7.4. Stopping and starting multi-thread programs
When your program has multiple threads (refer to Section 6.9 Debugging programs with multiple threads), you can choose whether to set
breakpoints on all threads, or on a particular thread.
- break linespec thread threadno, break linespec thread threadno if …
linespec specifies source lines; there are several ways of
writing them, but the effect is always to specify some source line.
Use the qualifier thread threadno with a breakpoint command
to specify that you only want gdb to stop the program when a
particular thread reaches this breakpoint. threadno is one of the
numeric thread identifiers assigned by gdb, shown in the first
column of the info threads display.
If you do not specify thread threadno when you set a
breakpoint, the breakpoint applies to all threads of your
You can use the thread qualifier on conditional breakpoints as
well; in this case, place thread threadno before the
breakpoint condition, like this:
(gdb) break frik.c:13 thread 28 if bartab > lim
Whenever your program stops under gdb for any reason,
all threads of execution stop, not just the current thread. This
allows you to examine the overall state of the program, including
switching between threads, without worrying that things may change
Conversely, whenever you restart the program, all threads start
executing. This is true even when single-stepping with commands
like step or next.
In particular, gdb cannot single-step all threads in lockstep.
Since thread scheduling is up to your debugging target's operating
system (not controlled by gdb), other threads may
execute more than one statement while the current thread completes a
single step. Moreover, in general other threads stop in the middle of a
statement, rather than at a clean statement boundary, when the program
You might even find your program stopped in another thread after
continuing or even single-stepping. This happens whenever some other
thread runs into a breakpoint, a signal, or an exception before the
first thread completes whatever you requested.
On some OSes, you can lock the OS scheduler and thus allow only a single
thread to run.
- set scheduler-locking mode
Set the scheduler locking mode. If it is off, then there is no
locking and any thread may run at any time. If on, then only the
current thread may run when the inferior is resumed. The step
mode optimizes for single-stepping. It stops other threads from
"seizing the prompt" by preempting the current thread while you are
stepping. Other threads will only rarely (or never) get a chance to run
when you step. They are more likely to run when you next over a
function call, and they are completely free to run when you use commands
like continue, until, or finish. However, unless another
thread hits a breakpoint during its timeslice, they will never steal the
gdb prompt away from the thread that you are debugging.
- show scheduler-locking
Display the current scheduler locking mode.