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GDB Debugging (Advanced)

GDB is a powerful source code debugger. You can use it to debug your Arduino and Raspberry Pi Pico code in Wokwi.

Running GDB in Wokwi

To start a GDB session, go into the code editor and press F1. In the prompt that opens, type "GDB", and select "Start Web GDB Session (debug build)".

This will open a new browser tab with the GDB prompt. If this is the first time you are using this feature, it may take up to 30 seconds for GDB to fully load.

Debugging Session Example

When GDB is ready, you'll get the following prompt:

0x00000000 in __vectors ()

At this point you can type GDB commands. For instance, suppose you want to run your program line-by-line, starting from setup(). First, type tbreak setup and c to start the program and run it until the beginning of setup():

(gdb) tbreak setup
Temporary breakpoint 1 at 0x2ca: file sketch.ino, line 28.
(gdb) c

Temporary breakpoint 1, setup () at sketch.ino:28

At this point, type layout src to show the source code of your program, and type next to execute the next line of source code. You can then type next repeatedly to go over the code line by line.

If you want to print the value of some variable, use the print command. For example, if you have a variable called ledIndex, type print ledIndex to print the value of that variable.

Learn more

Take a look at the AVR GDB Cheatsheet to see many more examples of useful GDB commands. It takes time to learn about all the different GDB features and to use them efficiently, but it can get very powerful even with just a few basic commands.

If you want to learn how we got GDB to work in the browser, take a look at Running GDB in the Browser. You don't need to know this in order to use GDB - it's just the gory details that let you take a look under the hood.