Sun Studio 12: Debugging a Program With dbx


The dbx command-line debugger is an interactive, source-level debugging tool.

Who Should Use This Book

Debugging a Program With dbx is intended for programmers who want to debug an application using dbx commands. Users of dbx need with a working knowledge of Fortran, C, or C++, and some understanding of the SolarisTM Operating System (Solaris OS), or the Linux operating system, and UNIX® commands.

Typographic Conventions

The following table describes the typographic conventions that are used in this book.

Table P–1 Typographic Conventions





The names of commands, files, and directories, and onscreen computer output 

Edit your .login file.

Use ls -a to list all files.

machine_name% you have mail.


What you type, contrasted with onscreen computer output 

machine_name% su



Placeholder: replace with a real name or value 

The command to remove a file is rm filename.


Book titles, new terms, and terms to be emphasized 

Read Chapter 6 in the User's Guide.

A cache is a copy that is stored locally.

Do not save the file.

Note: Some emphasized items appear bold online.

The following table describes the code conventions that are used in this book.

Table P–2 Code Conventions

Code Symbol 



Code Example 


Brackets contain arguments that are optional. 




Braces contain a set of choices for a required option. 




The “pipe” or “bar” symbol separates arguments, only one of which may be chosen. 




The colon, like the comma, is sometimes used to separate arguments. 

Rdir[:dir ]



The ellipsis indicates omission in a series. 



Shell Prompts in Command Examples

The following table shows the default UNIX system prompt and superuser prompt for the C shell, Bourne shell, and Korn shell.

Table P–3 Shell Prompts



C shell 


C shell for superuser 


Bourne shell and Korn shell 


Bourne shell and Korn shell for superuser 


Supported Platforms

This SunTM Studio release supports systems that use the SPARC® and x86 families of processor architectures: UltraSPARC®, SPARC64, AMD64, Pentium, and Xeon EM64T. The supported systems for the version of the Solaris Operating System you are running are available in the hardware compatibility lists at These documents cite any implementation differences between the platform types.

In this document, these x86 related terms mean the following:

For supported systems, see the hardware compatibility lists.

Accessing Sun Studio Documentation

You can access the documentation at the following locations:

The web site ( enables you to read, print, and buy Sun Microsystems manuals through the Internet. If you cannot find a manual, see the documentation index that is installed with the software on your local system or network.

Note –

Sun is not responsible for the availability of third-party Web sites mentioned in this document. Sun does not endorse and is not responsible or liable for any content, advertising, products, or other materials that are available on or through such sites or resources. Sun will not be responsible or liable for any actual or alleged damage or loss caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any such content, goods, or services that are available on or through such sites or resources.

Documentation in Accessible Formats

The documentation is provided in accessible formats that are readable by assistive technologies for users with disabilities. You can find accessible versions of documentation as described in the following table. If your software is not installed in the /opt directory, ask your system administrator for the equivalent path on your system.

Table P–4 Documentation in Accessible Formats

Type of Documentation 

Format and Location of Accessible Version 

Manuals (except third-party manuals) 


Third-party manuals: 

  • Standard C++ Library Class Reference

  • Standard C++ Library User’s Guide

  • Tools.h++ Class Library Reference

  • Tools.h++ User’s Guide

HTML in the installed software on Solaris platforms through the documentation index at file:/opt/SUNWspro/docs/index.html


HTML on the developer portal at

Man pages 

HTML in the installed software through the documentation index at file:/opt/SUNWspro/docs/index.html on Solaris platforms, and at file:/opt/sun/sunstudio12/docs/index.html on Linux platforms

Online help 

HTML available through the Help menu and Help buttons in the IDE 

Release notes 


Related Sun Studio Documentation

The following table describes related documentation that is available at file:/opt/SUNWspro/docs/index.html and If your software is not installed in the /opt directory, ask your system administrator for the equivalent path on your system.

Table P–5 Related Sun Studio Documentation



dbx Readme

Lists new features, known problems, limitations, and incompatibilities of dbx.

dbx(1) man page

Describes the dbx command.

C User's Guide

Describes the Sun Studio 12 C programming language compiler along with ANSI C compiler-specific information. 

C++ User's Guide

Instructs you in the use of the Sun Studio 12 C++ compiler and provides detailed information on command-line compiler options. 

Fortran User's Guide

Describes the compile-time environment and command-line options for the Sun Studio 12 Fortran compiler. 

OpenMP API User's Guide

Summarizes the OpenMP Fortran 95, C, and C++ application program interface (API) for building multiprocessing applications. Sun Studio compilers support the OpenMP API. 

Performance Analyzer

Describes the performance analysis tools that are available with Sun Studio 12. 

Accessing Related Solaris Documentation

The following table describes related documentation that is available through the web site.

Table P–6 Related Solaris Documentation

Document Collection 

Document Title 


Solaris Reference Manual Collection 

See the titles of man page sections. 

Provides information about the Solaris OS. 

Solaris Software Developer Collection 

Linker and Libraries Guide

Describes the operations of the Solaris link-editor and runtime linker. 

Solaris Software Developer Collection 

Multithreaded Programming Guide

Covers the POSIX and Solaris threads APIs, programming with synchronization objects, compiling multithreaded programs, and finding tools for multithreaded programs. 

Solaris Software Developer Collection 

SPARC Assembly Language Reference Manual

Describes the assembler that runs on the SPARC architecture and translates source files that are in assembly language format into object files in linking format. 

Resources for Developers

Visit to find these frequently updated resources:

The Sun Studio portal is one of a number of additional resources for developers at the Sun Developer Network website,

Contacting Technical Support

If you have technical questions about this product that are not answered in this document, go to

Sun Welcomes Your Comments

Sun is interested in improving its documentation and welcomes your comments and suggestions. Submit your comments to Sun at this URL:

Please include the part number of the document in the subject line of your email. For example, the part number for this document is 819–5257–10.