GDB comes with a
configure script that automates the process
of preparing GDB for installation; you can then use
The GDB distribution includes all the source code you need for GDB in a single directory, whose name is usually composed by appending the version number to `gdb'.
For example, the GDB version 188.8.131.5250815-cvs distribution is in the `gdb-184.108.40.20650815-cvs' directory. That directory contains:
gdb-220.127.116.1150815-cvs/configure (and supporting files)
- script for configuring GDB and all its supporting libraries
- the source specific to GDB itself
- source for the Binary File Descriptor library
- GNU include files
- source for the `-liberty' free software library
- source for the library of opcode tables and disassemblers
- source for the GNU command-line interface
- source for the GNU filename pattern-matching subroutine
- source for the GNU memory-mapped malloc package
The simplest way to configure and build GDB is to run
from the `gdb-version-number' source directory, which in
this example is the `gdb-18.104.22.16850815-cvs' directory.
First switch to the `gdb-version-number' source directory
if you are not already in it; then run
configure. Pass the
identifier for the platform on which GDB will run as an
cd gdb-22.214.171.12450815-cvs ./configure host make
where host is an identifier such as `sun4' or
`decstation', that identifies the platform where GDB will run.
(You can often leave off host;
configure tries to guess the
correct value by examining your system.)
Running `configure host' and then running
make builds the
`bfd', `readline', `mmalloc', and `libiberty'
gdb itself. The configured source files, and the
binaries, are left in the corresponding source directories.
configure is a Bourne-shell (
/bin/sh) script; if your
system does not recognize this automatically when you run a different
shell, you may need to run
sh on it explicitly:
sh configure host
If you run
configure from a directory that contains source
directories for multiple libraries or programs, such as the
`gdb-126.96.36.19950815-cvs' source directory for version 188.8.131.5250815-cvs,
creates configuration files for every directory level underneath (unless
you tell it not to, with the `--norecursion' option).
You should run the
configure script from the top directory in the
source tree, the `gdb-version-number' directory. If you run
configure from one of the subdirectories, you will configure only
that subdirectory. That is usually not what you want. In particular,
if you run the first
configure from the `gdb' subdirectory
of the `gdb-version-number' directory, you will omit the
configuration of `bfd', `readline', and other sibling
directories of the `gdb' subdirectory. This leads to build errors
about missing include files such as `bfd/bfd.h'.
You can install
gdb anywhere; it has no hardwired paths.
However, you should make sure that the shell on your path (named by
the `SHELL' environment variable) is publicly readable. Remember
that GDB uses the shell to start your program--some systems refuse to
let GDB debug child processes whose programs are not readable.
Compiling GDB in another directory
If you want to run GDB versions for several host or target machines,
you need a different
gdb compiled for each combination of
host and target.
configure is designed to make this easy by
allowing you to generate each configuration in a separate subdirectory,
rather than in the source directory. If your
handles the `VPATH' feature (GNU
make does), running
make in each of these directories builds the
program specified there.
gdb in a separate directory, run
with the `--srcdir' option to specify where to find the source.
(You also need to specify a path to find
itself from your working directory. If the path to
would be the same as the argument to `--srcdir', you can leave out
the `--srcdir' option; it is assumed.)
For example, with version 184.108.40.20650815-cvs, you can build GDB in a separate directory for a Sun 4 like this:
cd gdb-220.127.116.1150815-cvs mkdir ../gdb-sun4 cd ../gdb-sun4 ../gdb-18.104.22.16850815-cvs/configure sun4 make
configure builds a configuration using a remote source
directory, it creates a tree for the binaries with the same structure
(and using the same names) as the tree under the source directory. In
the example, you'd find the Sun 4 library `libiberty.a' in the
directory `gdb-sun4/libiberty', and GDB itself in
Make sure that your path to the `configure' script has just one instance of `gdb' in it. If your path to `configure' looks like `../gdb-22.214.171.12450815-cvs/gdb/configure', you are configuring only one subdirectory of GDB, not the whole package. This leads to build errors about missing include files such as `bfd/bfd.h'.
One popular reason to build several GDB configurations in separate
directories is to configure GDB for cross-compiling (where
GDB runs on one machine--the host---while debugging
programs that run on another machine--the target).
You specify a cross-debugging target by
giving the `--target=target' option to
When you run
make to build a program or library, you must run
it in a configured directory--whatever directory you were in when you
configure (or one of its subdirectories).
configure generates in each source
directory also runs recursively. If you type
make in a source
directory such as `gdb-126.96.36.19950815-cvs' (or in a separate configured
directory configured with `--srcdir=dirname/gdb-188.8.131.5250815-cvs'), you
will build all the required libraries, and then build GDB.
When you have multiple hosts or targets configured in separate
directories, you can run
make on them in parallel (for example,
if they are NFS-mounted on each of the hosts); they will not interfere
with each other.
Specifying names for hosts and targets
The specifications used for hosts and targets in the
script are based on a three-part naming scheme, but some short predefined
aliases are also supported. The full naming scheme encodes three pieces
of information in the following pattern:
For example, you can use the alias
sun4 as a host argument,
or as the value for target in a
option. The equivalent full name is `sparc-sun-sunos4'.
configure script accompanying GDB does not provide
any query facility to list all supported host and target names or
configure calls the Bourne shell script
config.sub to map abbreviations to full names; you can read the
script, if you wish, or you can use it to test your guesses on
% sh config.sub i386-linux i386-pc-linux-gnu % sh config.sub alpha-linux alpha-unknown-linux-gnu % sh config.sub hp9k700 hppa1.1-hp-hpux % sh config.sub sun4 sparc-sun-sunos4.1.1 % sh config.sub sun3 m68k-sun-sunos4.1.1 % sh config.sub i986v Invalid configuration `i986v': machine `i986v' not recognized
config.sub is also distributed in the GDB source
directory (`gdb-184.108.40.20650815-cvs', for version 220.127.116.1150815-cvs).
Here is a summary of the
configure options and arguments that
are most often useful for building GDB.
configure also has
several other options not listed here. See Info file `configure.info', node `What Configure Does', for a full explanation of
configure [--help] [--prefix=dir] [--exec-prefix=dir] [--srcdir=dirname] [--norecursion] [--rm] [--target=target] host
You may introduce options with a single `-' rather than `--' if you prefer; but you may abbreviate option names if you use `--'.
Display a quick summary of how to invoke
- Configure the source to install programs and files under directory `dir'.
- Configure the source to install programs under directory `dir'.
Warning: using this option requires GNU
make, or another
makethat implements the
Use this option to make configurations in directories separate from the GDB source directories. Among other things, you can use this to build (or maintain) several configurations simultaneously, in separate directories.
configurewrites configuration specific files in the current directory, but arranges for them to use the source in the directory dirname.
configurecreates directories under the working directory in parallel to the source directories below dirname.
Configure only the directory level where
configureis executed; do not propagate configuration to subdirectories.
- Configure GDB for cross-debugging programs running on the specified target. Without this option, GDB is configured to debug programs that run on the same machine (host) as GDB itself. There is no convenient way to generate a list of all available targets.
- Configure GDB to run on the specified host. There is no convenient way to generate a list of all available hosts.
There are many other options available as well, but they are generally needed for special purposes only.
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