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Debugging Tools

NERSC provides many popular debugging tools. Some of them are general-purpose tools and others are geared toward more specific tasks.

A quick guideline on when to use which debugging tool is as follows:

  • DDT: DDT is a GUI parallel debugger. It has features similar to TotalView and and a similarly intuitive user interface. It is primarily used for debugging parallel MPI or OpenMP applications.
  • GDB: GDB can be used to quickly and easily examine a core file that was produced when an execution crashed to give an approximate traceback.
  • gdb4hpc and CCDB: gdb4hpc is a GDB-based parallel debugger, developed by Cray. It allows programmers to either launch an application or attach to an already-running application that was launched with srun in order to debug the parallel code in command-line mode.
  • STAT and ATP: STAT (the Stack Trace Analysis Tool) is a highly scalable, lightweight tool that gathers and merges stack traces from all of the processes of a parallel application. ATP (Abnormal Termination Processing) automatically runs STAT when the code crashes.
  • TotalView: TotalView, from Perforce Software, is a parallel debugging tool. It provides an X Windows-based Graphical User Interface and a command line interface.
  • Valgrind: The Valgrind tool suite provides several debugging and profiling tools that can help make your programs faster and more correct. The most popular tool is Memcheck, which can detect many memory-related errors that are common in C and C++ programs.