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  • Released on: 2023-09-25
  • Last update: 2023-10-07
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IdaClu is an IDA Pro plugin with a straightforward 3-step loop pipeline:
  1. 1. Find similarities in functions;
  2. 2. Label grouped functions in bulk;
  3. 3. Repeat step 1 for labeled functions.
The distinctive feature of the plugin lies in "how" of search and labeling.

IdaClu won 1st place in the Hex-Rays Plugin Contest 2023 !


The Purpose

In addition to the plugin ecosystem, the IDA user community creates a wealth of incredible scripts, varying in complexity. Some could greatly benefit from standardized input/output data format and GUI interface. However, due to time constraints, the relative complexity of learning PyQt/PySide, and the challenge of navigating several backward-incompatible versions of the IDAPython API many community members are unable to support these efforts. As a result, even the best of us sometimes resort to parsing custom data formats from text files or output window of IDA.

IdaClu serves as a tree/table view for IDAPython scripts.  
Providing the following features:

  • labeling the functions with any combination of prefix-folder-color
  • filtering the input/output
  • using the progress bar indicator
  • using the output of other scripts
  • providing the output to other scripts

IDAPython-scripts serve as sub-plugins for IdaClu if they follow several conventions of how the script should be structured. One core intention is to minimize this impact.
The plugin comes with a set of x18 simplistic and handy scripts available out of the box. They form the basis and make IdaClu useful as a standalone tool. So support of the community is not a "must".

Standard Scripts

Scripts are grouped, and while most names are self-explanatory, some may need explanations:
  • Xref Analysis
    • Xref Count - group by code-xref count
    • Xref Source - groups: leaf functions, functions with only explicit calls, functions with virtual calls
    • Xref Destination - groups: independent functions, VFT-functions, library called functions
  • Constant Analysis
    • Common Constants - group by constants being referenced
    • String Refs - group by string refs
    • Global Variable Analysis - group by refs of defined names
    • Lib Usage Analysis - group by library function calls
    • API Usage Analysis - group by API-function calls
  • Control Flow
    • Control Flow Analysis - groups: loop-containing funcs, switch-case funcs, recursive funcs
    • Pseudocode Size - group by pseudocode line count
  • Code Coverage
    • DynamoRIO Functions - groups: touched/untouched functions
  • Function Similarity
    • SSDEEP Similarity - groups: similar function clusters with ssdeep
    • TLSH Similarity - groups: similar function clusters with tlsh
  • Virtual Functions
    • Explicit Calls - group by function call with arguments shown in comments
    • Implicit Calls - group by VFT-function call with arguments shown in comments
  • Filter Analysis
    • Distinct Folders - group by folder path
    • Distinct Prefixes - group by prefix name
    • Distinct Colors - group by highlight color

User Interface


The user interface intentionally follows Miller's Law in UX - "The immediate memory span of people is limited to approximately seven items, plus or minus two."  
Here's the breakdown of the main widgets:
  1. 1. Toolkit - scrollable area with buttons for recognized IDAPython scripts
  2. 2. View - table-based view for script output, function selection, and rendering current labels
  3. 3. Filters - input controls to refine the chosen script's focus
  4. 4. Labels - name of prefix or folder for selected functions
  5.    - R - toggle button for recursive mode
  6.    - PREFIX - interactive label to switch between FOLDER and PREFIX labeling modes
  7.    - ADD - button that applies labeling settings
  8.    - CLEAR - button that clears labeling settings
  9. 5. Palette - a set of 5 mutually exclusive color highlighting buttons


  1. 1. IdaClu aims to incorporate new features from new IDA-versions while maintaining version-agnostic approach.
    1. The solution is graceful degradation. So the UI will adapt to older IDA versions, excluding unsupported features.
  2. 2. Double-clicking any row in the tree view navigates to the corresponding function in IDA
  3. 3. The filter widget toggles collapse with a header click.
  4. 4. The toolkit widget header click swaps tree-view and sidebar with places.
  5. 5. Rename context-menu allows to make cutom changes in the selected function name.


IdaClu is an IDAPython plugin without external package dependencies. No building is required. It can be installed by downloading the repository and copying file and folder idaclu to your IDA Pro plugin directory (either-or):
  • C:\Program Files\IDA Pro \plugins
  • C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Hex-Rays\IDA Pro\plugins
While the plugin itself doesn't need external packages, some sub-plugin scripts might. This won't prevent the plugin from running, but it will gray out the corresponding buttons with an informative tooltip - what's missing.

Two bundled Function Similarity section scripts require py-tlsh and ssdeep. Follow these instructions if you need these scripts:
> pip install py-tlsh
# do not: pip install ssdeep
> git clone
> cd ssdeep-windows-32_64-master
> python install


For continuous updates, clone the repository with Git and create a symlink in the IDA plugin folder:


:: C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Hex-Rays\IDA Pro\plugins\
> mklink "C:\Program Files\IDA Pro X.X\plugins\" \
:: C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Hex-Rays\IDA Pro\plugins\idaclu
> mklink /d "C:\Program Files\IDA Pro X.X\plugins\idaclu" \idaclu


% ln -s \ /Users//.idapro/plugins/
% ln -s \idaclu /Users//.idapro/plugins/idaclu

Script Ecosystem

The plugin serves as a GUI for scripts without one. By following scripting conventions, you can make them compatible with IdaClu. When done correctly, a corresponding button will appear in the sidebar.

