10 of the Best Linux Debuggers for Software Engineers

Linux Debugger Featured Image

Debuggers are essential for locating bugs in programs. There is a plethora of robust Linux debuggers that make it easy to find weak points in your applications. We will outline some of these applications in this guide. Try some of these tools to get a feel of how debugging works in Linux.

1. GNU Debugger(GDB)

The GNU Debugger, aka GDB, is one of the most powerful Linux debuggers available to modern programmers. It is a robust tool with an extensive set of features. GDB has built-in support for many popular programming languages, including C, C++, Fortran, and Java. It also works on many different CPU architectures, such as x86, x86-64, ARM, PowerPC, SPARC, and MIPS.

GNU Debugger

2. LLDB

LLDB is part of the LLVM project. It has been gaining in popularity, thanks to its superior speed and efficient workflow. It has also become the default debugger for macOS’s Xcode and Android Studio. Some of LLDB’s main features include support for various compiler integrations, a language-independent type system, and remote debugging.

Linux Debugger Lldb

3. Nemiver

Nemiver is a feature-rich debugger written in C++. It offers an intuitive GUI environment for people who prefer graphical solutions. It integrates readily with the GNOME desktop environment. However, this is not a standalone Linux debugger. It uses GDB as its backend and provides the GUI interface for managing the debugging workflow.

Nemivar

4. Interactive Disassembler(IDA)

Interactive Disassembler or IDA is a solid tool for analyzing binary files and programs. It is a proprietary solution aimed at professionals and offers many advanced techniques. IDA Pro provides an interactive, extensible, and highly programmable debugger that can be used for forensic analysis and off-the-self validation. You can also get a free version with limited features.

5. Delve

Delve is a simple, yet feature-rich, Linux debugger for Google’s Go programming language. You can use it to interact your program in runtime and manipulate things like goroutines and stacks. The debugger itself is written in Go, thus providing a fast runtime.

Linux Debugger Delve

6. Xdebug

Xdebug is a powerful PHP debugger for Linux. It offers a single-step debugger component which can be used with IDEs. Some of its other features include a robust profiler, stack tracer, and the ability to dump the full execution segment. Xdebug is easily installed on your Linux machine via the package manager.

7. KDbg

KDbg is a GUI debugger for the KDE desktop environment. It is simply an interface to the GNU Debugger. You get all the features of GDB alongside an intuitive user interface. Thus, KDbg can be a good choice for users who are just starting to debug programs.

Kdbg Debugger

8. Valgrind

Valgrind is a rock-solid memory debugger that offers many additional tools for software analysis. It runs on all major platforms including Linux and Mac. Moreover, you can use it as a framework and create dynamic analysis tools like profilers. Overall, Valgrind is an excellent choice for professionals due to its rich feature set and open-source licensing.

Valgrind Memory Detection

9. BASH Debugger

BASH Debugger or bashdb is a simple, but useful, Linux debugger. You can use it for analyzing your bash scripts during execution. The work is similar to the GNU Debugger and allows users to inspect the stack freely. This is a great tool for Linux admins who consistently use bash scripts on their systems.

Linux Debugger Bashdb

10. strace

strace is a userspace utility for Unix that allows users to trace system calls and signals directly from the terminal. Programmers can use it to dump stack traces, filter system calls, modify return codes, extract file descriptors, and many more.

Wrapping Up

A wide range of powerful Linux debuggers makes programming much easier. Tools like GDB and LLDB is a must for any professional. On the other hand, specialized debuggers like Delve and Xdebug target specific projects and ecosystems.

Now that you have the best Linux debuggers, it is time for you to find the best Linux distros for developers and programmers.

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Rubaiat Hossain Rubaiat Hossain

Rubaiat is a CS graduate who possesses hands-on experience with Unix Administration, Web Programming, DevOps, and Virtualization. He has a strong passion for enlightening people in open-source technologies.

3 comments

  1. How could you not cover ddd in this article. Best debugger I have ever used, even if it is a graphical front end to gab, the debug mode of Perl, an probably others ( I believe it can also be used to debit shell scripts).

  2. Unfortunately, kdbg has been removed from the Debian Testing, and Unstable Distros. Looks like it will not return. It was a great debugger.

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