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Baseline Set of Debuggers

A user may specify any login shell in the login shell baseline as the default shell on a new user application.

BC Policy: LS2_06-05
Date of Policy: 1st November 2011
First Update: 23rd September 2011
Second Update: ???

The lack of a baseline set of debuggers can compound what is arguably one of the most difficult tasks in scientific code development – debugging new algorithms. The process of tracking down bugs in large scientific codes is frustrating and time consuming. Having to learn a new tool to do so limits efficiency and productivity of valuable HPC programmers.

For these reasons, a baseline set of debuggers to be installed at all centers has been identified by examining what is in use at different centers and what can be used across a variety of platforms. At this time, only two packages are included in the baseline set:

  • GDB – The GNU Debugger ( This debugger is freeware offered by the GNU project, covered by the GNU public license. MUST
  • Totalview – The TotalView debugger, offered by TotalView Technologies (, is a long standing de-facto standard for debugging in the HPC realm. TotalView requires purchasing a commercial software license to be used. RECOMMENDED

In order to be compliant, a center must have at least the first of these debuggers installed and in the standard login path. In addition, the GUI interface for TotalView when available must be operational and accessible from the compute nodes of any allocated system.

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