Ghidra vs IDA Pro - Which one is better?

Ghidra and IDA Pro, both are the reverse engineering framework. Ghidra is a Java-based interactive reverse engineering framework developed by US National Security Agency (NSA). IDA Pro is an expensive tool, owned by Hex-Rays SA. Both tools are useful tools for binary analysis.

It is to be noted that generally three types of binaries are popularly used: ELF (Executable and Linkable Format), PE (Portable Executable), and Mach O(Mach Object) for analysis.

This blog lists a comparison between two tools and tries to find which one is better.

Download link - Ghidra

Comparison between two frameworks

ParameterGhidraIDA Pro
GUI/CLIGUI based GUI based
CostFreeCommercial, although limited functionality tool (IDA Free) available for free.
Stage of developmentAdvanced stage (mature) Advanced stage (mature)
multiple binaries supportSupport load of multiple binaries at once. Support load of limited binaries.
support upload of binariesSupport big firmware images of size more than 1 GB without any issuesAvailable
disassemblerAvailable Available
debuggerAvailable Available
Supported familiesSupport less number of families than IDA ProIDA Pro supported more than 65 families of processors that include x86/x84, ARM/ARM64, MIPS/MIPS 64, etc.
Support from Vendoropen community availableTechnical support is available via email, forum
LicenseOpen source hence can be used freelyLicense available based on requirements. A floating license is also available.
version trackingversion tracking between different versions of binaries available Available
Undo featureAvailable Available in IDA Pro 7.3 (previously not available)


Reverse engineering of malware/binaries is not an easy task. Currently, there is no single tool available that acts as a single bullet or a swiss army knife for identifying each and every piece of information on the target. It is recommended to learn more tools including Ghidra and IDA Pro to take advantage of the strength of all the tools available may be opensource as well as commercial one.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below. Nothing gives me greater joy than helping my readers!

Disclaimer: This tutorial is for educational purpose only. Individual is solely responsible for any illegal act.

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3 Responses

  1. Wes Howl says:

    Ghidra certainly has a GUI interface but can also be invoked via a command line interface for large batch processing. Can’t speak for IDA Pro in this regard.

  2. Trouthie says:

    Need more with ghidra. Thank you

  3. Ajay says:

    explained in simple language. Thanks

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