Debugging Wine thoughts

Stefan Dösinger stefan at
Wed Sep 10 10:32:24 CDT 2008

You can attach any debugger to a Win32 process running in Wine. This
includes Linux debuggers like gdb, or any graphical frontends, as well as
Windows debuggers like visual studio. If you built wine from source, the
Linux debuggers will see the Wine source. Probably they can also read the
Windows apps source if you have it. I'm not sure if Windows debuggers can
access the Wine source, but maybe dbghelp.dll can do that



From: wine-devel-bounces at [mailto:wine-devel-bounces at]
On Behalf Of celticht32 at
Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 10:17 AM
To: dank at
Cc: wine-devel at
Subject: Debugging Wine thoughts


Dan / All,
I think what the guy was asking on improving winedbg is to have some sort of
visual debugger much like VC/C++ , Eclipse, 
Borland C++ or the like... Where you can step through the code (seeing the
whole thing like any visual debugger).  
Then when looking at stacks you  click on a variable or stack and it either
winds it back or display's it.  

Below is my thoughts on what would be a nice to have in some form of
Debugger / Gui Debugger for Wine

So my wish list would be:
1) Some form of a Standard Gui Debugger
2) A way to select  the debug flags used with an explanation of what each is
for... +sed is for this +relay does that...etc....   
3) When you do +relay you could open separate output windows for each thread

4) The ability to turn each of the +relay wine thread output on or off... 
4) Currently Wading through a relay log is a real pain and in some cases it
prevents the problem from occuring.
    Time outs because of too much data being collected and then having to
wade through and determine what to and not to turn off.
    So a note or best practice somewhere showing the heavy hitters in a
+relay log  and turn them off by default.  However, note 
    somewhere saying  if +relay doesnt give enough information then turn on
just these flags and run. That way we are not managing 
    flag lists when trying to figure out whats going wrong in an
application. IMHO +relay is too unweldly and turning each flag on 
    individually is as well, so there needs to be some sort of happy medium
5) A window with a list of the important wine structures or resources that
can be watched as the application runs.
6) Source code debugging in the GUI with step through, break points, etc..(
not like now in winedbg but more like one of the GUI's mentioned before)
7) Loading of application from gui debugger and run it
8) Ability to look at a stack and backtrace in the GUI
9) Value Watches within the GUI.
10) Code Checking
      Some sort of bounds checking...
      Uninitialized variable checking....
      Unreachable Code Checking
11) Use the GUI to help enforce the Wine Coding standard.. most modern GUI
environments let you specify a style of coding.
This would help the new people understand and follow the coding standards
set up... instead of guessing like they do now.
12) Online help / Context help...  point to the IC in the wiki... lots of
good stuff there... just hard to find sometimes....
13) Integration with bugzilla... they find a bug... they create it in the
GUI.. dump out the screen, stack and the like... so some 
of the base information is collected instead of wasting time back and forth
and having so many invalid bugs. Again this format 
can be enforced through coding style templates... you want to submit a bug
here is what you do... check boxes to include things...
like I said screen shots... logs, traces, variables, hardware config, etc...
14) Integration with GIT... check and see if there is a new tree out there..
if so... flag it and git it...
15) Link to whats fixed in the new GIT tree... or a list of it...
16) Link to Dan's patchwatcher status... (kinda a workflow sort of thing) to
know whats good and bad...
17) Generation of the GIT patch and then mail it to the list through a
18) GIT integration

You have to remember guy's alot of the new people coming in are not old
timers like some of us who grew up in a non-gui 
world.. Like it or not  they are used to doing things in certain ways and I
think we could get alot more people looking at 
bugs and helping fix them if we started thinking of something along these
lines. This of course is not a complete list... 
And I am sure this is going to start a flame war or something close to it..
But I think this might be a good next step for something
like the summer of code people to do.. or whomever maintains the wine
debugger to think seriously about.

Most of these things I think could be implemented using the current wine
debugger with some form of pipe between it and the GUI.
That way the 'purists' can still debug using winedebug like now and the new
people who choose to can use the GUI?


Problems I have noticed when debugging...
If I kill (press the X button or close it from the task bar) the wine
application, Wine does not clean up from itself... it leaves the 
wine mount daemon running. so I have to kill all the wine processes before I
can restart wine. Otherwise any windows 
application which loads another application fails to start IE a game with a
loader which then starts the game (I have found this
in alot of MMO's where you have some form of login screen / loader which
then loads in the actual game) (and no you cant
always just call the main exe)

Question :
Why does wine have to allocate all its memory at startup? re... the issue
that is causing the ATI drivers to have such
a fuss....  why not just allocate as needed? or have the ability (if its not
there already) to specify the total amount of memory
which is available to the wine process and limit wine to just that ammount
of memory (kind of like the way most VM machines
have the option of setting the maximum amount of memory which is available).


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