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[Page 1397 (continued)]

Summary

  • GNU includes software called a debugger, which allows you to monitor the execution of your programs to locate and remove logic errors.

  • The GNU debugger works only with executable files that were compiled with the -g compiler option, which generates information that is used by the debugger to help you debug your programs.

  • The gdb command will start the GNU debugger and enable you to use its features. The run command will run a program through the debugger.

  • Breakpoints are markers that can be set at any executable line of code. When program execution reaches a breakpoint, execution pauses.

  • The break command inserts a breakpoint at the line number specified after the command.

  • When the program runs, it suspends execution at any line that contains a breakpoint and is said to be in break mode.

  • The continue command causes the program to continue running until the next breakpoint is reached.

  • The print command allows you to peek inside the computer at the value of one of your variables.

  • When the print command is used, the result is stored in a convenience variable such as $1. Convenience variables are temporary variables that can be used in the debugging process to perform arithmetic and evaluate boolean expressions.

  • You can display a list of all of the breakpoints in the program by typing info break.

  • To remove a breakpoint, type delete, followed by a space and the number of the breakpoint to remove.

  • Use the quit command to end the debugging session.

  • The set command allows the programmer to assign new values to variables.

  • The step command executes the next statement in the program. If the next statement to execute is a function call, control transfers to the called function. The step command enables you to enter a function and study the individual statements of that function.

  • The finish command executes the remaining statements in the function and returns control to the place where the function was called.

  • The next command behaves like the step command, except when the next statement to execute contains a function call. In that case, the called function executes in its entirety and the program advances to the next executable line after the function call.

  • The watch command sets a watch on any variable or data member of an object currently in scope during execution of the debugger. Whenever the value of a watched variable changes, the debugger enters break mode and notifies you that the value has changed.


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