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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.


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