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22.8 Optional Warnings and Messages

By default, gdb is silent about its inner workings. If you are running on a slow machine, you may want to use the set verbose command. This makes gdb tell you when it does a lengthy internal operation, so you will not think it has crashed.

Currently, the messages controlled by set verbose are those which announce that the symbol table for a source file is being read; see symbol-file in Commands to Specify Files.

set verbose on
Enables gdb output of certain informational messages.
set verbose off
Disables gdb output of certain informational messages.

show verbose
Displays whether set verbose is on or off.

By default, if gdb encounters bugs in the symbol table of an object file, it is silent; but if you are debugging a compiler, you may find this information useful (see Errors Reading Symbol Files).

set complaints limit
Permits gdb to output limit complaints about each type of unusual symbols before becoming silent about the problem. Set limit to zero to suppress all complaints; set it to a large number to prevent complaints from being suppressed.

show complaints
Displays how many symbol complaints gdb is permitted to produce.

By default, gdb is cautious, and asks what sometimes seems to be a lot of stupid questions to confirm certain commands. For example, if you try to run a program which is already running:

     (gdb) run
     The program being debugged has been started already.
     Start it from the beginning? (y or n)

If you are willing to unflinchingly face the consequences of your own commands, you can disable this “feature”:

set confirm off
Disables confirmation requests. Note that running gdb with the --batch option (see -batch) also automatically disables confirmation requests.
set confirm on
Enables confirmation requests (the default).

show confirm
Displays state of confirmation requests.

If you need to debug user-defined commands or sourced files you may find it useful to enable command tracing. In this mode each command will be printed as it is executed, prefixed with one or more ‘+’ symbols, the quantity denoting the call depth of each command.

set trace-commands on
Enable command tracing.
set trace-commands off
Disable command tracing.
show trace-commands
Display the current state of command tracing.