2.1.3 What gdb Does During Startup
Here's the description of what gdb does during session startup:
- Sets up the command interpreter as specified by the command line
- Reads the system-wide init file (if --with-system-gdbinit was
used when building gdb; see System-wide configuration and settings) and executes all the commands in
- Reads the init file (if any) in your home directory1 and executes all the commands in
- Executes commands and command files specified by the ‘-iex’ and
‘-ix’ options in their specified order. Usually you should use the
‘-ex’ and ‘-x’ options instead, but this way you can apply
settings before gdb init files get executed and before inferior
- Processes command line options and operands.
- Reads and executes the commands from init file (if any) in the current
working directory as long as ‘set auto-load local-gdbinit’ is set to
‘on’ (see Init File in the Current Directory).
This is only done if the current directory is
different from your home directory. Thus, you can have more than one
init file, one generic in your home directory, and another, specific
to the program you are debugging, in the directory where you invoke
- If the command line specified a program to debug, or a process to
attach to, or a core file, gdb loads any auto-loaded
scripts provided for the program or for its loaded shared libraries.
If you wish to disable the auto-loading during startup,
you must do something like the following:
$ gdb -iex "set auto-load python-scripts off" myprogram
Option ‘-ex’ does not work because the auto-loading is then turned
off too late.
- Executes commands and command files specified by the ‘-ex’ and
‘-x’ options in their specified order. See Command Files, for
more details about gdb command files.
- Reads the command history recorded in the history file.
See Command History, for more details about the command history and the
files where gdb records it.
Init files use the same syntax as command files (see Command Files) and are processed by gdb in the same way. The init
file in your home directory can set options (such as ‘set
complaints’) that affect subsequent processing of command line options
and operands. Init files are not executed if you use the ‘-nx’
option (see Choosing Modes).
To display the list of init files loaded by gdb at startup, you
can use gdb --help.
The gdb init files are normally called .gdbinit.
The DJGPP port of gdb uses the name gdb.ini, due to
the limitations of file names imposed by DOS filesystems. The Windows
port of gdb uses the standard name, but if it finds a
gdb.ini file in your home directory, it warns you about that
and suggests to rename the file to the standard name.