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A.3 Handling floating point exceptions

It is possible to stop the program whenever a SIGFPE floating point exception occurs. This can be useful for finding the cause of an unexpected infinity or NaN. The current handler settings can be shown with the command info signal SIGFPE.

(gdb) info signal SIGFPE
Signal  Stop  Print  Pass to program Description
SIGFPE  Yes   Yes    Yes             Arithmetic exception

Unless the program uses a signal handler the default setting should be changed so that SIGFPE is not passed to the program, as this would cause it to exit. The command handle SIGFPE stop nopass prevents this.

(gdb) handle SIGFPE stop nopass
Signal  Stop  Print  Pass to program Description
SIGFPE  Yes   Yes    No              Arithmetic exception

Depending on the platform it may be necessary to instruct the kernel to generate signals for floating point exceptions. For programs using GSL this can be achieved using the GSL_IEEE_MODE environment variable in conjunction with the function gsl_ieee_env_setup as described in see IEEE floating-point arithmetic.

(gdb) set env GSL_IEEE_MODE=double-precision