Node added support for v8-inspector in v6.3.0 but launching the debugger for a given process is still a little clumsy. inspect-process solves the following problems:
- Opening and refreshing devtools - A new instance is launched each time a process is launched.
- Unable to debug executables - Looks up path to executables such as mocha, grunt, by looking in PATH prior to resolving as a file.
- 'Unable to open devtools socket: address already in use' - Finds an open port prior to starting the inspector. Begins searching for available ports starting at the node default inspector port,
debug-brk- Bypasses the user requirement of setting this flag by ensuring devtools is connected prior to advancing. Just set your debug break points, and
inspect-processwill be able to pick it up.
Behind the scenes inspect-process attempts to normalize your experience by:
- Hiding the noisy output broadcast by the default
--inspectflag. You don't need to worry about attaching,detaching, and cleaning up. Just inspect.
- Automatically forcing color output; plays nicely with any module utilzing
How is this different from node-inspector?
inspect-process is only a small wrapper around the native
--inspect functionaltiy provided by node. The key differences between utilizing
node-inspector can be found in this comment by pavelfeldman
Install this globally and you'll have access to the
inspect command anywhere on your system.
npm install -g inspect-process
Inspecting a file
$ inspect index.js
Inspecting an executable
$ inspect grunt
Passing arguments to process
Just pass your arguments after the process.
inspect index.js --argument=val
Passing arguments to node
Arguments are passed to the process just as if you were utilizing the node CLI.
inspect --harmony index.js
--debug-exception Pause debugger on exceptions. [boolean]
--log-level: The level to display logs at. [string] (choices: "silly", "verbose", "info")
Inspecting a child process is not currently possible (and most likely never will be). Unfortunately inspect-process can not force child processes to spawn with the necessary
This is clear when looking at all of the provided mocha examples. The actual
mocha executable is a wrapper that spawns
_mocha (done in order to allow passing flags to the node process). In order to use mocha with inspect-process, we have to bypass that first indirection and use the
_mocha exectuable directly:
If you have control of the source code responsible for spawning the child process, it is technically possible to still utilize inspect-process by working with programatic api, however this is not recommended for most use cases.
Internet Connectivity (> Node 7.1.0)
Versions of Node prior to 7.1.0 require a specific devtools version which is downloaded from the cloud (hence "remote" in the URL string). Node 7.1.0 and on will be exposing a stable protocol which will work with the devtools version bundled with the Chrome (source).
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