GDB, in its default mode, shows its line-oriented heritage. When single-stepping, it displays only one line of source code at a time. Graphical debuggers can show you much more, and indeed many programmers prefer a graphical debugger, if only for this reason. However, recent versions of GDB offer a text user interface (TUI), which uses the tried-and-true curses library to provide several “windows” on a regular terminal or terminal emulator, such as an
xterm. This can be quite effective, especially since it allows you to do everything from the keyboard.
A number of
set options and GDB commands are specific to the TUI. These are listed along with the rest of the
set options and GDB commands in the later section "Summary of set and show Commands,” and in the later section "Alphabetical Summary of GDB Commands.”
Unfortunately (as of GDB 6.3), the TUI is still immature; I could not get several documented features to work. Thus this book doesn’t provide detailed coverage of it. However, it should improve over time, and you should continue to evaluate it to see whether it meets your needs.