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9 of the Best Free Linux Debuggers

9 of the Best Free Linux Debuggers

Debugging is the process of finding and reducing the number of bugs in computer software and electronic hardware. When a program crashes, the debugger shows the position in the original code. A good debugger plays an essential role in software development.

Debugging can be more difficult when various subsystems are tightly coupled, as changes in one may cause bugs to appear in another.

This article examines three different types of debuggers: source-level debuggers, memory debuggers and bug tracking software.

A memory debugger is a programming tool for finding memory leaks and buffer overflows. These are due to bugs related to the allocation and deallocation of dynamic memory. Programs written in languages that have garbage collection, such as managed code, might also need memory debuggers.

Bug tracking software helps quality assurance and programmers keep track of reported software bugs in their work.

One debugger which just missed out being included in the list below is dbx, an excellent source-level debugger included in the Sun Studio product from Sun Microsystems.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 9 advanced Linux debugging tools. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to fix, and help fix, bugs.

Now, let's explore the 9 debugging tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

Source-level Debuggers
GDB The GNU Debugger
DDD The Data Display Debugger, a graphical debugger frontend
Nemiver Standalone graphical debugger for GNOME
Memory Debuggers
Valgrind A memory debugger and profiler
Electric Fence A malloc debugger
D.U.M.A Detect Unintended Memory Access - A Red-Zone memory allocator
Bug Tracking
Bugzilla Bug Tracking System available through a web interface
Mantis Issue tracker implemented in PHP and using MySQL as a database
Trac Project management and bug/issue tracking system

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Last Updated Sunday, October 12 2014 @ 03:02 PM EDT


We have written a range of guides highlighting excellent free books for popular programming languages. Check out the following guides: C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, HTML, Python, Ruby, Perl, Haskell, PHP, Lisp, R, Prolog, Scala, Scheme, Forth, SQL, Node.js (new), Fortran (new), Erlang (new), Pascal (new), and Ada (new).


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