dbx (debugger)

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Original author(s)Mark Linton
Developer(s)Oracle Corporation
Initial release1981; 42 years ago (1981)
Operating systemUnix and Unix-like
LicenseFree for download and use as described in the Sun Studio product license.

dbx is a source-level debugger found primarily on Solaris, AIX, IRIX, Tru64 UNIX, Linux and BSD operating systems. It provides symbolic debugging for programs written in C, C++, Fortran, Pascal and Java. Useful features include stepping through programs one source line or machine instruction at a time. In addition to simply viewing operation of the program, variables can be manipulated and a wide range of expressions can be evaluated and displayed.


dbx was originally developed at University of California, Berkeley, by Mark Linton during the years 1981–1984[1] and subsequently made its way to various vendors who had licensed BSD.


Besides being provided to various vendors through BSD, dbx has also found its way into other products:

  • dbx is also available on IBM z/OS systems, in the UNIX System Services component. dbx for z/OS can debug programs written in C and C++, and can also perform machine level debugging. As of z/OS V1R5, dbx is able to debug programs using the DWARF debug format. z/OS V1R6 added support for debugging 64-bit programs.
  • dbx is included as part of the Oracle Solaris Studio product from Oracle Corporation, and is supported on both Solaris and Linux. It supports programs compiled with the Oracle Solaris Studio compilers and GCC.

GCC removed support for dbx in release 13.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Linton, Mark A. (1990). "The Evolution of Dbx". USENIX Summer. USENIX Summer 1990 Technical Conference. pp. 211–220. CiteSeerX S2CID 15074926.
  2. ^ "GCC Change notes".

External links[edit]