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July 13-17, 2009

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Using Eclipse for Reverse, Multi-Process and Non-Stop Debugging with GDB

Marc Khouzam (marc.khouzam@ericsson.com)

Co-authors: Francois Chouinard and Marc Khouzam

The next release of GDB is full of major improvements aimed at providing the user with a richer debugging experience. Some of these features open the door to using GDB for debugging live telecom systems. Non-stop Multi-threaded debugging as well as Multi-process debugging are of particular interest in such scenarios. However, dealing with GDB when a thread is stopped but many others are running adds a level of complexity that makes it hard for a user to sort through the events of the debugging session. Multi-process debugging only adds to the amount of information that must be handled concurrently. A graphical front-end provides a much needed way of handling that information and presenting it to the user in a fashion that is clear and easy to visualize.

The next release of Eclipse, baptized Galileo, will provide DSF-GDB as part the C/C++ Development Tools project. DSF-GDB is a full-fledge integration of GDB into Eclipse which makes use of the latest features planned for GDB 7.0. Both GDB's Non-stop Multi-threaded debugging as well as Multi-process debugging are used by DSF-GDB. Furthermore, DSF-GDB has already been enhanced to take advantage of the new Reverse Debugging feature that has just been included in GDB's mainline. Finally, building on top of those enhancements, some new GDB and DSF-GDB features are already being planned such as Dynamic Tracepoints and GdbServer daemon.



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