Codeblocks On Mac

If you work on a Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks or later, you will run into the problem of Eclipse refusing to interactively debug problems that otherwise build and run fine: An attempt to start a debugging session by selecting Run
from the menu will result in Eclipse complaining that an Error with command: gdb --version has occurred.

GDB Installation on Mac OS X. If you work on a Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks or later, you will run into the problem of Eclipse refusing to interactively debug problems that otherwise build and run fine: An attempt to start a debugging session by selecting Run.

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The problem is caused by Apple switching away from GDB, the GNU debugger, to LLDB, the LLVM debugger, in their Xcode toolchain (along with the transition from GCC to Clang). Unfortunately, Eclipse is not capable of communicating with any debugger other than GDB (yet). Here is a step-by-step guide for installing and configuring GDB.

Installing GDB

As with GCC, the easiest way to install GDB is through Homebrew. In a Terminal window, run the command brew install gdb, and wait for it to complete. (As usual, it may ask for your password.)

Now, we need to code-sign the GDB executable, so it will be allowed to control other processes, as necessary for a debugger. For that, we will first create a new certificate in Keychain.

Creating a Certificate

Open the Keychain Access application (can be found in Applications/Utilities directory or through Spotlight). Select Certificate Assistant
Create a Certificate
in the application menu (Keychain Access). An assistant window will appear for guiding you through the process.

  1. First, you will be asked for the name and type of the certificate. You may choose the name arbitrarily, but to simplify its future use in command line, prefer names without spaces or other fancy characters, e.g., gdbcert.
  2. Make sure that Identity Type is set to Self Signed Root, change Certificate Type to Code Signing, check the Let me override defaults checkbox, and click Continue. Click Continue again in the popup prompt warning about the certificate being self-signed.
  3. On the next page, leave Security Number to be 1, and set Validity Period to a large enough number of days to cover the duration of the class or more, say, 365. (Certificates cannot last forever; the maximum validity period is 20 years.)
  4. Then click Continue once again, and keep doing so to skip the next six screens until you see the one entitled Specify a Location For The Certificate. For the only property, Keychain, choose System from the drop-down list. Lastly, click Create, type in your password, if prompted, and click Done.
  5. Back in the main window, choose the System keychain in the sidebar on the left, and select the newly created certificate from the list. Open the context menu and select Get Info. In the information window that will appear, expand the Trust section and set the Code Signing property to Always Trust. Close this window (you may be asked for your password), and quit Keychain Access.

Signing GDB

Our new certificate is now ready to be used. In order to make it immediately available for signing, we need to restart the Taskgate access-control service. You can use Activity Monitor to do this (also found in Applications/Utilities). Open it and filter the list of processes by typing taskgated in the search field in the toolbar. (If you cannot find it, make sure the menu item View
All Processes
is checked.)

There should be exactly one process left in the list. Highlight it, then select View
Quit Process
from the menu, and click Quit in the popup prompt. The Taskgate process will be terminated and, consequently, should disappear from the list. In a few seconds, it will be restarted by the system and should reappear in the list. Please wait for this to happen (it may take up to a minute or two, at worst).

Finally, in a Terminal window, run codesign -s gdbcert /usr/local/bin/gdb (if you named your certificate differently, replace gdbcert with its name here). Once again, you will be prompted for you username and password. If the command does not produce any output, then GDB is successfully signed.

Configuring Eclipse

The only thing left to do is to point Eclipse to the GDB executable. Open Eclipse
from the main menu (not to be confused with Project Preferences). In the tree of options listed in the sidebar, navigate to C/C++
, and set the GDB debugger field to /usr/local/bin/gdb.

If there is no GDB section in the C/C++
subtree, close the preferences window, and try to first start a debugging session for any project that you can already run without problems. You can do it by either clicking the Debug button on the toolbar, or selecting Run
from the main menu. This attempt will, of course, fail with an error message about the gdb command, but it will force the said C/C++
settings to appear in the preferences.

This will change the GDB executable for new projects; for all existing ones (that you are going to use debugging for), you will need to manually update their debug configurations. To do that, select Run
Debug Configurations
from the menu. In the window that appears, one after another, select every project under the C++ Application section in the sidebar. For each of them, open the Debugger tab, set the GDB debugger field to the same path /usr/local/bin/gdb, and click the Apply button. After repeating this change for all listed projects, click Close.

If the above steps do not solve the issue on your machine, or you encounter a problem while following them, please do not hesitate to come to one of the upcoming common labs for help.

I’ve not installed Code::Blocks on a Linux computer, but for a moment I’ll pretend that such an installation has the same issue I described in last week’s Lesson: You must manually link in the C language math library to create any program that uses a math.h function.
More importantly, to expand the C language’s capabilities, you frequently need to mix in another library. The standard library is linked by default, but pretend that you’re using a library that creates graphics, sound, or provides other specific functions beyond the normal scope of C. You must specify that such a library is linked into the final program.

The library also comes with a header file that provides function definitions, constants, structures, and other whatnot. The header file, however, is not the same as the library. The library is what contains the code that makes the functions work.

On the command line, you use the -lx switch to link in library x. In Code::Blocks, things work differently.

As an example, suppose you need to link in the math library in a Code::Blocks project. You don’t have to on a Mac or PC, but these are the steps you would use. And you can follow the steps to link in any library, not just the math library. Some huge projects require multiple libraries.

After creating the Code::Blocks project, follow these steps to add a library:

1. Choose Project, Build Options.

The Project Build Options dialog box appears.

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2. Click the Linker Settings tab.
3. Click the Add button.
4. In Add Library dialog box, click the Ellipsis (…) button to browse to the location of the library file.

Use the Choose Library to Link dialog box to find the library’s location on your computer’s mass storage system:

  • For the MinGW compiler, the location for standard libraries is MinGWlib, with the full path: C:Program Files (x86)CodeBlocksMingGWlib for a standard Code::Blocks installation. If the library was saved elsewhere, you must browse to that specific directory (“folder”).
  • With XCode on the Mac, the library locations differ depending on the version of XCode. In the current version, C language libraries are kept in /Applications/ .. Platforms/MacOSX.platform/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX.sdk/usr/lib. Ugh.
  • In Linux, and other Unices, the traditional location for C libraries is /usr/lib.

If you were linking in the math library — which isn’t necessary on a PC, but doing so doesn’t screw up anything — you would locate the file named libm.a, which is the way MinGW names its libraries. On the Mac, the math library is named libm.tbd.

5. Select the library file and click the Open button.
6. Click No to avoid using a relative path.

I’m a fan of direct or absolute pathnames.

7. Click OK to add the library to the list.
8. Click OK to close the Project Build Options dialog box.


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One more thing:

9. Choose File, Save Project.Rekordbox windows 7.

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The library is linked after the code is compiled. That process allows the library’s functions to access their magic. Otherwise you’d get those ugly linker errors.

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In next week’s Lesson, I cover how to locate and install bonus C language library files.