[Solved] “No source available for main()” error when debugging simple C++ in Eclipse with gdb

I’m having trouble debugging a C++ program in Eclipse (the latest RC of Helios, updated with latest CDT from within itself) on OSX.

The program is very simple (esentially Lesson 2 from NeHe’s OpenGL tutorials), consisting of one cpp file and, using OpenGL and Cocoa frameworks, and linking with libSDL.a and libSDLmain.a.

The structure of the project is very simple: the source file(s) are in a subdirectory of the project called src/ and the executable is built to the project’s root directory.

The problem is that whenever I try to add breakpoints and debug it, the breakpoints seem to get hit perfectly but no source is displayed – instead I just get a “No source available for main()” error in the code window.

The compiler flags have optimisations set to none, and both the compiler and linker have the debug symbols flag set (-g).

The debugging setting in Eclipse is set to “Standard spawn progess” and the debugger is set to “gdb”.

Now the strangest thing is that if I try to debug the exact same executable – ie. the exact same one that was built by Eclipse – using gdb from the Terminal (shell) then everything works fine. Breakpoints are hit, source code is displayed, no problems at all.

I’ve made sure that both Eclipse and the shell are using the same gdb executable, and they are (it’s /usr/bin/gdb).

Now I may be wrong, but this all suggests to me that there can’t be a problem with the compiler and linker flags (because the same executable is debuggable from the shell), so presumably the problem must be with how gdb is being invoked from within Eclipse? Perhaps when run from Eclipse gdb is picking up different config files or something than when it’s run from the shell? (Anyone know?)

I’d really appreciate any help with this because it’s slowly driving me loopy!

Please let me know if there are any other details that would be useful – exact version numbers of Eclipse/cdt/gdb, exact linker/compiler command lines, etc. – and I’ll very gladly update this post with them.

Many thanks in advance,


edited @ “14 hours ago”

I tried the “add filesystem path” (with “search sub-folders”) option, but that didn’t work. I also tried creating a new completely flat project, but that didn’t work either.
I even tried getting a Galileo release (eclipse-SDK-3.5.2RC4 with CDT update), but that made no difference (apart from gdb being slower to launch).

And here’s something else strange I noticed: once I get the “No source available” message, if I then switch Eclipse’s Console to display the “gdb” console, and also turn on “Verbose console mode” so I can communicate it, I can then issue “l” and “bt” commands and have them work succesfully, showing the correct source and stack where my breakpoint was hit. Which, correct me if I’m wrong, must mean that the information is there and gdb is being invoked correctly – so why will Eclipse not see this information?

I’m getting close to giving up on Eclipse to be honest… I came to it with such high hopes, too.

Any additional help or thoughts would be hugely appreciated.


Solution #1:

This thread suggests:

-g -O0

for debug flags to be set for Eclipse CDT compilation.
Sometime, it is simple a problem of rebuilding completely the application (like here)

See also this thread describing a similar situation:

I have noticed that sometimes in Eclipse I have to go and specifically add the path to my source files using the “add filesystem path” (with “search sub-folders“) in the Debug Dialog (even when they are in the same project I am debugging), but I have not noticed a pattern to when I have to do this. But it may be worth a try.

Respondent: thoughton

Solution #2:

I found the answer! And it’s embarrassingly simple.

The problem was that I was using the Release version of SDL instead of the Debug version! (I had ‘libsdl’ from MacPorts whereas I should have had ‘libsdl-devel’.)

So my generic answer is: make sure the libs you’re linking against were compiled with debug flags set too, it’s not always enough to just make sure your own code has them set.

Respondent: VonC

Solution #3:

Here is another reason for this problem. My configuration used -g3 as the option to gcc. Changing it to -g solved the problem. There seems to be some incompatibility between gcc and gdb. I checked that gdb was the latest revision (using apt-get).

Respondent: thoughton

Solution #4:

I would like to add a little new blood to this old thread.

I encountered this problem when I tried to compile and debug a gnu arm project.

I solved the problem by modifying the Makefile:
adding “-g -O0” at the end of this line “CFLAGS += -Wall -Werror -O3”

Respondent: user206622

Solution #5:

Go to project Properties, C/C++ Build -> Settings. On the first tab (Tool Settings) under Cross GCC Compiler click Debugging and set Debug Level to Maximum (-g3)

Respondent: ulyssis2

Solution #6:

I had this issue when I compiled the latest gcc, but did not update to the most recent gdb. After the update, it worked properly.

Respondent: Almir

Solution #7:

Thought to mention, that in case you are using cmake to build the project, one approach to the solution will be to add the “debug flag” to the cmake command, i.e. –

$ cmake /path/to/main/cmake_file –DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug

Respondent: Brian

Solution #8:

For anyone else who may experience this issue,

I installed the linuxtools/valgrind plugin last night to do some memory profiling, and it seems that this broke the normal gdb. when i removed the linuxtools plugins everything started working as normal again.

So you might like to try that.

Respondent: Guy Avraham

Solution #9:

I had a similar problem. I was using CFLAGS=-Wall -O2 -fPIC -DPIC -lm -lasound and never had problem to compile it but when I tried to debbug it on Eclipse IDE I get this error: No source available for "main() at 0x401080" then I added -g to this line and it worked well:

CFLAGS=-g -Wall -O2 -fPIC -DPIC -lm -lasound

Respondent: Jon

Solution #10:

This issue depends on how gdb is being invoked. I found I needed to manually specify the source file locations when I got that error. Even though I’d already configured that under project properties. After doing so, Eclipse no longer had a problem supplying the appropriate source.

Using the release versus debug version of a library may be your specific problem (if you were building a library from source then debugging it). If someone is using a precompiled library, they’d never be able to set breakpoints within it and so that fix wouldn’t apply to them.

Respondent: Jeff Pal

Solution #11:

Encountered the same problem once. You just have to go to your Project Properties, by hitting ALT+ENTR or right click project and scroll down at the bottom and you will find Properties. Expand C/C++ build on the left. Then click on settings. Once you open the settings, then click on tool settings. In the MCU GCC Compiler, there is a debugging option. Click on debugging and add

-g -O0

in the Other debugging flags. Trying debugging the project now.

Respondent: iheanyi

Solution #12:

I just faced with this issue and after take some time to find it out, I realize that the Arguments and Main tab in Debug Configurations dialog are conflicting each other.

Make sure that C/C++ Application and Programs Arguments point to the same binary file.

Respondent: shivam gupta

Solution #13:

Seems like this message can have plenty of reasons to show.

For me (in the context of micro controller debugging) it was the link-time optimization. With -flto it broke; removing -flto from the “Other Options” field fixed this for me.

In Eclipse Neon (4.6) see Project -> Properties -> C/C++ Build -> Settings -> Tool Settings -> C Compiler -> Miscellaneous -> Other options.

Respondent: Fading

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