Extending r2 with new plugins

November 9, 2014

One of the key features behind r2 is how easily it can be extended with new libraries or plugins. In this blopost, we’ll see the steps to add a new plugin in radare2.

Let’s say we want to add a new plugin for r_asm because we are working with binaries of an architecture not supported by r2. Of course, adding a new plugin for another lib would be mostly the same.

From now to the end of the document, we will name this new plugin as “myarch”.

Please note that you can keep your plugin outside the radare2 main tree, like the ones in radare2-extras.

The first thing we have to do is give a look to the r_asm header, located at libr/include/r_asm.h, and find out which callbacks we need to implement. They will be always defined under a structure named r_libname_plugin_t or RLibnamePlugin. In the case of r_asm, look closely at RAsmPlugin:

typedef struct r_asm_plugin_t {
	int (*init)(void *user);
	int (*fini)(void *user);
	int (*disassemble)(RAsm *a, RAsmOp *op, ut8 *buf, ut64 len);
	int (*assemble)(RAsm *a, RAsmOp *op, const char *buf);
	RAsmModifyCallback modify;
	int (*set_subarch)(RAsm *a, const char *buf);
} RAsmPlugin;

We can implement all the callbacks or only those needed for our purposes. In this case we only want to code the disassemble function.

Then, we will create a new file named asm_myarch.c under libr/asm/p/. The typical skeleton woud be:

static int disassemble(RAsm *a, RAsmOp *op, ut8 *buf, ut64 len) {
	/* TODO: Implement disassemble code here,
     * give a look to the other plugins */

RAsmPlugin r_asm_plugin_myarch = {
	.name = "MyArch",
	.desc = "disassembly plugin for MyArch",
	.arch = "myarch",
	.bits = (int[]){ 32, 64, 0 }, /* supported wordsizes */
	.init = NULL,
	.fini = NULL,
	.disassemble = &disassemble,
	.modify = NULL,
	.assemble = NULL,

#ifndef CORELIB
struct r_lib_struct_t radare_plugin = {
	.type = R_LIB_TYPE_ASM,
	.data = &r_asm_plugin_myarch

Be careful with the name convention to avoid collisions with other existing plugins. Don’t forget that you have lots of examples inside libr/*/p/ on how plugins are implemented.

If we need more files for the plugin to work, e.g. a backend, we will create a folder under libr/asm/arch/ called like the plugin arch (myarch) and copy all the files to libr/asm/arch/myarch/.

The next step is to add a new “extern” in the header file, so we can compile it as static plugin if we want to. In libr/include/r_asm.h:

extern RAsmPlugin r_asm_plugin_x86;
extern RAsmPlugin r_asm_plugin_x86_olly;
extern RAsmPlugin r_asm_plugin_x86_nasm;
extern RAsmPlugin r_asm_plugin_myarch;

Obviously, we need to tell the build system how to compile our code, this is done adding a new file called libr/asm/p/myarch.mk, which would seem like this:

# myarch backend




And appending it to the list of compiled plugins in libr/asm/p/Makefile:


Finally, we only need to define if it must be compiled as static or shared, which is done editing plugins.def.cfg, in the source root. In this case, we will compile it as static, so we add a new line following the other asm plugins:


Ok, We have just created our first r2 plugin. Now, exec:

$ make mrproper && ./configure && make && make install

and enjoy! :)