21.3.1.1 Compiling MySQL for Debugging

If you have some very specific problem, you can always try to debug MySQL. To do this you must configure MySQL with the --with-debug or the --with-debug=full option. You can check whether MySQL was compiled with debugging by doing: mysqld --help. If the --debug flag is listed with the options then you have debugging enabled. mysqladmin ver also lists the mysqld version as mysql ... --debug in this case.

If you are using gcc, the recommended configure line is:

CC=gcc CFLAGS="-O2" CXX=gcc CXXFLAGS="-O2 -felide-constructors \
   -fno-exceptions -fno-rtti" ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/mysql \
   --with-debug --with-extra-charsets=complex

This avoids problems with the libstdc++ library and with C++ exceptions (many compilers have problems with C++ exceptions in threaded code) and compile a MySQL version with support for all character sets.

If you suspect a memory overrun error, you can configure MySQL with --with-debug=full, which installs a memory allocation (SAFEMALLOC) checker. However, running with SAFEMALLOC is quite slow, so if you get performance problems you should start mysqld with the --skip-safemalloc option. This disables the memory overrun checks for each call to malloc() and free().

If mysqld stops crashing when you compile it with --with-debug, you probably have found a compiler bug or a timing bug within MySQL. In this case, you can try to add -g to the CFLAGS and CXXFLAGS variables above and not use --with-debug. If mysqld dies, you can at least attach to it with gdb or use gdb on the core file to find out what happened.

When you configure MySQL for debugging you automatically enable a lot of extra safety check functions that monitor the health of mysqld. If they find something unexpected, an entry is written to stderr, which mysqld_safe directs to the error log! This also means that if you are having some unexpected problems with MySQL and are using a source distribution, the first thing you should do is to configure MySQL for debugging! (The second thing is to send mail to a MySQL mailing list and ask for help. See Section 1.6.1, “MySQL Mailing Lists”. If you believe that you have found a bug, please use the instructions at Section 1.7, “How to Report Bugs or Problems”.

In the Windows MySQL distribution, mysqld.exe is by default compiled with support for trace files. See also Section 21.3.1.2, “Creating Trace Files”.