Lab 8 Solution

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(4 pts) Debugging using a debugger

Follow along with your TA as they demo GDB. Make sure you understand all of the commands, how and when to use them.

The purpose of a debugger such as GDB is to allow you to see what is going on “inside” another program while it executes — or what another program was doing at the moment it crashed.

GDB can do four main kinds of things (plus other things in support of these) to help you catch bugs in the act:

  • Start your program, specifying anything that might affect its behavior.

  • Make your program stop on specified conditions.

  • Examine what has happened, when your program has stopped.

  • Change things in your program, so you can experiment with correcting the effects of one bug and go on to learn about another.

GDB Manpage is a good source of information, i.e. man gdb.

The first thing you need to do to start debugging your program is to compile it with debugging symbols, this is accomplished with the -g flag:

g++ filename.cpp -g -o filename

Lets start with a simple program that gets a line of text from the user, and prints it out backwards to the screen:

#include <iostream>

#include <string.h>

using namespace std;

int main(int argc, char *argv[]){ char input[50];

int i = 0;

cin >> input;

for(i = strlen(input); i >= 0; i–){ cout << input[i];

}

cout << endl;

return 0;

}

compile and start the debugger with:

g++ debug.cpp -g -o debug

gdb ./debug (start another session which will run gdb)

lu57406v5m tmp 96c5c82e74ccb8ef

Here is a mini tutorial for the 8 main commands that you will mostly be using in your debugging session

    1. break

    1. run

    1. print

    1. next & step

    1. continue

    1. display & watch

    1. where (or bt)

  1. The break Command:

gdb will remember the line numbers of your source file. This will let us easily set up break points in the program. A break point, is a line in the code where you want execution to pause. Once you pause execution you will be able to examine variables, and walk through the program, and other things of that nature.

Continuing with our example lets set up a break point at line 6, just before we declare int i =

0;

(gdb) break 9

Breakpoint 1 at 0x400923: file debug.cpp, line 9.

(gdb)

  1. The run Command:

run will begin initial execution of your program. This will run your program as you normally would outside of the debugger, until it reaches a break point line. This means if you need to pass any command line arguments, you list them after run just as they would be listed after the program name on the command line.

At this moment, you will have been returned to the gdb command prompt. (Using run again after your program has been started, will ask to terminate the current execution and start over)

From our example:

Starting program: /nfs/farm/classes/eecs/fall2013/eecs161-001/private/a.out

Breakpoint 1, main (argc=1, argv=0x7fffffffd008)

at debug.cpp:9

9 int i = 0;

  1. The print Command:

print will let you see the values of data in your program. It takes an argument of the variable name.

In our example, we are paused right before we declare and initialize i. Let’s look what the value of i is now:

(gdb) print i

$1 = -1075457232

(gdb)

i contains garbage, we haven’t put anything into it yet.

4. The next and step Commands:

next and step do basically the same thing, step line by line through the program. The difference is that next steps over a function call, and step will step into it.

Now in our example, we will step to the beginning of the next instruction

(gdb) step

  1. cin >> input;

(gdb)

before we execute the cin, let’s check the value of i again:

(gdb) print i

$2=0

(gdb)

i is now equal to 0, like it should be.

Now, let’s use next to move into the cin statement:

(gdb) next

What happened here? We weren’t returned to the gdb prompt. Well the program is inside cin, waiting for us to input something.

Input string here, and press enter.

  1. The continue Command

continue will pick up execution of the program after it has reached a break point.

Let’s continue to the end of the program now:

(gdb) continue

Continuing.

olleh

Program exited normally.

(gdb)

Here we’ve reached the end of our program, you can see that it printed in reverse “input”, which is what was fed to cin.

  1. The display and watch Commands:

display will show a variable’s contents at each step of the way in your program. Let’s start over in our example. Delete the breakpoint at line 6

(gdb) del break 1

This deletes our first breakpoint at line 9. You can also clear all breakpoints w/ clear.

Now, let’s set a new breakpoint at line 14, the cout statement inside the for loop

(gdb) break 14

Breakpoint 2 at 0x40094c: file debug.cpp, line 14.

(gdb)

Run the program again, and enter the input. When it returns to the gdb command prompt, we will display input[i] and watch it through the for loop with each next or breakpoint.

Breakpoint 2, main (argc=1, argv=0x7fffffffd008)

at debug.cpp:14

  1. cout << input[i];

(gdb) display input[i] 1: input[i] = 0 ‘\0’ (gdb) next

  1. for(i=strlen(input);i>=0;i–) {

1: input[i] = 0 ‘\0’ (gdb) next

Breakpoint 2, main (argc=1, argv=0x7fffffffd008)

at debug.cpp:14

  1. cout << input[i];

1: input[i] = 111 ‘o’ (gdb) next

  1. for(i=strlen(input);i>=0;i–) {

1: input[i] = 111 ‘o’ (gdb) next

Here we stepped through the loop, always looking at what input[i] was equal to.

We can also watch a variable, which allows us to see the contents at any point when the memory changes.

