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The interactive PHP debugger

Implemented as a SAPI module, phpdbg can exert complete control over the environment without impacting the functionality or performance of your code.

phpdbg aims to be a lightweight, powerful, easy to use debugging platform for PHP 5.4+

phpdbg on travis-ci

Historical Repository

phpdbg was developed here, then merged into php-src: This repository is no longer used.

Please open issues on bugsnet, and send pull requests directly to php-src.


  • Stepthrough Debugging
  • Flexible Breakpoints (Class Method, Function, File:Line, Address, Opcode)
  • Easy Access to PHP with built-in eval()
  • Easy Access to Currently Executing Code
  • Userland API
  • SAPI Agnostic - Easily Integrated
  • PHP Configuration File Support
  • JIT Super Globals - Set Your Own!!
  • Optional readline Support - Comfortable Terminal Operation
  • Remote Debugging Support - Bundled Java GUI
  • Easy Operation - See Help :)


  • Improve Everything :)


To install phpdbg, you must compile the source against your PHP installation sources, and enable the SAPI with the configure command.

cd /usr/src/php-src/sapi
git clone
cd ../
./buildconf --force
./configure --enable-phpdbg
make -j8
make install-phpdbg

Where the source directory has been used previously to build PHP, there exists a file named config.nice which can be used to invoke configure with the same parameters as were used by the last execution of configure.

Note: PHP must be configured with the switch --with-readline for phpdbg to support history, autocompletion, tab-listing etc.

Command Line Options

The following switches are implemented (just like cli SAPI):

  • -n ignore php ini
  • -c search for php ini in path
  • -z load zend extension
  • -d define php ini entry

The following switches change the default behaviour of phpdbg:

  • -v disables quietness
  • -s enabled stepping
  • -e sets execution context
  • -b boring - disables use of colour on the console
  • -I ignore .phpdbginit (default init file)
  • -i override .phpgdbinit location (implies -I)
  • -O set oplog output file
  • -q do not print banner on startup
  • -r jump straight to run
  • -E enable step through eval()
  • -l listen ports for remote mode
  • -a listen address for remote mode
  • -S override SAPI name

Note: Passing -rr will cause phpdbg to quit after execution, rather than returning to the console.

Getting Started

See the website for tutorials/documentation