Script Description

The following block is mandatory and is used to register the script in IdaClu:
SCRIPT_NAME = 'Xref Count'  # arbitrary name that will appear on the corresponding button
SCRIPT_TYPE = 'func' # 'func' or 'custom' depending on whether the script iterates on functions or some other data structures to produce the output
SCRIPT_VIEW = 'tree' # 'tree' is the only currently supported view, 'table' is to be added
SCRIPT_ARGS = [] # experimental feature, supports tuples of the form ('', '', '')

Main Function

In addition to this, each script must define a single get_data() function.  
Currently there are x2 possible prototypes:

# Case #1: SCRIPT_TYPE == 'func':
def get_data(func_gen=None, env_desc=None, plug_params=None):
    # 1. Iterate over pre-filtered functions via func_gen() generator
    # 2. Progress bar values are calculated automatically
# Case #2: SCRIPT_TYPE == 'custom':
def get_data(progress_callback=None, env_desc=None, plug_params=None):
    # 1. Iterate over custom data structures
    # 2. Use `progress_callback(, )` to report current progress

Execution Environment

If the script logic depends on a specific IDA configuration, the IdaClu plugin can offer the following properties in the env_desc object:

- feat_bookmarks
- feat_cpp_oop
- feat_folders
- feat_golang
- feat_ida6
- feat_ioi64
- feat_lumina
- feat_microcode
- feat_microcode_new
- feat_python3
- feat_undo
Before script execution, these fields are guaranteed to be initialized.  
You can refer to the full list in the output window of IDA. Right under the banner there will be ENVIRONMENT section with the dump of current values.

Custom Input

As an experimental feature, the plugin supports custom input for each script.
When defined, the following code will render the input field under the script button upon the first click:
SCRIPT_ARGS = [('file_path', 'file', 'input the file path')]
The second click sends this data to the target script, accessible via the plug_params parameter of the get_data() function:

Return Value

For hierarchical output data, the script should return dictionary of lists.  
Keys of this dictionary are function group names - collapsible elements of tree view.  
Vals of this dictionary are either-or:
  • list of function addresses (simple case)
  • list of tuples (,) (advanced case)


However the rest is up to the author of the certain script,
there are several optional tips:
  1. 1. Each script should be assigned to a certain script group. A script group is essentially a folder - plugins/idaclu/plugins// containing an file with a single string:

  1. 2. For IDAPython cross-compatibility consider using bundled shims module:
    from idaclu import ida_shims

  1. 3. If the script utilizes func-generator consider employing the following code for debugging and running the script even outside the IdaClu environment:
    def debug():
        data_obj = get_data(func_gen=idautils.Functions)
        ida_shims.msg(json.dumps(data_obj, indent=4))
    if __name__ == '__main__':

In case anything is left uncovered in this README, refer to example-scripts or contact the IdaClu author.


Recommended specs: IDA Pro v8.2+ with Python v3.x.
Minimum specs: IDA Pro v6.7+ with Python v2.7+.  
Test environment:
  1. 1. IDA Pro v6.7 + Windows 7
  2. 2. IDA Pro v7.7 + Windows 10
  3. 3. IDA Pro v8.2 + Windows 11
  4. 4. IDA Pro v7.0, MacOS High Sierra v10.13.6
  5. 5. IDA Pro v7.6, MacOS Ventura v13.2.1
Other IDA versions can be added as test environments upon request.  
To be cross-compatible IdaClu relies on PyQt and IdaPython shims.  
Scripts bundled with IdaClu currently are PE-first and Intel x86/x64-first due to the author's work specifics.

Upcoming Changes

  • table view for the scripts that output non-hierarchical data
  • several types of controls to provide input to scripts
  • lots of code optimizations
  • sort data in columns by clicking the column headers for tree/table view
  • a more flexible API for the scripts
  • more detailed IDA environment detection
  • helper context menus for native IDA widgets
  • filter refresh if changes to .idb were made outside the plugin
  • grayed out narrow folder filters if they are subsumed by broader ones
  • "save to file" option for the current view
  • time estimation for large binaries
  • caption of the processing phase in UI
  • breakpoint setting feature
  • count of functions currently selected
  • folder labels with hierarchy
  • button to clear all labels at once
Feel free to come up with your ideas/proposals.  
They will be carefully considered and their implementation is highly likely to be included in upcoming plugin releases.

Known bugs

  • Minor issues with cross-compatibility
  • Comment column remains unhidden with empty comments
  • Some bundled plugins produce quite dirty output:
    • Global Variable Analysis
  • Some scripts and their corresponding groups do not match
  • Experimental "Code Coverage" plugin fails to load
  • Explicit folder filtering with `"/"` as a parameter does not work as expected
  • Labels are still present in filters after being removed from .idb
  • In recursive mode the function can be prefixed multiple times
  • Recursive mode is not considered while highlighting with color


- Caroline 'By0ute' Beyne for the simplistic PoC of collapsible PyQt widget
- Markus 'gaasedelen' Gaasedelen for DrCov file format parser
- Willi Ballenthin of Mandiant for PoC of PyQt-shim script to support both PySide (IDA and PyQt (IDA>=v6.9)
- Guys from Gray Hat Academy for PoC of IDAPython-shim script to support v6.x-v7.x versions of IDAPython API

Version History

- 2023-10-2x - Release of more stable v1.0 (UPCOMING)
- 2023-09-14 - The original release of IdaClu v0.9!