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Node.js debugger based on Blink Developer Tools
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Node Inspector is a debugger interface for nodeJS using the WebKit Web Inspector.

Getting Started


  • nodeJS
    • versions: 0.1.100 - 0.1.101


  1. make a debug build of node

    ./configure --debug


    make install


(NEW) There are two ways to use node-inspector. First I'll describe the easy way. As an example lets debug test/hello.js, from the root project directory (node-inspector)

  1. start the inspector like this:

    node bin/inspector.js --start=test/hello.js

  2. open http://localhost:8080 in your favorite WebKit based browser

  3. you should now see the javascript source from nodeJS

  4. set some breakpoints, see what happens

This will start a child process (node_g --debug test/hello.js) and host the inspector interface at http://localhost:8080. The other way is to connect the inspector to an external node process.

  1. start a node process: > node_g --debug=7878 test/hello.js

  2. start the inspector: > node bin/inspector.js --debug-port=7878 --agent-port=8000

  3. open http://localhost:8000


    --start=[file]      starts [file] in a child process with node_g --debug
    --start-brk=[file]  same as start with --debug-brk
    --agent-port=[port] port to host the inspector (default 8080)
    --debug-port=[port] v8 debug port to connect to (default 5858)


This project started as a Chrome extension. For more info see the wiki.

Cool stuff

  • the WebKit Web Inspector debugger is a great js debugger interface, it works just as well for node
  • uses a WebSocket to connect to debug-agent, so no polling for breaks
  • javascript top to bottom :)

Known Issues

This is pre-alpha quality code, so use at your own risk:

  • while not stopped at a breakpoint the console doesn't always behave as you might expect
  • pause on exceptions doesn't play nice with the node event loop
  • closing the inspector does not stop debugging, you must stop inspector.js manually
  • opening more than one inspector window causes trouble

Other Ideas

  • the inspector could be extended to provide collaborative debugging with multiple inspectors connected to the same debug session.
  • use a native node extension instead of the inspector.js as a separate process


  • save application settings
  • single instance only
  • debug-agent needs a lot of work
  • try out live edit
  • Safari 5 extension


This project respectfully uses code from and thanks the authors of:

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