/DEBUG (Generate debug info)
/DEBUG linker option creates a debugging information file for the executable.
/DEBUG option puts the debugging information from linked object and library files into a program database (PDB) file. It updates the PDB during subsequent builds of the program.
An executable (an EXE or DLL file) created for debugging contains the name and path of the corresponding PDB. The debugger reads the embedded name and uses the PDB when you debug the program. The linker uses the base name of the program and the extension
.pdb to name the program database, and embeds the path where it was created. To override this default, set the
/PDB option and specify a different file name.
/DEBUG:FASTLINK option is available in Visual Studio 2017 and later. This option generates a limited PDB that indexes into the debug information in the object files and libraries used to build the executable instead of making a full copy. You can only use this limited PDB to debug from the computer where the binary and its libraries were built. If you deploy the binary elsewhere, you may debug it remotely from the build computer, but not directly on the test computer. In Visual Studio 2017, this option can sometimes greatly improve link times compared with
/DEBUG:FULL. In Visual Studio 2019 and later,
/DEBUG:FULL is faster than in earlier versions. Now,
/DEBUG:FASTLINK isn't always faster than
/DEBUG:FULL, and it's rarely more than twice as fast.
/DEBUG:FASTLINK PDB can be converted to a full PDB that you can deploy to a test machine for local debugging. In Visual Studio, use the Property Pages dialog as described below to create a full PDB for the project or solution. In a developer command prompt, you can use the
mspdbcmf.exe tool to create a full PDB.
/DEBUG:FULL option moves all private symbol information from individual compilation products (object files and libraries) into a single PDB, and can be the most time-consuming part of the link. However, the full PDB can be used to debug the executable when no other build products are available, such as when the executable is deployed.
/DEBUG:NONE option doesn't generate a PDB.
In Visual Studio 2015 and earlier versions, when you specify
/DEBUG with no extra arguments, the linker defaults to
/DEBUG:FULL for command line and makefile builds, for release builds in the Visual Studio IDE, and for both debug and release builds. Beginning in Visual Studio 2017, the build system in the IDE defaults to
/DEBUG:FASTLINK when you specify the
/DEBUG option for debug builds. Other defaults are unchanged to maintain backward compatibility.
/Z7 (C7 Compatible) option causes the compiler to leave the debugging information in the object (OBJ) files. You can also use the
/Zi (Program Database) compiler option to store the debugging information in a PDB for the OBJ file. The linker looks for the object's PDB first in the absolute path written in the OBJ file, and then in the directory that contains the OBJ file. You can't specify an object's PDB file name or location to the linker.
/INCREMENTAL is implied when
/DEBUG is specified.
/DEBUG changes the defaults for the
/OPT option from
NOREF and from
NOICF, so if you want the original defaults, you must explicitly specify
/OPT:ICF after the
It isn't possible to create an EXE or DLL that contains debug information. Debug information is always placed in an OBJ or PDB file.
To set this linker option in the Visual Studio development environment
Open the project's Property Pages dialog box. For details, see Set C++ compiler and build properties in Visual Studio.
Select the Linker > Debugging property page.
Modify the Generate Debug Info property to enable or disable PDB generation. This property enables
/DEBUG:FASTLINKby default in Visual Studio 2017 and later.
Modify the Generate Full Program Database File property to enable
/DEBUG:FULLfor full PDB generation for every incremental build.
To set this linker option programmatically
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