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Cross debugging on Linux : A history, current state of the art and coming improvements

Cross debugging, and more generally, remote debugging, is something that may be unknown, or badly used, by either beginner engineers, or sometimes even by senior engineers, for several reasons. Some people simply do not know that remote debugging tools exists, some might consider the complex setup as a show-stopper, some other ones may not trust the tools (and we can explain why).

Yet the return of investment of such tools is significant, provided that they are used appropriately.

This presentation talks about the first-fruits of cross-debugging, going through some real experiences, some architecture schemes and functionnal descriptions, comparing the existing solutions (eg, gdb-server vs lldb vs tcf …), and their integration in IDEs (Eclipse, VsCode).

A technical chapter about the debugger mysteries, explains, in particular, why multithread, or SMP debugging is a complex issue, and how existing debuggers deal with it.

A chapter of performance analysis tools (eg, valgrind) is presented, too, in order to offer a kind of swiss army knife to the listeners.

As a conclusion, a short presentation of the debug tools on another OpenSource OS (Zephyr) is done.

Presenters

Thierry Bultel

Thierry Bultel, IoT.BzH

Thierry holds a master degree in computer science and industrial automation (IMT Atlantique). He started in telecommunications, (Lucent, Philips) then joined Wind River company, where he developed debuggers for VxWorks and Linux. Later, at BA Systèmes, he was dedicated to realtime and CAN bus on Automated Guided Vehicles, on Linux. More recently, he was software manager at Pixel sur Mer, where he developed a realtime framework and datalogger dedicated on offshore sail races. He joined IoT.BzH in early May 2018, and has been working on the audio stack and the appplication binder of AGL.

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