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Valgrind is an instrumentation framework for building dynamic analysis tools. It comes with a set of tools each of which performs some kind of debugging, profiling, or similar task that helps you improve your programs. Valgrind's architecture is modular, so new tools can be created easily and without disturbing the existing structure.
A number of useful tools are supplied as standard.
There are also a couple of minor tools that aren't useful to most users: Lackey is an example tool that illustrates some instrumentation basics; and Nulgrind is the minimal Valgrind tool that does no analysis or instrumentation, and is only useful for testing purposes.
Valgrind is closely tied to details of the CPU and operating system, and to a lesser extent, the compiler and basic C libraries. Nonetheless, it supports a number of widely-used platforms, listed in full at http://www.valgrind.org/.
Valgrind is built via the standard Unix
Valgrind is licensed under the The GNU General Public License,
version 2. The
If you contribute code to Valgrind, please ensure your contributions are licensed as "GPLv2, or (at your option) any later version." This is so as to allow the possibility of easily upgrading the license to GPLv3 in future. If you want to modify code in the VEX subdirectory, please also see the file VEX/HACKING.README in the distribution.
This manual's structure reflects the structure of Valgrind itself. First, we describe the Valgrind core, how to use it, and the options it supports. Then, each tool has its own chapter in this manual. You only need to read the documentation for the core and for the tool(s) you actually use, although you may find it helpful to be at least a little bit familiar with what all tools do. If you're new to all this, you probably want to run the Memcheck tool and you might find the The Valgrind Quick Start Guide useful.
Be aware that the core understands some command line options, and the tools have their own options which they know about. This means there is no central place describing all the options that are accepted -- you have to read the options documentation both for Valgrind's core and for the tool you want to use.
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