18.1.6 Debugger Commands
The debugger buffer (in Debugger mode) provides special commands in
addition to the usual Emacs commands. The most important use of
debugger commands is for stepping through code, so that you can see
how control flows. The debugger can step through the control
structures of an interpreted function, but cannot do so in a
byte-compiled function. If you would like to step through a
byte-compiled function, replace it with an interpreted definition of
the same function. (To do this, visit the source for the function and
type C-M-x on its definition.) You cannot use the Lisp debugger
to step through a primitive function.
Here is a list of Debugger mode commands:
- Exit the debugger and continue execution. This resumes execution of
the program as if the debugger had never been entered (aside from any
side-effects that you caused by changing variable values or data
structures while inside the debugger).
- Continue execution, but enter the debugger the next time any Lisp
function is called. This allows you to step through the
subexpressions of an expression, seeing what values the subexpressions
compute, and what else they do.
The stack frame made for the function call which enters the debugger in
this way will be flagged automatically so that the debugger will be
called again when the frame is exited. You can use the u command
to cancel this flag.
- Flag the current frame so that the debugger will be entered when the
frame is exited. Frames flagged in this way are marked with stars
in the backtrace buffer.
- Don't enter the debugger when the current frame is exited. This
cancels a b command on that frame. The visible effect is to
remove the star from the line in the backtrace buffer.
- Flag the current frame like b. Then continue execution like
c, but temporarily disable break-on-entry for all functions that
are set up to do so by
- Read a Lisp expression in the minibuffer, evaluate it, and print the
value in the echo area. The debugger alters certain important
variables, and the current buffer, as part of its operation; e
temporarily restores their values from outside the debugger, so you can
examine and change them. This makes the debugger more transparent. By
contrast, M-: does nothing special in the debugger; it shows you
the variable values within the debugger.
- Like e, but also save the result of evaluation in the
- Terminate the program being debugged; return to top-level Emacs
If the debugger was entered due to a C-g but you really want
to quit, and not debug, use the q command.
- Return a value from the debugger. The value is computed by reading an
expression with the minibuffer and evaluating it.
The r command is useful when the debugger was invoked due to exit
from a Lisp call frame (as requested with b or by entering the
frame with d); then the value specified in the r command is
used as the value of that frame. It is also useful if you call
debug and use its return value. Otherwise, r has the same
effect as c, and the specified return value does not matter.
You can't use r when the debugger was entered due to an error.
- Display a list of functions that will invoke the debugger when called.
This is a list of functions that are set to break on entry by means of
debug-on-entry. Warning: if you redefine such a
function and thus cancel the effect of
debug-on-entry, it may
erroneously show up in this list.