(gdb) watch input

Watchpoint 2: input

(gdb) continue

Continuing.

hello

Watchpoint 2: input

Old value =

“\030\320\377\377\377\177\000\000\065\n@\000\000\000\000\000\210\373\240\031\

065\000\000\000\360\t@”, ‘\000’ <repeats 13 times>,

“0\b@\000\000\000\000\000\000”, <incomplete sequence \320>

New value =

“h\320\377\377\377\177\000\000\065\n@\000\000\000\000\000\210\373\240\031\065

\000\000\000\360\t@”, ‘\000’ <repeats 13 times>,

“0\b@\000\000\000\000\000\000”, <incomplete sequence \320>

0x000000352067b82a in std::basic_istream<char, std::char_traits<char> >&

std::operator>><char, std::char_traits<char> >(std::basic_istream<char,

std::char_traits<char> >&, char*) () from /usr/lib64/libstdc++.so.6

(gdb) continue

Continuing.

Watchpoint 2: input

Old value =

“h\320\377\377\377\177\000\000\065\n@\000\000\000\000\000\210\373\240\031\065

\000\000\000\360\t@”, ‘\000’ <repeats 13 times>,

“0\b@\000\000\000\000\000\000”, <incomplete sequence \320>

New value =

“he\377\377\377\177\000\000\065\n@\000\000\000\000\000\210\373\240\031\065\00

0\000\000\360\t@”, ‘\000’ <repeats 13 times>, “0\b@\000\000\000\000\000\000”,

<incomplete sequence \320>

0x000000352067b82a in std::basic_istream<char, std::char_traits<char> >& std::operator>><char, std::char_traits<char> >(std::basic_istream<char, std::char_traits<char> >&, char*) () from /usr/lib64/libstdc++.so.6

  1. The where (or bt) Command

The where (or bt) command prints a backtrace of all stack frames. This may not make much sense but it is useful in seeing where our program crashes.

Let’s modify our program just a little so that it will crash:

#include <iostream>

#include <string.h>

using namespace std;

int main(int argc, char *argv[]){ char *input = NULL;

int i = 0;

cin >> input;

for(i = strlen(input); i >= 0; i–){ cout << input[i];

}

cout << endl;

return 0;

}

Here we’ve changed input to be a pointer to a char and set it to NULL to make sure it doesn’t point anywhere until we set it. Recompile and run gdb on it again to see what happens when it crashes.

(gdb) r

Starting program: /nfs/farm/classes/eecs/fall2013/eecs161-001/private/a.out

hello

Program received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.

0x000000352067b826 in std::basic_istream<char, std::char_traits<char> >& std::operator>><char, std::char_traits<char> >(std::basic_istream<char, std::char_traits<char> >&, char*) () from /usr/lib64/libstdc++.so.6

(gdb) where

#0 0x000000352067b826 in std::basic_istream<char, std::char_traits<char> >& std::operator>><char, std::char_traits<char> >(std::basic_istream<char, std::char_traits<char> >&, char*) () from /usr/lib64/libstdc++.so.6

#1 0x0000000000400943 in main (argc=1, argv=0x7fffffffd008) at debug.cpp:11

(gdb)

We see at the bottom, two frames. #1 is the top most frame and shows where we crashed. Use the up command to move up the stack.

(gdb) up

#1 0x0000000000400943 in main (argc=1, argv=0x7fffffffd008) at debug.cpp:11

  1. cin >> input;

(gdb)

Here we see line #11

11 cin >> input;

The line where we crashed.

Here are some more tutorials for the gdb:

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~gilpin/tutorial/ https://sourceware.org/gdb/current/onlinedocs/gdb/

(3 pts) Static 1-d arrays: C-style Strings

Change your implementation from Lab 7 to use C-style strings, instead of C++ strings. A C-style string is a string of characters ended by the null character, ‘\0’. Since you don’t know how big the message will be, you need to declare a character array large enough to hold a sentence, usually 256 characters will do! This means that the string can hold a maximum of 255 characters, plus one null character.

char mssg[256];

Create another C-style string for your replace string too. Your getline() call needs to change to cin.getline(), and this function will automatically insert a null character at the end of the characters read from the user. Since you are using a C-style string now, you will need to use the cstring (or string.h) library, instead of string.

http://www.cplusplus.com/reference/cstring/?kw=cstring

Notice, there are still functions for copying, searching, and finding the length of C strings, but assigning one string to another will not work anymore!!! Your function prototypes from lab #6 will change to use C strings, rather than C++ strings. Remember, C strings use character arrays, which are pointers. This means you do not need to pass by reference anymore. By default, the contents of an array can change inside a function, when you pass the name of the array as an argument to the function. You will need to change your function prototypes and definitions to character pointers or character arrays:

void get_string(char *);

void set_replace_string(char *, char *);

int get_search_replace(char *, char *);

OR

void get_string(char []);

void set_replace_string(char [], char []);

int get_search_replace(char [], char []);

Now, re-write these functions to work with C strings, instead of C++ strings.

(3 pts) Dynamic C-style Strings

Now, what if the string of characters is more than 256? What if it is a lot less than 256? Do we really need all that space or maybe we don’t have enough! Let’s try create a C-style string that is just right! Don’t forget to leave room for the null character, ‘\0’.

Use a function from the first part of the lab to create space on the heap that holds the exact amount of space needed. You need to ask the user how many characters they would like to make, and then you need to make that many, plus one for the null character!

You can make a new array on the heap with a specific number of characters by using new with the type and how many.

new char[max_chars];

Now, make sure you delete the whole array off the heap by specifying the array with [].

delete [] mssg;

Extended Learning:

Can you grow the array to be just right without asking the user for the number of characters? What if you read one character at a time, including the ‘\n’? How can you use this to grow your array to just the right length? Make sure you don’t have any memory leaks.