cxref - Linux


cxref is a powerful tool for cross-referencing symbols and identifiers in C and C++ source code. It generates comprehensive reports that map identifiers to their corresponding declarations, uses, and definitions, providing valuable insights into code structure and relationships.


cxref [-options] [-f files] [-I paths]


  • -a, --all – Include all symbols (default: only defined symbols)
  • -d, --declarations – Only show declarations
  • -f, --files – Specify input files
  • -I, --paths: Include paths for preprocessor directives
  • -r, --recursive: Recursively search directories for source files
  • -s, --summary: Print a summary of cross-references
  • -S, --source: Include source lines in report
  • -t, --types: Include type information


List all symbols and their definitions

cxref -a my_code.c

Find all uses of a specific function

cxref -r my_project -d --files=my_function.c

Generate a summary report

cxref -s my_code.cpp -I/usr/include

Integration with other commands

Extract all function prototypes

cxref -d my_headers.h | grep "function"

Generate a call graph of a program

cxref -a my_program.c | dot -Tpng > callgraph.png

Common Issues

Symbols are not found

Ensure the input files and include paths are correct. Use -r to search directories recursively.

Reports are too large or cluttered

Use -a to filter results only to defined symbols. Use -S to remove source lines from the report.

Related Commands

  • ctags – Generate a tags file for quick symbol lookup
  • grep – Search for specific patterns in text
  • dot – Graph visualization tool from Graphviz