May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Perl Debugger Breakpoint Commands

As you have seen, you can tell the Perl debugger to execute one statement at a time. Another way of controlling program execution is to tell the debugger to execute up to a certain specified point in the program, called a breakpoint.

The following sections describe the commands that create breakpoints, and the command that executes until a breakpoint is detected.

The b Command

To set a breakpoint in your program, use the b command. This command tells the debugger to halt program execution whenever it is about to execute the specified line. For example, the following command tells the debugger to halt when it is about to execute line 10:

DB<11> b 10

(If the line is not breakable, the debugger will return Line 10 is not breakable.)

You can have as many breakpoints in your program as you want. The debugger will halt program execution if it is about to execute any of the statements at which a breakpoint has been defined.

The b command also accepts subroutine names:

DB<12> b menudir

This sets a breakpoint at the first executable statement of the subroutine menudir.

You can use the b command to tell the program to halt only when a specified condition is true. For example, the following command tells the debugger to halt if it is about to execute line 10 and the variable $curdir is equal to the null string:

DB<12> b 10 ($curdir eq "")

The condition specified with the b statement can be any legal Perl conditional expression.

If a statement is longer than a single line, you can set a breakpoint only at the first line of the statement:
71: print ("Test",
72: " here is more output");
Here, you can set a breakpoint at line 71, but not line 72.

The c Command

After you have set a breakpoint, you can tell the debugger to execute until it reaches either the breakpoint or the end of the program. To do this, use the c command:

  DB<13> c
main::(debugtest:10):                  $curdir =~ s/^\s+|\s+$//g;

When the debugger detects that it is about to execute line 10-the line at which the breakpoint was set-it halts and displays the line. (Recall that the debugger always displays the line it is about to execute.)

The debugger now prompts you for another debugging command. This action enables you to start executing one statement at a time using n or s, continue execution using c, set more breakpoints using b, or perform any other debugging operation.

You can specify a temporary (one-time-only) breakpoint with the c command by supplying a line number:

  DB<15> c 12
main::(debugtest:12):                      &readsubdirs($curdir);

The argument 12 supplied with the c command tells the debugger to define a temporary breakpoint at line 12 and then resume execution. When the debugger reaches line 12, it halts execution, displays the line, and deletes the breakpoint. (The line itself still exists, of course.)

Using c to define a temporary breakpoint is useful if you want to skip a few lines without wasting your time executing the program one statement at a time. Using c also means that you don't have to bother defining a breakpoint using b and deleting it using d (described in the following section).

TIP If you intend to define breakpoints using c or b, it is a good idea to ensure that each line of your program contains at most one statement. If you are in the habit of writing lines that contain more than one statement, such as
$x++; $y++;
you won't get as much use out of the debugger, because it can't stop in the middle of a line

The L Command and Breakpoints

To list all of your breakpoints, use the L command. This command lists the last few lines executed, the current line, the breakpoints you have defined, and the conditions under which the breakpoints go into effect.

  DB<16> L
3:      $dircount = 0;
4:      $curdir = "";
5:      while (1) {
7:              if ($curdir eq "") {
10:                      $curdir =~ s/^\s+|\s+$//g;
  break if (1)

Here, the program has executed lines 3-7, and a breakpoint is defined for line 10. (Line 6 is not listed because it is a comment.) You can distinguish breakpoints from executed lines by looking for the breakpoint conditional expression, which immediately follows the breakpoint. Here, the conditional expression is (1), which indicates that the breakpoint is always in effect.

The d and D Commands

When you are finished with a breakpoint, you can delete it using the d command.

DB<16> d 10

This command tells the debugger to delete the breakpoint at line 10. The line itself remains in the program.

If you do not specify a breakpoint to delete, the debugger assumes that a breakpoint is defined for the next line to be executed, and deletes it.

main::(debugtest:12):                      &readsubdirs($curdir);
  DB<17> d

Here, line 12 is the next line to be executed, so the debugger deletes the breakpoint at line 12.

To delete all your breakpoints, use the D command.

DB<18> D

This command deletes all the breakpoints you have defined with the b command.



Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy


War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes


Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Haterís Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D

Copyright © 1996-2021 by Softpanorama Society. was initially created as a service to the (now defunct) UN Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) without any remuneration. This document is an industrial compilation designed and created exclusively for educational use and is distributed under the Softpanorama Content License. Original materials copyright belong to respective owners. Quotes are made for educational purposes only in compliance with the fair use doctrine.

FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to advance understanding of computer science, IT technology, economic, scientific, and social issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided by section 107 of the US Copyright Law according to which such material can be distributed without profit exclusively for research and educational purposes.

This is a Spartan WHYFF (We Help You For Free) site written by people for whom English is not a native language. Grammar and spelling errors should be expected. The site contain some broken links as it develops like a living tree...

You can use PayPal to to buy a cup of coffee for authors of this site


The statements, views and opinions presented on this web page are those of the author (or referenced source) and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of the Softpanorama society. We do not warrant the correctness of the information provided or its fitness for any purpose. The site uses AdSense so you need to be aware of Google privacy policy. You you do not want to be tracked by Google please disable Javascript for this site. This site is perfectly usable without Javascript.

Last modified: March, 12, 2019