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Debugging in PhpStorm

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    PhpStorm Video Tutorial Debugging in PhpStorm
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    With PhpStorm, it's possible to debug our PHP codes,
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    whether it's running from the console
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    or on a local or remote web server.
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    Two popular debuggers are Xdebug and Zend Debugger,
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    which are both supported by PhpStorm.
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    Before being able to debug, we must configure our PHP
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    installation to make use of one of them.
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    Do note that it's not possible to use them simultaneously
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    as they will block each other.
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    Let's first have a look at how to configure Xdebug.
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    First of all, we have to download Xdebug from the website.
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    The Downloads page lists Xdebug versions for all versions of PHP
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    on different platforms.
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    Find the one that matches your PHP version
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    and extract it to your PHP extension directory.
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    If you are unsure about which version to download,
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    the wizard at helps finding the correct version
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    based on our local PHP configuration.
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    Next, we have to configure Xdebug.
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    Open php.ini and add the required configuration.
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    The web help contains some examples for that.
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    We've now seen how to configure Xdebug.
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    Zend Debugger is also supported by PhpStorm,
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    so let's see how we can configure that one instead of Xdebug.
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    From Zend's website, download the Zend Debugger package
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    and extract it to a location on your system.
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    Next, edit your php.ini file and add the required configuration.
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    Again, the web help contains some examples to help you out.
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    Now that we have our configuration ready, let's start debugging.
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    Every project can have its own debugging settings.
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    From the project settings, we can configure PhpStorm to make
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    use of Xdebug, Zend Debugger, specify
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    additional configuration options, and so on.
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    If we wanted to connect to an Xdebug proxy, which forwards debugger
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    connections to a remote server, we can also configure that here.
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    But let's just go with the defaults.
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    We can create a new Run configuration
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    for a file we want to debug.
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    This Run configuration does not require any specific settings
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    for a debugger to work except when we
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    want to debug on a remote server.
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    Note there's also a configuration type,
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    which allows us to issue an HTTP request against a server
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    and attach the debugger to that server for only that HTTP request.
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    But let's just go with a simple configuration,
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    which runs our PHP scripts.
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    In the editor, we can set breakpoints.
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    Breakpoints are lines of code in which a debugger will pause
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    execution and allow us to see what's going on inside our code.
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    We can set breakpoints by clicking the gutter at the specific line
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    of code or by placing the cursor on a line of code
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    and using the keyboard shortcuts to toggle the breakpoints.
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    Let's add some breakpoints and start the debugger
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    by clicking the Debugger icon next to our Run configuration
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    or by using the keyboard shortcuts.
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    Once the debugger hits the first breakpoint,
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    a new tool window is opened.
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    From here, we can navigate through the running code
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    and inspect variables.
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    Using the toolbar buttons or the keyboard shortcuts,
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    we can step through code.
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    The Step Into function follows every function call.
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    Step Over just executes the function call
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    and keeps us in the current piece of code.
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    In the loop we have in our code, the breakpoint
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    is hit in every iteration of the loop.
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    If we are only interested in seeing what's
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    going on in our code for a specific iteration,
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    we can make the breakpoint a conditional breakpoint.
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    Using Run, View Breakpoints or the keyboard shortcuts,
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    we can specify the condition when the breakpoint is valid.
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    Note that we can also disable the breakpoint
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    until another breakpoint has been hit.
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    Let's run it again.
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    As you can see, the breakpoint is now only hit for the last element
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    of our loop, which matches the condition we specified earlier.
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    Another interesting debugging feature are Watches.
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    While debugging, variables are shown that are
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    valid in the current execution context.
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    Unfortunately, that list can grow very, very long.
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    Wouldn't it be nice if we could pin a list of variables
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    so we can see them easily?
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    Well, that's exactly what Watches allow us to do.
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    Let's pin a variable there.
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    While debugging, it may be useful to be
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    able to run additional statements on that code.
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    For example, we can use the evaluate expression feature
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    and run any expression on the current scope.
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    Let's print out the names array.
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    We can also influence execution.
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    For example, we can set the current name to a different value.
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    Note that we can also do this from the variables view.
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    Press F2 and simply change the value of running variables.
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    So far, we've only been debugging a simple script.
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    Once PHP has been configured, we can also
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    make use of a Run configuration which runs on the server.
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    On my screen here, you'll see a configuration
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    where I'm making use of a local server
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    to run the exact same script we've used before.
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    If we now start this configuration on the server,
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    we can debug the script as well.
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Debugging in PhpStorm


One of the great advantages of an IDE over a text editor is the ability to easily run a debugger. In this lesson you'll learn how to configure PhpStorm to use XDebug. We'll walk through getting XDebug set up, and then how to debug, including setting breakpoints.

Note: From the menu bar, PhpStorm > Preferences > PHP > Debug will apply settings to the current project as described in the video.

Additional resources: 


Please note that this series covers PhpStorm versions 6 and 7 only.

For the latest documentation (including up-to-date videos), see JetBrains documentation.