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Cppcheck - A tool for static C/C++ code analysis

Overview

Cppcheck is an analysis tool for C/C++ code. Unlike C/C++ compilers and many other analysis tools, it doesn't detect syntax errors. Cppcheck only detects the types of bugs that the compilers normally fail to detect. The goal is no false positives.

We recommend that you enable as many warnings as possible in your compiler.
If you use Visual C++: you should use warning level 4.
If you use GCC: take a look at Warning options - using GCC
If you use Clang: take a look at Options to Control Error and Warning Messages
If you use another compiler: look in the manual.

Supported platforms:

  • You can check non-standard code that includes various compiler extensions, inline assembly code, etc.
  • Cppcheck is supposed to be compilable by any C++ compiler which handles the latest C++ standard.
  • Cppcheck is supposed to work on any platform that has sufficient cpu and memory.

Accuracy

Cppcheck is far from finished, it is continuosly improved to make it more accurate.

Cppcheck is rarely wrong about reported errors. But there are many bugs that it doesn't detect.

You will find more bugs in your software by testing your software carefully, than by using Cppcheck.
You will find more bugs in your software by instrumenting your software (with for example valgrind), than by using Cppcheck.
It is unlikely that you will find all the bugs in your software through testing and instrumenting. Cppcheck can detect some of the bugs that you have missed.

Documents and articles

Manual
The Cppcheck manual is available as HTML and PDF.

Writing rules
Articles about writing rules.
Part 1 - Getting started
Part 2 - Data representation
Part 3 - Introduction to C++ rules

Cppcheck design
False warnings are not inevitable for static analysis tools. This article shows how Cppcheck tries to avoid false warnings.

Clients and plugins

To download the standalone Cppcheck tool: http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/cppcheck

Open Source

Commercial

Checks

Cppcheck has many different kinds of checks. A full list is available.

Forum, chat

IRC channel:
channel: #cppcheck
server: irc.freenode.net

Forum: http://sourceforge.net/apps/phpbb/cppcheck/

Future releases

The plan is to release a new version every 1-2 months.

Version 1.65 is planned to be released on May 3rd.

Bugs and feature requests

Use Trac to report any problems: http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/cppcheck/

Defects are for severe bugs such as:

  • False positives
  • Cppcheck hangs/crashes
  • Fail to compile

Enhancements are for issues such as:

  • Fail to detect bug
  • Change the output of Cppcheck
  • Suggestion for a new check

Contribute

You are welcome to contribute. Help is needed.

  • Testing - Pick a project and test it's source with latest version. Write tickets to Trac about issues you find from Cppcheck. If you test open source projects and write bug reports to them, check the issues in Found bugs section, and write links to the bug reports you have created e.g. to our forum, so we can keep a track about them.
  • Developing - Pick a ticket from Trac, write a test case for it (and write a comment to the ticket that test case has been created). Or pick a test case that fails and try to fix it. Make a patch and submit it to Trac either inline if it is small, or attach it as a file.
  • Marketing - Write articles, reviews or tell your friends about us. The more users we have, the more people we have testing and the better we can become.
  • Design - Invent new good checks and create tickets to Trac about them.
  • Integration - Write a plugin to your favorite IDE or create a package for your distribution or operating system.
  • Technical Writer - Write better documentation for the bugs we find. Currently only a few bugs have any documentation at all.

Getting the source code

Latest version can be found in the cppcheck git repository.

To get the source code using git:

git clone git://github.com/danmar/cppcheck.git

To get the source code using subversion:

svn checkout https://github.com/danmar/cppcheck/trunk

You can also download the latest sources in a zip archive from the github website.

Found bugs

Here are some of the found bugs that have been fixed:

Found bugs

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