Boost C++ Libraries of the most highly regarded and expertly designed C++ library projects in the world. Herb Sutter and Andrei Alexandrescu, C++ Coding Standards

This is the documentation for an old version of boost. Click here for the latest Boost documentation.





Boost.Build comes with a debugger for Jamfiles. To run the debugger, start Boost.Build with b2 -dconsole.

$ b2 -dconsole
(b2db) break gcc.init
Breakpoint 1 set at gcc.init
(b2db) run
Starting program: /usr/bin/b2
Breakpoint 1, gcc.init ( ) at /usr/share/boost-build/tools/gcc.jam:74
74	    local tool-command = ;
(b2db) quit

Running the Program

The run command is used to start a new b2 subprocess for debugging. The arguments to run are passed on the command line. If a child process is already running, it will be terminated before the new child is launched.

When the program is paused continue will resume execution. The step command will advance the program by a single statement, stopping on entry to another function or return from the current function. next is like step except that it skips over function calls. finish executes until the current function returns.

The kill command terminates the current child immediately.


Breakpoints are set using the break command. The location of the breakpoint can be specified as either the name of a function (including the module name) or or a file name and line number of the form file:line. When a breakpoint is created it is given a unique id which is used to identify it for other commands.

(b2db) break Jamfile:10
Breakpoint 1 set at Jamfile:10
(b2db) break msvc.init
Breakpoint 2 set at msvc.init

A breakpoint can be temporarily disabled using the disable command. While a breakpoint is disabled, the child will not stop when it is hit. A disabled breakpoint can be activated again with enable.

(b2db) disable 1
(b2db) enable 1

Breakpoints can be removed permanently with delete or clear. The difference between them is that delete takes the breakpoint id while clear takes the location of the breakpoint as originally specified to break.

(b2db) clear Jamfile:10
Deleted breakpoint 1
(b2db) delete 2

Examining the Stack

The backtrace command will print a summary of every frame on the stack.

The print command can be used to show the value of an expression.

(b2db) print [ modules.peek : ARGV ]
/usr/bin/b2 toolset=msvc install
(b2db) print $(__file__)

Miscellaneous Commands

quit exits the debugger. help describes the available commands.