CLion 2021.1 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 10.1 for macOS

  • GDB v 10.1 for Windows

  • GDB v 10.1 for Linux

  • LLDB v 10.0.1 for macOS and Linux

  • LLDB v 9.0.0 for MSVC toolchain on Windows

For a custom GDB, CLion supports versions 7.8.x-10.1.

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
OptionDescription
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 variablesSelect 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 numbersThis 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.

Typelibcxxlibstdc++
stringCheck retinaCheck retina
arrayCheck retinaCheck retina
vectorCheck retinaMinus retina
dequeCheck retinaMinus retina
listCheck retinaMinus retina
forward listCheck retinaMinus retina
setCheck retinaMinus retina
mapCheck retinaMinus retina
multisetCheck retinaMinus retina
multimapCheck retinaMinus retina
unordered_setCheck retinaMinus retina
unordered_mapCheck retinaMinus retina
unordered_multisetCheck retinaMinus retina
unordered_multimapCheck retinaMinus retina
stackCheck retinaMinus retina
queueCheck retinaMinus retina
priority_queueCheck retinaMinus retina
Typelibcxxlibstdc++
stringCheck retina if compiled with -fstandalone-debugCheck retina
arrayCheck retinaCheck retina
vectorCheck retinaCheck retina
dequeCheck retinaCheck retina
listCheck retinaCheck retina
forward listCheck retinaMinus retina
setCheck retinaCheck retina
mapCheck retinaCheck retina
multisetCheck retinaCheck retina
multimapCheck retinaCheck retina
unordered_setCheck retinaMinus retina
unordered_mapCheck retinaMinus retina
unordered_multisetCheck retinaMinus retina
unordered_multimapCheck retinaMinus retina
stackCheck retinaCheck retina
queueCheck retinaCheck retina
priority_queueCheck retinaCheck 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: 18 May 2021