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Devel::Trepan — A new Perl debugger

A modular, testable debugger in the family of the Ruby "Trepanning" debuggers. The command set is modeled off of gdb, but other command sets are possible.


  • has extensive online-help,
  • syntax highlighting of Perl code
  • context-sensitive command completion
  • out-of-process and remote debugging
  • interactive shell support
  • code disassembly
  • gdb syntax
  • easy extensibility at several levels
  • is more modular
  • comes with extensive tests
  • is not as ugly as perl5db


From a shell:

$ [trepan-opts] [--] perl-program [perl-program-opts]

Or for those who prefer the traditional Perlish way:

$ perl -d:Trepan perl-program [perl-program-opts]

The problem with the above "perlish" approach is that there are a number of default options won't get set intelligently. If that matters, you'll have to set them either with a debugger command or via environment variable TREPANPL_OPTS. To see the environement variables, run with the --verbose option.

Calling the debugger from inside your Perl program using Joshua ben Jore's Enbugger:

# This needs to be done once and could even be in some sort of
# conditional code
require Enbugger; Enbugger->load_debugger( 'trepan' );

# Alternatively, to unconditionally load Enbugger and trepan:
use Enbugger 'trepan';

# work, work, work...
# Oops! there was an error! Enable the debugger now!
Enbugger->stop;  # or Enbugger->stop if ...

Or if you just want POSIX-shell-like set -x line tracing:

$ -x -- perl-program [perl-program-opts]

Inside the debugger tracing is turned on using the command set trace print. There is extensive help from the help command.


To install this Devel::Trepan from source code:

perl Build.PL
make test
[sudo] make install

or to install from CPAN:

$ cpanm Devel::Trepan


Copyright (C) 2011-2013 Rocky Bernstein

This program is distributed WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

The program is free software. You may distribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation (either version 2 or any later version) and the Perl Artistic License as published by O’Reilly Media, Inc. Please open the files named gpl-2.0.txt and Artistic for a copy of these licenses.

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