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Since version 4.3, IDA offers a PE Windows debugger in addition to its Windows disassembler. The Windows debugger in IDA combines the power of static disassembly to dynamic debugging to allow its users to debug unknown binaries at a level close to source code. A Linux version of the debugger is also available, there is some more information about it here here

The Windows Debugger in IDA:

  • is able to debug any file supported by the Windows DBG interface, including true 64 bits files.
  • can benefit from all the features of the Windows Disassembler, including interactivity, scripting and plugins.
  • offer local debugging of Windows executables.
  • can connect to other Windows machines running our remote debugging server and debug Windows executables.
  • can connect to our Linux remote debugging server and allows you to debug Linux executables from a familiar Windows environment.

Below: the Windows Debugger working locally.

Below: the Windows Debugger about to debug a remote Linux binary.

A typical use of the remote Windows debugger would be the analysis of an hostile Linux binary or an hostile Windows binary on a safe and clean machine. The IDA Windows debugger brings unprecedented flexibility and security to the virus analyst. Another typical use of the remote Windows debugger would be Linux debugging in a comfortable, well known GUI. Yet another possibility offered by our Windows debugger is 64 bit development. 64 bit development is still in its infancy and the IDA 64 bit debugger server allows you to debug 64 bit applications from within a stable Windows 32 environment.

Here are a few links to the IDA Windows Debugger on our site: