CLion 2020.3 Help

Debugger options

CLion supports debugging C/C++ executables with GDB (either bundled or custom) on all platforms and with the bundled LLDB on macOS and Linux. Also, there is an LLDB-based debugger for the MSVC toolchain on Windows.

Current versions of the bundled debuggers:

  • GDB v 8.0.1 for macOS

  • GDB v 8.3 for Windows

  • GDB v 8.3 for Linux

  • LLDB v 9.0.1 for macOS and Linux

  • LLDB v 9.0.1 for MSVC toolchain on Windows

For a custom GDB, CLion supports versions 7.8.x-8.3.x.

Switching between the debuggers

  1. Go to Settings / Preferences | Build, Execution, Deployment | Toolchains.

  2. In the Debugger field on the right pane, select the debugger for the current toolchain:

    the Select debugger list

Debugger data views

In the Settings / Preferences | Build, Execution, Deployment | Debugger | Data Views | C/C++ dialog, you can customize the C/C++ type renderers.

C/C++ debugger data views settings
Option Description
Enable GNU library renderers

This option affects rendering STL containers by GDB when using the gcc compiler. In the case of clang used in pair with GDB, this option works for libstdc++ only (see next chapter for details).

Currently this option is not applicable to LLDB. Check how LLDB (starting from version 9.0) handles libc++ and libstdcxx in LLDB STL formatters below.

Hide out-of-scope variables Select this checkbox to hide non-initialized variables and the variables unavailable in the current scope from the Variables pane and inline view.
Show hex values for numbers This checkbox appears after you enable hexadecimal view in the Experimental Features dialog.

LLDB STL formatters

Lists given below are accurate for LLDB version 9.0.

Type libcxx libstdc++
string Check retina Check retina
array Check retina Check retina
vector Check retina Minus retina
deque Check retina Minus retina
list Check retina Minus retina
forward list Check retina Minus retina
set Check retina Minus retina
map Check retina Minus retina
multiset Check retina Minus retina
multimap Check retina Minus retina
unordered_set Check retina Minus retina
unordered_map Check retina Minus retina
unordered_multiset Check retina Minus retina
unordered_multimap Check retina Minus retina
stack Check retina Minus retina
queue Check retina Minus retina
priority_queue Check retina Minus retina
Type libcxx libstdc++
string Check retina if compiled with -fstandalone-debug Check retina
array Check retina Check retina
vector Check retina Check retina
deque Check retina Check retina
list Check retina Check retina
forward list Check retina Minus retina
set Check retina Check retina
map Check retina Check retina
multiset Check retina Check retina
multimap Check retina Check retina
unordered_set Check retina Minus retina
unordered_map Check retina Minus retina
unordered_multiset Check retina Minus retina
unordered_multimap Check retina Minus retina
stack Check retina Check retina
queue Check retina Check retina
priority_queue Check retina Check retina

STL renderers for GDB on macOS

Combination of GDB as the debugging backend and Clang (the CMake default compiler) implies limitations on viewing the content of STL containers on macOS. As a workaround, try the following instructions.

  1. Use the libstdc++ library instead of libc++. To include libstdc++ in your project, add the following command in CMakeLists.txt:

    set(CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS "${CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS} -stdlib=libstdc++")

    Alternatively, go to Settings / Preferences | Build, Execution, Deployment | CMake and specify the library in the CMake options field:

    -DCMAKE_CXX_FLAGS="-stdlib=libstdc++"

  2. We also recommend you use the dwarf3 debug info format. For this, add the following commands to your CMakeLists.txt:

    set(CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS_DEBUG "${CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS_DEBUG} -gdwarf-3") set(CMAKE_C_FLAGS_DEBUG "${CMAKE_C_FLAGS_DEBUG} -gdwarf-3")

Using with .gdbinit/.lldbinit configuration files

Sometimes you may need to customize the debugger settings by passing commands and options into the .gdbinit/.lldbinit file.

By default, CLion uses .gdbinit or .lldbinit from the user's home directory (~/.gdbinit or ~/.lldbinit, respectively). You can change this behavior and enable reading the debugger configuration file from the project root.

Enable reading .gdbinit/.lldbinit from the project root

Set the permissions in the home ~/.gdbinit file:

  • Globally

    set auto-load local-gdbinit on add-auto-load-safe-path /

  • For a particular project

    set auto-load local-gdbinit on add-auto-load-safe-path [full path to the project root]/.gdbinit

Set the permissions in the home ~/.lldbinit file:

settings set target.load-cwd-lldbinit true

    Adjusting GDB timeout values

    You can control the GDB timeout values by setting the corresponding properties in CLion registry.

    1. Go to the Help | Find Action (or press Ctrl+Shift+A) and type Registry:

      Searching for Registry in Find Action
    2. In the dialog that opens, start typing cidr.debugger.timeout. Click the Value field of the highlighted string and enter the timeout value in milliseconds.

      registry keys for GDB timeouts

    Configuring external GDB console on Windows

    On Windows with GDB versions prior to 8.0, a separate console is used for application input/output. For the newer GDB versions, the output is redirected to CLion console by default. However, you can switch back to opening an external output window.

    1. Go to the Help | Find Action (or press Ctrl+Shift+A) and type Registry:

      Searching for Registry in Find Action
    2. In the dialog that opens, start typing cidr.debugger.gdb.workaround.windows.forceExternalConsole. Click the Value field of the highlighted string and enter the timeout value in milliseconds.

      Registry key to enable external GDB console on Windows

    Last modified: 25 January 2021