How do breakpoints work when using a remote build host in NetBeans?

by Drew   Last Updated July 17, 2017 16:00 PM

I have been tasked with setting up a development environment for an embedded platform. So far, I have set up a remote build host in NetBeans, which copies all of the source files to the target device, compiles them natively with the GNU toolchain on the device (g++, ld, etc.), and then runs the compiled binary and forwards stdout to the development machine that NetBeans is running on.

What I don't understand is: How does the binary on the build machine know where and when to start/stop if the breakpoints exist only in NetBeans? The build host only required ssh access and a compiling/linking toolchain, but somehow seems to communicate with NetBeans for debugging. A colleague of mine suggested it uses gdbserver, but I have not found any documentation on the NetBeans website about this package, and it is not installed on the build host (at least not from apt). How is NetBeans doing this?

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