How to debug Magento 2 code with Xdebug and PhpStorm (Part 1)

Debug Magento 2 with Xdebug and PhpStorm
Debug Magento 2 with Xdebug and PhpStorm

Debug Magento 2: Introduction

Debugging is critical in the development process of any system. Some developers like to log things out, some like to print it right on the screen, but most prefer run-time debugging. Predictably, correctly debug your application will save you tons of time and effort. To debug Magento 2 code, you can use either XDebug or Zend Debug. In this article together we will try to install and config Xdebug, since it is more popular and easier to use. Also note that the IDE we use in this article is PhpStorm.

Ready? Let’s start with the most important thing: Install XDebug.

Install XDebug

From now on we assume you have your web server running Ubuntu locally on /var/www/html/. First you have to put a file named info.php there, with the content:




Then go to, the following screen should display:

A sample Phpinfo page
A sample Phpinfo page

Now to install xdebug, open terminal and type in the following command:

sudo apt-get install php5-xdebug

Here you have your Xdebug installed. However we need to add some config script to setup Xdebug locally. Go check your info.php again, look for this line where you can get the php.ini file location

Find your php.ini path
Find your php.ini path

Go there and paste the following code into the end of the file










One thing worth mentioning is the zend_extension variable. The number might change depending on your machine. If you are running on php 7 then it would be /usr/lib/php7/20131226/

You will need to restart apache  to apply the changes:

Sudo service apache2 restart

Now take a look again at phpinfo, if you can see this part then it is configured correctly

Your Xdebug configuration
Your Xdebug configuration

Setup XDebug with PhpStorm

In order to use Xdebug to debug Magento 2, you have to setup it with your IDE (in our case it is PhpStorm). In PhpStorm windows, you need to go to File -> Settings -> Languages & Frameworks -> PHP and set the CLI interpreter

Set correct CLI Interpreter for Php
Set correct CLI Interpreter for Php

Then go to Servers and set up a debug server. Additionally, you can set up several ones if you want.

Setup Test Server
Setup Test Server

Save the config, then go to Run -> Debug Configuration and add a PHP Web Application debug config.

Setup Magento Application that you want to debug
Setup Magento Application that you want to debug

Then look at the upper right corner, you will see the debug listener is now clickable. It means your PhpStorm is ready to listen to debug signals

PhpStorm debug tab
PhpStorm debug tab

Now there are two ways that you can get started with debugging, first way is clicking on the green bug, then a new browser page will load up and you can start your debugging from that point

Alternatively, you can install xdebug helper extensions for browsers, Chrome and Firefox, so that it can send debugging signal out to PhpStorm to catch it.

With Chrome: Xdebug helper

With Firefox: The easiest Xdebug

Have you finished all these setup with ease? Great job! In the second part we will discuss more about how to debug Magento 2 code effectively with Xdebug and PhpStorm. See you soon!


Don't want to miss out on our latest insights?
Subscribe to our newsletter.

Disclaimer: By clicking submit, you agree to share your information with us to receive news, announcements, and resources when they are available.