Before you start
This tutorial demonstrates how to configure the PHP Development Tools (PDT) plug-in for Eclipse to debug your PHP scripts. It also introduces the perspectives you'll use (namely, PHP Debug) when taking closer looks at your PHP scripts.
After completing this tutorial, you'll be able to set up either XDebug — an open source project that allows you to debug executable scripts and scripts running on a Web server — or the Zend Debugger in Eclipse using the PDT project to develop PHP applications. You'll understand the various parts of the PDT project's PHP Debug perspective and learn how to set up, view, and work with breakpoints. You also learn how to inspect the values of variables as you are stepping through the code, as well as how to debug PHP Web applications on your local server so you can run through your PHP Web application with the debugger.
To get the most out of this tutorial, you should have done a bit of PHP development. But what matters more is that you've done software development in general. You'll understand the debugging concepts better if you're familiar with debugging any other language. I wrote this to be helpful to those who are fairly new to Eclipse, rather than to those who have been using Eclipse for a while.
To complete this tutorial, you need:
- Computer running Microsoft® Windows®, Mac OS X, or Linux®
- The examples of the php.ini file shown in this tutorial are for Mac OS X and Linux.
Because both debuggers require a configuration that tells PHP where the debugger
extensions are located, the only noticeable difference — if you're looking for
Windows examples — is the path to the debugger extension. Library names end in
.so. for Mac OS X and Linux and .dll for Windows; also, paths use a
forward slash (
/) instead of a backslash (
\) as a directory-separator character.
- PHP V5.x
- Linux users can install PHP using the software package system included in their
distribution. OS X, and Windows users can find PHP V5.x at PHP.net.
Note: The examples in this tutorial were written using PHP V5.2.5.
- Eclipse V3.3
- Again, Linux users have it easy: Eclipse is usually available through the package system included in their distribution. Everyone else can find the Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE) at the Eclipse downloads.
- Apache or Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) for serving Web applications
- You need a Web server installed to run the examples that demonstrate how to debug PHP Web pages on the server. However, if you're interested only in debugging PHP scripts that aren't Web pages, you won't need a Web server. For this tutorial, we have Apache V2 set up as the Web server. If you're using Windows and would rather use IIS, that works, too. This tutorial assumes you have the proper access to write to directories inside the document root of the Web server.
- Eclipse PHP Development Tools framework
- If you don't already have PHP Development Tools (PDT) installed, you may want to read ahead to the "Overview of the PDT project" section so you can decide whether you want to download and install PDT already bundled with the Zend Debugger. The Eclipse Foundation PDT/Installation wiki is brief, but helpful.
- Zend Studio Web Debugger
- Download a 30-day trial version of the Zend Studio Web Debugger.