Debugging check unit tests with gdb

check is a unit testing framework for C code that provides a number of neat features, including running tests after a fork in order to catch any fatal signals that may be caused by a broken test. Unfortunately this can have the side effect of making debugging a failing test with gdb more painful than it needs to be.

There’s a simple way to get around this however – set the CK_FORK environment variable to disable the fork before running tests:

$ gdb my_check_test 
GNU gdb (GDB) Fedora (7.5.1-38.fc18)
Copyright (C) 2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later 
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.  Type "show copying"
and "show warranty" for details.
This GDB was configured as "x86_64-redhat-linux-gnu".
For bug reporting instructions, please see:
Reading symbols from /tmp/my_check_test...done.
(gdb) set environment CK_FORK=no
(gdb) run

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