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Name your threads in the VC debugger thread list

, 12 Oct 2004
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The VC debugger displays a name for every thread. This article describes how to control what VC displays in the thread list.

Sample Image - Name_threads_in_debugger.png

Introduction

Some days ago, someone asked me if it is possible to rename threads in the VC debugger. Because I worked at a multi threading project myself those days, I was very interested in realizing this idea. Some Google group searches later, I had a solution that is short and easy. Because this could be very helpful for everyone working on applications with many threads, I publish it here.

There isn't much to understand except, that the VC debugger gets the information about a thread's name via the exception #0x406D1388.

I put the necessary call into a simple function. Here is the code:

//
// Usage: SetThreadName (-1, "MainThread");
//
typedef struct tagTHREADNAME_INFO
{
  DWORD dwType; // must be 0x1000
  LPCSTR szName; // pointer to name (in user addr space)
  DWORD dwThreadID; // thread ID (-1=caller thread)
  DWORD dwFlags; // reserved for future use, must be zero
} THREADNAME_INFO;

void SetThreadName( DWORD dwThreadID, LPCSTR szThreadName)
{
  THREADNAME_INFO info;
  {
    info.dwType = 0x1000;
    info.szName = szThreadName;
    info.dwThreadID = dwThreadID;
    info.dwFlags = 0;
  }
  __try
  {
    RaiseException( 0x406D1388, 0, sizeof(info)/sizeof(DWORD), (DWORD*)&info );
  }
  __except (EXCEPTION_CONTINUE_EXECUTION)
  {
  }
}

You just have to call SetThreadName() with the thread ID and a name string as parameters.

Have fun with that tiny tool Wink | ;)

License

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About the Author

Patrick Hoffmann
Web Developer
Germany Germany
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMy vote of 2 PinmemberSarath.5-Mar-09 7:56 
GeneralI'm having a "Fifth Element" moment here... PinmemberAndreyT4-Apr-08 11:56 
GeneralNice article PinmemberThatsAlok25-Jul-07 19:57 
Questionhow i can have optional number of threads?? Pinmemberkamelian_2014-Mar-07 22:08 
GeneralHere is a hint Pinmemberndl19-Apr-06 7:04 
QuestionAttaching to Process Pinmemberrobma3-Nov-05 11:22 
AnswerRe: Attaching to Process PinmemberPatrick Hoffmann3-Nov-05 12:38 
No idea how this should work. You have no influence to the debugger through your programm if it is dead locked and you attach the debugger late.
 
Maybe you can set the thread names periodicaly so you can attach the debugger when the service is running but before it locks.
 
(Best Regards,)

Patrick Hoffmann
 

 
-- modified at 18:39 Thursday 3rd November, 2005
GeneralThanks Patrick PinmemberMichael Holm13-Oct-04 2:04 
GeneralRe: Thanks Patrick PinmemberNeville Franks13-Oct-04 9:55 
QuestionWhy repeating the MSDN !? PinmemberJochen Kalmbach13-Oct-04 0:42 
AnswerRe: Why repeating the MSDN !? PinmemberPatrick Hoffmann13-Oct-04 1:23 
AnswerDoes this only work in .NET? Pinmemberaaronp13-Oct-04 2:31 
GeneralRe: Does this only work in .NET? PinmemberJochen Kalmbach13-Oct-04 3:03 
GeneralRe: Does this only work in .NET? PinmemberJochen Kalmbach13-Oct-04 3:08 
GeneralRe: Does this only work in .NET? Pinsussaaronp13-Oct-04 5:28 
GeneralRe: Does this only work in .NET? PinmemberJochen Kalmbach13-Oct-04 9:26 

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