standalone debugging client for PHP

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pugdebug is a standalone debugging client for PHP applications that uses Xdebug as the debugging engine.

A python 3.5, PyQt5 project.

running pugdebug

Running pugdebug is quite easy.

There are executables available for Linux and Windows operating systems.

Every release includes a tar.gz/ZIP package with the executables. They include everything needed for pugdebug to work correctly on your system.

Download and extract the archive, run the pugdebug binary file.

That’s it. No need to set up or install anything.

current release

The current release of pugdebug is 1.0.0.

It includes a tar.gz/ZIP package with the binary, for both Linux and Windows. It should include everything needed for pugdebug to work correctly, so just download the package for your operating system, unpack it and start pugdebug.

Please report any issues you encounter.

change log

Please take a look at the change log.

using pugdebug

If you are using a pugdebug build, just execute the binary, that should bring up pugdebug.

If you cloned this repository, go to the sources directory, activate the Python virtual environment and start pugdebug by issuing a python app.py command.

pugdebug settings

To bring up the Settings window, navigate to Files -> Settings (shortcut: Ctrl+S).

pugdebug path settings

The Path section refers to the path settings.

The Root under the Path section is the root path where the project you want to debug is located.

The Maps from under the Path section is for when the project you want to debug is under a virtual machine, like Vagrant. Here you would enter the path of the project under that VM.

For example, if a project I’m working on is in /home/robert/wwww/pugdebug and that maps to /var/www under the VM, the Root would be set to /home/robert/www/pugdebug and the Maps from would be set to /var/www.

pugdebug debugger settings

The Host setting should be the IP address of the machine on which pugdebug runs. In most cases it is perfectly fine to leave this field blank.

The Port setting is the port number on which Xdebug will attempt to connect to the machine on which pugdebug runs. The default port is 9000.

The IDE Key setting allows to filter out messages from Xdebug based on this value.

Break at first line tells the debugger should it break on the first line or not.

Max depth, Max children and Max data settings control the amount of information about variables is retrieved from Xdebug.

debugging sessions

To start debugging, click the Start listening button in the top left corner (shortcut: F1).

pugdebug then listens to all connections on the Port provided, and if the connection has the IDE Key matching with what is configured, it will start debugging the PHP request from that connection.

In the case if there is already a debugging in progress, the new connection will be queued and once the debugging of the current connection is done, the new one will be debugged.

This allows pugdebug to debug multiple requests (think ajax).

Load a web project in a browser and start a HTTP debugging session.

pugdebug should pick up that request and display the index file of the web project, while stopping the execution on the first line.

Using the Run (F5), Over (F6), In (F7), Out (F8) continuation commands allows stepping through the PHP code.

Setting breakpoints is possible by double clicking the line where a breakpoint is needed.

The correspoding line number should be highlighted and a new breakpoint should be listed in the breakpoint viewer (bottom right corner).

Double clicking the line with a breakpoint should remove that breakpoint.

The Stop (F3) action will stop debugging the current request and tell Xdebug to stop further execution of the PHP script that is being debugged.

The Detach (F4) action will detach the debugger from the current request, which allows to stop debugging but also let the PHP script finish as it normally would.

The Stop listening (F2) action will tell pugdebug to stop listening to new incomming connections.

debugging cli scripts

It is also possible to debug CLI scripts with pugdebug.

Start pugdebug as stated in the previous section, click Start listening to start listening to incomming connections and then in a new terminal type:

export XDEBUG_CONFIG="idekey=pugdebug"

(or whatever the xdebug.idekey setting is set to) and then start the PHP CLI script normally:

php script.php

pugdebug should pick up the debugging session and allow the script to be debugged.

setting up Xdebug

There is a wiki page with simple examples of Xdebug configurations that should help with setting up Xdebug for remote debugging.

setting up the development environment

Setting up the development environment should be needed only when you want to help out with developing pugdebug itself. And for OS X as there are no current builds for it yet.

The main dependencies are Python 3.5, QT5.7, SIP4.9 and PyQt5.7.

There is a wiki page with instructions how to set up the development environment for Fedora, Ubuntu, Windows and OSX.

There is also a blog post about setting up a virtual environment on a Fedora that goes into bit more details.


Take a look at the issue tracker.


Contributions are more than welcome! Report bugs, tell me your ideas and needs, write code, test it on different platforms …


There’s a slack created for pugdebug.

If you would like access, open a new ticket.