• On macOS, you should have PHP installed with Homebrew, by this you will have pecl installed as well.

Installing with PECL

pecl install xdebug
  • pecl will change the php.ini file to add a configuration line to load Xdebug, you can check it by running $ php -v on terminal, you should see information like below:

      PHP 7.4.20 (cli) (built: Jun  4 2021 03:32:07) ( NTS )
      Copyright (c) The PHP Group
      Zend Engine v3.4.0, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
          with Xdebug v3.0.4, Copyright (c) 2002-2021, by Derick Rethans
          with Zend OPcache v7.4.20, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies

Xdebug Installation Wizard

  • Create a simple test.php to print out phpinfo() and next step test.

      echo phpinfo() 

Go this website: , paste the full output of test.php or by php command $ php -i, and then click “Analyse my phpinfo() output”.

The output might be very long, there’s 1,052 lines in my case

You will see the Summary and the line says “You’re already running the latest Xdebug version”.

Follow the instruction, we need to compile this PHP extensions by download xdebug-3.0.4.tgz.

  • Check you have these prerequisites tool php and autoconf installed or not.

    # install if you don't have these
    brew list | grep -E 'php|autoconf'
  • Unpack the downloaded file: tar -xvzf xdebug-3.0.4.tgz
  • Run: cd xdebug-3.0.4
  • Run: phpize

    As part of its output it should show:

    Configuring for:
    Zend Module Api No:      20190902
    Zend Extension Api No:   320190902
  • Run: ./configure
  • Run: make
  • Run: cp modules/ /usr/local/lib/php/pecl/20190902
  • Update /usr/local/etc/php/7.4/php.ini

    You can locate your configuration file (php.ini) by run $ php -i | grep php.ini

    Append these configuration in the buttom of php.ini:

    ; Make sure this is the only line which assign `zend_extension` to ``
    zend_extension = /usr/local/lib/php/pecl/20190902/
    xdebug.client_host =
    xdebug.client_port = 9003
    xdebug.show_exception_trace = On
    xdebug.remote_handler = dbgp

VSCode setup

  • Install the adapter extension: PHP Debug

  • Configure launch.json, setup listening default port of Xdebug: 9003 config launch.json

  • Click launch and the debug toolbar will indicate (Listen for Xdebug)
  • Place breakpoint on wherever you want, and run the php code, the cursor focus will be automatically switched back to the line of code, then you can play with the code on “DEBUG CONSOLE”.
  • Disconnect debugger by the button on Debug toolbar (+F5), the display settings of debug toolbar could be found in vscode settings.

launching debugger

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