Debugging using gdb or dbx

I need help using either dbx, gdb, or xxgdb. Please be specific.

Here is what I have already did and I was so confused.

1. I have put -g flag when compiled my C++ source
2. % dbx executable_file
3. I typed 'next' and got error message like this
    dbx: can't continue execution -- no active process

4. I tried to put a break point at line 8 using
    'stop at 8' command and I got another message:
   dbx: No current source file
5. Well, I scratched my head and typed 'quit'

Same story happened when I tried using both gdb and xxgdb.

Please help! I need to know how you debug your C++ codes in Unix, STEP by STEP!

Thanks!!!

PS: I use all my points and hope that I would get a very brilliant answer :)
v5Asked:
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jhanceCommented:
You can't step until you start running.

Try this:

gdb a.out
(gdb)l

this will list out your program...

(gdb)break 12

Set a breakpoint at one of the lines in your program.  I've used 12 as an example, yours will vary.

(gdb)run

Now when it hits the breakpoint, it will stop.  You can now:

(gdb)next
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v5Author Commented:
My output file is not a.out, I use -o a a.o. So, the executeable file is "a", not "a.out".

I try % gdb a

then (gdb)l

and I got an error msg
dbx: No current source file

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jhanceCommented:
I don't understand "-o a a.o".  When you compile with gcc the command should be:

gcc sourcefile.c -g -o a

This will give an executable "a" that contains debugging information.  Now you can say:

gdb a

If I understand what you wrote, you are giving it:

gcc source.c -g -o a a.o


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jhanceCommented:
www:~$ gcc test.c -g -o a
www:~$ gdb a
GDB is free software and you are welcome to distribute copies of it
 under certain conditions; type "show copying" to see the conditions.
There is absolutely no warranty for GDB; type "show warranty" for details.
GDB 4.14 (i486-slackware-linux), Copyright 1995 Free Software Foundation, Inc...
(gdb) l
1       #include <stdio.h>
2
3       int main(void)
4       {
5               int i;
6
7               printf("<HTML>\n");
8               printf("<BODY>\n");
9               for(i=0; i<50000; i++){
10
(gdb) break 7
Breakpoint 1 at 0x80004a6: file test.c, line 7.
(gdb) run
Starting program: /users/joe/a

Breakpoint 1, main () at test.c:7
7               printf("<HTML>\n");
(gdb) n
<HTML>
8               printf("<BODY>\n");
(gdb)
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v5Author Commented:
I forgot -g

One more question, when I set break point at line 6, how can I display the value of the variable at that line?

Another question, in your opinion, which debugging tool is the greatest? dbx, gdb, X version of gdb, or purecov?

Thanks!!
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jhanceCommented:
To get the value of a location, use the inspect command:

(gdb) inspect i

In my opinion, dbx and gdb are about the same.  xgdb is maybe a little easier to use but you can't always count on having it available.  I've never used purecov.
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