How to Install Xdebug for PHPStorm: 11 Quick Steps

August 29th, 2017

Web // Dmitry

Many of us have faced this problem. We have been writing codes in PHP using Notepad++ for years. We have tested many popular web-platform installers, but it feels like there is something new to try. We start looking for an innovative PHPStorm debugger to meet our expectations. That is when developers start looking for an updated, improved, and convenient code-writing & testing environment. To increase the opportunities, the best idea is to set up PHPStorm with XDebug.

You may wonder whether it is possible to install and use PHPStorm in case you have some gaps in the knowledge of underlying systems. No matter what your level of skills is, you can still manage to handle this issue using several simple steps.

Please keep in mind that further in this post, we will cover the issues regarding PHP5 version. Perhaps, you have PHP7 or PHP4 or phpX.Y.

First of all, it is necessary to realize the importance of different debuggers and you will probably appreciate the efficiency of PHP debugger PHPStorm. Any good debugger makes it possible to find out the source of any code’s problem by having a deeper insight. Those who deal with legacy projects would discover that debuggers are extremely useful in detecting and fixing bugs. If the person works on the client side, his or her internet browser offers all required instruments to dig deeper than console.log () dispersed in a semi-random manner in the source code. Still, many developers who used to configure the workplace while implementing PHP Symfony2 or similar framework projects found it pretty hard. It was especially noticeable when using a Vagrant virtual machine.

Having a problem like, “PHPStorm debugger not installed”? We did our best to find the most updated solution to the installation process of PHPStorm.

Learn How to Install Xdebug for PHPStorm without Any Problems

Most of the users found this innovative approach very convenient and fast.

  1. Check whether the PHP set up has php.ini in it. If not, give another title to the php.ini-development in php.ini.
  2. Get this quick and helpful wizard: The instructions should be strictly followed. That is how you obtain Xdebug.
  3. Find a php.ini line. Copy and paste this phrase: xdebug.remote_enable=1
  4. Select PhpStorm's settings to manage them a bit. Move to the PHP section. Pick the directory with PHP mentioned in it. Find the 'Debugger: Xdebug x.x.x' line.
  5. Are you using Opera, GoogleChrome, or something else? Depending on your browser, select the extension to set up (the site is
  6. Go to the main menu. Pick Run and Edit configurations to come up with a fresh configuration named 'PHP Built-in Web Server.' Highlight the document root to the chosen directory – make sure to remember the port number!
  7. Most of the browsers follow the same scheme. Turn on the extension pressing. Choose the Debug option in the omnibox.
  8. Come back to the PHP Storm menu. Activate Run à Start Listen for PHP Debug connections.'
  9. Decide on the breaking point in the PHPStorm code.
  10. Activate the configurations from stage six.
  11. Return to your preferred browser’s options. Choose localhost:port (once again, connected with phase six). Do you remember that number? Once the debugger stops on the target breaking point, begin to eliminate the code errors (if any).

This way, any developer can easily start using Xdebug for PHPStorm remotely. Let’s discuss some other issues one must consider when trying to install the recommended debugger.

Before installing and launching the given debugger, make sure you have a PHP development environment configured with Xdebug. Thus, this extension must be already set up as well. It is important to recognize the PHP version you wish to use and whether the safe option is thread or non-thread. Ensure putting on the xdebug.remote_enable setting to 1 in php.ini file. In other words, if you wish Xdebug for PHPStorm work properly, take care of Xdebug installation too.

After the successful setup process, the user can apply the Validating Your Debugging Configuration instrument to approve that Xdebug and PHPStorm configurations are compatible.

When checking the way the debugger works, pay attention to the $array. In case it possesses one less component due to the array_pop operation conducted during the test procedure, the breakpoints were chosen before function as they should. This is the best way to ensure Xdebug working properly.

It can only seem that Xdebug, PHPStorm, or both combined are complicated to set up and use. However, it is easier than even non-professionals expected. If you plan to apply it through Vagrant, these simple steps will work. If you wish to integrate Xdebug into other integrated development environment (IDE), you won’t face any complexities. Mind that PHPStorm offers PHPStorm keyboard shortcuts for the majority of its actions, being a keyboard-based IDE. Remember that it is important to change only some PHPStorm parts.

Author: Dmitry

Dmitry is passionate about backend development, with a specialization in PHP/Symfony. Currently, he is working on a high-load custom product in the field of AdTech/MarTech, developing an affiliate marketing system.

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