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Debugging FTLDNS using gdb

Once you are used to it, you can skip most of the steps. Debugging FTLDNS is quite easy. pihole-FTL has been designed so that a debugger can be attached to an already running process. This will give you insights into how software (not limited to pihole-FTL) works.

Prerequirements (only required once)

  1. Install screen and gdb using sudo apt-get install screen gdb
  2. Start a screen session (it will allow you to come back even if the SSH connection died)
    • If you don't know about screen, then read about it (you will love it!)
  3. Start a screen session using screen
  4. Configure gdb by installing a globally valid initialization file:

    echo "handle SIGHUP nostop SIGPIPE nostop SIGTERM nostop SIG32 nostop SIG34 nostop SIG35 nostop" | sudo tee /root/.gdbinit

    You can omit this step, however, you will have to remember to run the quoted line on every start of gdb in order to properly debug FTL.

Start of debugging session

  1. Use sudo gdb -p $(pidof pihole-FTL) to attach the debugger to the already running pihole-FTL process
  2. Once loading of the symbols has finished (the (gdb) input prompt is shown), enter continue to continue the operation of pihole-FTL inside the debugger. All debugger features are now available.
  3. When pihole-FTL has crashed, copy & paste the terminal output into a (new) issue. Also, type backtrace and include its output. We might ask for additional information in order to isolate your particular issue.