00000150:
start address 0x0000000000006160

1 Answer 1


The program exiting with code 126 in GDB occurs when the current user does not have execute permissions for the binary being debugged:

$ ls -l test
-rw-r--r-- 1 user01 user01 110080 May  1 22:18 test

$ gdb -q test
gef➤  run
Starting program: /home/user01/test 
/bin/bash: /home/user01/test: Permission denied
/bin/bash: line 0: exec: /home/user01/test: cannot execute: Permission denied
During startup program exited with code 126.

Please note that when setting a break point to a specific address like 0x0000000000006160, an asterisk must be used:

  1. break * 0x0000000000006160 or break *0x0000000000006160

The following will result in an error:

  1. break 0x0000000000006160

In (2), GDB interprets the memory address as a function name. Since there is no function named 0x0000000000006160, it prints the error message

Function "0x0000000000006160" not defined.

For more information on GDB syntax see the GDB Command Reference:


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