Static C++ code analysis

Static code analysis

Static code analysis is the process of detecting errors and defects in software's source code. Static analysis can be viewed as an automated code review process.


  • scan-build from LLVM project [2].

  • Cppcheck

  • Flint [5]

  • Many more [3].


Let's see how to analyze c++ code with scan-build. Again I will be using Debian 7 and cmake to build my c++ programs.

Get the clang package

LLVM provides scan-build in a debian package [1].

  1. Add the apt key of LLVM repository

$ wget -O -|sudo apt-key add -
  1. Add the LLVM repos to apt sources directory

$ sudo echo "deb llvm-toolchain-wheezy main"
  > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/llvm-clang.list
$ sudo echo "deb-src llvm-toolchain-wheezy main"
  >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/llvm-clang.list
  1. Get clang package

$ sudo apt-get install clang-3.5

When this article was written latest clang version was clang-3.5. This package contains scan-build script. Now we are ready to analyze our sources.

Code analysis

Code analysis is easy with scan-build:

$ scan-build g++ main.cpp

To demonstrate better of what can static analysis do I've set up a git repo with c++ project that has some sample bugs that scan-build might catch [4].

Let's download the sample:

$ git clone

Now run the scan-build analyzer:

$ cd cpp-static-analysis
$ scan-build make

This should yield that some bugs were found:

scan-build: 6 bugs found.
scan-build: Run 'scan-view /tmp/scan-build-2014-03-16-200244-31706-1'
to examine bug reports.

To see the report in HTML format enter:

$ scan-view /tmp/scan-build-2014-03-16-200244-31706-1

You should see something like this: