GDB: The GNU Project Debugger

This is a simple/dirty tutorial of what is GDB and how to use it.

This tutorial assumes that you can start your trinity-core by typing:


in the console. Also, it assumes that you installed GDB already. Else, check this tutorial for help.

1. Before you start debugging trinity you need to have ensured that it is compiled with debug information you must pass -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug as a cmake option and compile. This however might be particulary slow and take a huge amount of ram while compiling.

2. Now you can start trinity with gdb by typing this.

gdb trinity-core

Then you will most likely see something like this:

user@*:~/home/sources/build$ gdb trinity-core
GNU gdb 6.8-debian
Copyright (C) 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.  Type "show copying"
and "show warranty" for details.
This GDB was configured as "x86_64-linux-gnu"...

(gdb) - is the GDB command prompt , here you can type some commands, almost like in normal shell.

Now after you have gdb running, you may instruct it to start trinity (by having gdb start trinity you can debug it), here is the command:


Just type it and if you are lucky you will have trinity loading.

Ok ... you made it, now trinity runs. Take a break until it crash, then you can come back

3. When trinity crashes you will most likely see this message, or any similar.

Program received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
[Switching to Thread 0x42c5c950 (LWP 9283)]
Player (this=0x42c598e0, session=0x0) at ../../../src/game/Player.cpp:265
265    ../../../src/game/Player.cpp: No such file or directory.
    in ../../../src/game/Player.cpp

Now you can type some comands to get information about the crash, and possibly give it to some dev to fix the problem.

Here are the commands that are best to be typed ( or at least I find the most usefull for crash report )

shell echo -e "\nCRASH ON" `date`
info program
shell echo -e "\nBACKTRACE\n"
shell echo -e "\nBACKTRACE FULL\n"
bt full
shell echo -e "\nTHREADS\n"
info threads
shell echo -e "\nTHREADS BACKTRACE\n"
thread apply all bt full

Just type them one after another and give the output in your bug report ...

OK. Thats it, now we can think of some way to automate all this process. GDB has 2 very good switches:

--batch            Exit after processing options.
--command=FILE, -x Execute GDB commands from FILE.

4. So you can put all the commands in one file and have GDB execute it, and when it finishes to exit. Lets say we put this in one file called gdb-commands.

shell echo -e "\nCRASH ON" `date`
info program
shell echo -e "\nBACKTRACE\n"
shell echo -e "\nBACKTRACE FULL\n"
bt full
shell echo -e "\nTHREADS\n"
info threads
thread apply all bt full

Now you can start the whole monster with:

gdb trinity-core --batch -x /path/to/gdb-commands

5. I assume you didn't get this and need more assistance, so i put this together for you

#! /bin/bash
DIR="$( cd "$( dirname "${BASH_SOURCE[0]}" )" && pwd )"
echo $DIR
cd $DIR
echo "run\n" > gdbcommands
echo "shell echo -e \"SERVERCRASHEVENT\"        " >> gdbcommands
echo "shell echo -e \"\nCRASH ON\" `date`       " >> gdbcommands
echo "info program                              " >> gdbcommands
echo "shell echo -e \"\nBACKTRACE\n\"           " >> gdbcommands
echo "bt                                        " >> gdbcommands
echo "shell echo -e \"\nBACKTRACE FULL\n\"      " >> gdbcommands
echo "bt full                                   " >> gdbcommands
echo "shell echo -e \"\nTHREADS\n\"             " >> gdbcommands
echo "info threads                              " >> gdbcommands
echo "shell echo -e \"\nTHREADS BACKTRACE\n\"   " >> gdbcommands
echo "thread apply all bt full                  " >> gdbcommands
chmod +x gdbcommands
while :
    echo "starting worldserver";
    mkdir -p crashes
    gdb worldserver --batch -x gdbcommands | tee crashes/current
    FILE=$(date +%s)
    sed -i '1,/SERVERCRASHEVENT/d' crashes/current
    mv crashes/current crashes/$FILE".crash"
    find crashes/ -name '*.crash' -and -size -10k -delete
    echo "worldserver stopped";
    sleep 1

This is a restarter that will output crashlogs with unixtime of crash as their filename. Which you can later either send to trinitycore devs or fix yourself!

1.You can also redirect stdout to some log file. I mean this:

gdb trinity-core --batch -x /path/to/gdb-commands > /some/log/file

2.You can add a tail command to gdb-commands file to get the latest lines from your server.log file:

shell echo -e "\nSERVER.LOG\n"
shell tail -n 50 /path/to/your/server.log/code50 means how much lanes to take from server.log

3. You can add -ggdb3 -g3 flags to your CXXFLAGS in order to get more debug output. If you add them there is no need to add --with-debug-info switch in order to get meaningfull backtrace.

4. You can pass arguments to trinity-core by passing them to the run gdb command ( run -c /path/to/trinitycore.conf ).

– original by Derex