UNIX in a Nutshell: System V Edition

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Program Debugging
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20.2 The Dbx Debugger

Dbx can be used to debug programs written in C, C++, FORTRAN, and Pascal. Dbx commands can be stored in a start-up .dbxinit file that resides in the current directory or in the user's home directory. These commands are executed just before reading the symbol table. The command-line syntax for dbx is as follows:

dbx [options] [objfile [corefile]]

20.2.1 Options

-c cmd

Run dbx cmd after initialization.


Collect profile data for debugged program.


Echo input commands on standard output.


Act as if standard input is a terminal.

-I dir

Add dir to the directory search path. The dbx command use resets the search path.


Debug a program that puts the keyboard in up-down translation mode.

-P file_des

Pipe output to the debugger command via file descriptor file_des. debugger passes this option automatically.


Suppress messages during loading (useful during auto-traceback).


Execute objfile right away, then wait for user response from the keyboard.

-s file

Read initialization commands from start-up file.

-sr tmp

Like -s, but then delete start-up file (tmp).

- pid

Debug a currently running program whose process ID is pid (used mainly for auto-traceback).

20.2.2 Alphabetical Summary of Commands

Within dbx, the most useful commands are run, where, print, and stop. Use help to summarize the available commands. In the listing below, the term func is used to represent either a procedure or a function.

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