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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

StackTraces - FedoraProject - How do I generate a backtrace?

StackTraces and How do I generate a backtrace?

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A stack trace is one of the most important pieces of information you can provide to help others debug an application crash. This page details the importance of stack traces and outlines several methods for obtaining stack traces.

If you are experiencing a crash, the basic steps to generating a useful stack trace for common Gnome desktop applications are:

  • Install the appropriate -debuginfo RPM(s) before the crash (see instructions below).
  • Wait for the crash to happen or perform whatever steps reproduce it.
  • Bug Buddy will automatically detect the crash and obtain a stack trace.
  • Include the stack trace in your bug report (see Bugs and feature requests for full instructions).

If Bug Buddy does not start automatically, you will need to start the program in a special way, using a debugger (such as gdb). See gdb instructions below.

Special instructions apply for Java programs and Firefox.

Starting with Fedora 12, ABRT will replace Bug Buddy. See ABRT homepage for more info, or Test Day:2009-08-20 ABRT if you would like to perform bleeding-edge testing before the official release.



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How do I generate a backtrace?

First make sure that you have installed the debuginfo packages for the application you are debugging and all related libraries. A developer often tells you to install specific debuginfo packages because he can tell from a stack trace which libraries are involved in the crash. See below for recommended packages for some common type of applications.

There are several ways to get a stack trace:

The versions using gdb are useful for all applications, while the Bug Buddy versions are very nice and simple for Gnome applications that can use it.

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