Static analysis is a technique for finding bugs just by looking at source code without actually running it. That's great because it can find bugs that are really hard to trigger.

Current Tools


Coverity is a static analysis service that offers free, periodic scans to many open source apps, including Wine. You can see a result summary for the most recent scan at Wine's Coverity page.

To see detailed results, after setting up an account (you can also just login with an existing Github account), you need to be granted access rights as a member of the project. Our official contacts are Paul Vriens and Jan Zerebecki so you'll want to email them to request privileges.

When posting patches to fix bugs found by Coverity, please include (Coverity) in the subject line. If you're interested, you can see a list of Coverity-related patches in Wine.


PVS-Studio is a commercial static analysis tool, and the developing company kindly runs scans on open source projects from time to time. For those interested in purchasing the tool, it integrates into Visual Studio and has a deeper knowledge of the Windows API.

While this has the benefit of finding unique defects in Wine, there are also a ton of "intended behaviour" cases, especially in the Wine tests. Nevertheless, quite a few Wine commits can be credited to PVS-Studio. If you submit a patch to fix a bug found by PVS-Studio, be sure to include (PVS-Studio) in the subject line.

Here are some other reports done by PVS-Studio for Wine code:

Besides these scans, PVS-Studio has provided some of the developers (Michael Stefaniuc and Nikolay Sivov) with the raw data from these analyses, as well as temporary licenses for PVS-Studio. The data can be shared freely with Wine developers, though as XML it is hard to read but beautiful to process.


Coccinelle is an open source static analysis tool developed jointly by several French research institutes. Students at Aalborg University say they found a number of bugs with it in 2008; both Paul Vriens and Michael Stefaniuc have been using it since 2009 too.

When posting patches to fix bugs found by Coccinelle, don't forget to include (Coccinelle) in the subject line. You can see a list of all Coccinelle-motivated patches in Wine's git history. Michael Stefaniuc has also shared some Wine-oriented Coccinelle scripts you might find interesting.

Clang Static Analyzer

Clang (the C-language front end to the LLVM compiler) includes a new static analysis tool currently named the Clang Static Analyzer. Henri Verbeet was the first to submit patches fixing errors detected by the Clang Static Analyzer, the first one coming in October 2008.

When posting patches to fix bugs found by Clang, please include (Clang) in the subject line; as with the other tools, you can see all Clang-related patches in our git history.

Old / Unused Tools


The same students from Aalborg University mentioned above also tried out Flawfinder, another open-source static analysis tool. Instead of trying to rigorously determine faulty code logic, Flawfinder only scans the source code for C constructs that commonly expose security flaws. Think of it as a version of grep that's already been house-trained.

There was a discussion about adding Flawfinder to Wine's patch-watcher at one point, but Flawfinder returned too many false positives to be much use.


Smatch is an open-source static analysis tool based on sparse, the checker used by the Linux kernel. A while back, Michael Stefaniuc adapted an existing script for Smatch Mark 1 (which was based not on sparse, but a modified version of GCC) to find code paths with missing LeaveCriticalSection statements.

Scripts to find other useful things like GDI object leaks might not be too hard to write; Michael even created a page with more info on using Smatch to test Wine. However, he began experimenting with Coccinelle in Jan 2010 because it seemed to make prototyping much easier.

If you're interested in possibly using Smatch to debug Wine, the official Smatch documentation (which is a bit scanty) is included in the Smatch source. If you do fix any bugs found with it, don't forget to add (Smatch) to the subject line of your patch. You can also see all Smatch-related patches in the Wine git tree.

See Also

  • Code Coverage is a complementary technique for checking possible execution paths
  • Wine and Valgrind has info on using the Valgrind suite to debug Wine at runtime
  • Debugging Hints lists some issues that regularly pop up when hacking on Wine
This page was last edited on 18 June 2022, at 00:51.