Crash analysis

Orthanc crashes very rarely. You are most likely looking for the FAQ entry about debugging Orthanc.

Generating a segmentation fault for test purpose

Here is the source code of a minimal C++ plugin that can be used to simulate a segmentation fault within Orthanc:

#include <orthanc/OrthancCPlugin.h>

extern "C"
  int32_t OrthancPluginInitialize(OrthancPluginContext* context)
    // Let's trigger a segmentation fault by writing to NULL
    intptr_t *p = NULL;
    *p = 42;
    return OrthancPluginErrorCode_Success;

  void OrthancPluginFinalize()

  const char* OrthancPluginGetName()
    return "crash";

  const char* OrthancPluginGetVersion()
    return "0.0";

As soon as Orthanc will try and load this plugin, it will crash. This gives you the opportunity to learn how to debug Orthanc on your very specific platform.

GNU/Linux system using gdb

The Orthanc project provides precompiled binaries with debug symbols for the mainline that can run on almost any recent GNU/Linux system (generated thanks to the LSB - Linux Standard Base SDK). This allows to generate a backtrace (the famous “core dumped” message) that can be analyzed by any developer of Orthanc. Assuming that the plugin above is available as the crash.cpp file, here is a sample debug session:

$ wget
$ chmod +x ./Orthanc
$ g++ -fPIC -shared ./crash.cpp -I ~/orthanc/OrthancServer/Plugins/Include -o
$ ulimit -c unlimited
$ echo '{ "Plugins" : ["./"] }' > Configuration.json
$ rm -f core ; ./Orthanc Configuration.json
W0103 18:05:01.661466             MAIN main.cpp:2041] Orthanc version: mainline (20240103T170440)
W0103 18:05:01.661583             MAIN main.cpp:1775] Performance warning: Non-release build, runtime debug assertions are turned on
W0103 18:05:01.661800             MAIN OrthancConfiguration.cpp:57] Reading the configuration from: "Configuration.json"
W0103 18:05:01.864783             MAIN main.cpp:912] Loading plugin(s) from: ./
W0103 18:05:01.864883             MAIN PluginsManager.cpp:261] Registering plugin 'crash' (version 0.0)
Segmentation fault (core dumped)

This session creates a file called core in the current working directory. If you don’t see this file, it probably means that your GNU/Linux distribution customizes the name of core files (this is for instance the case of Ubuntu 22.04 that sends core files to apport). You can temporarily disable this behavior by typing:

$ echo core | sudo tee /proc/sys/kernel/core_pattern

You can then analyze the core file by running gdb as follows:

$ gdb -c ./core.424217 ./Orthanc
(gdb) bt
#0  0x00007f5943308111 in OrthancPluginInitialize () from ./
#1  0x00000000005e1cbc in Orthanc::CallInitialize (plugin=..., context=...)
    at /home/jodogne/BuildBotWorker/Orthanc_mainline_-_LSB_Debug/build/OrthancServer/Plugins/Engine/PluginsManager.cpp:87
#2  0x00000000005e2f14 in Orthanc::PluginsManager::RegisterPlugin (this=0x2edc220, path="./")
    at /home/jodogne/BuildBotWorker/Orthanc_mainline_-_LSB_Debug/build/OrthancServer/Plugins/Engine/PluginsManager.cpp:264

If you are unable to analyze such a backtrace by yourself, feel free to post your core file on the Orthanc Users discussion forum. Do not forget to indicate the content of so that we can find the version of Orthanc that generated the core file.

Important: The Orthanc developers will only be able to analyze the core files generated by our own precompiled binaries!