Debugging a PHP CLI script

I’m working on some code on the command line that I needed to debug.  It’s on a remote machine (well, a VM that doesn’t have a GUI) and so I needed to initiate a remote debugging session from the command line to go to my local copy of Zend Studio.  Thankfully, it’s pretty easy.  Since I need a place to store this command so I can copy and paste it onto the CLI I figured I’d simply blog about it.  Simply execute  this command prior to executing your PHP script.

export QUERY_STRING="start_debug=1&debug_stop=1&debug_fastfile=1&
debug_coverage=1&use_remote=1&send_sess_end=1&debug_session_id=2000&
debug_start_session=1&debug_port=10137&debug_host=192.168.0.254"

The only thing you will need to change is the debug_host setting and perhaps debug_port.  Run your CLI script and the debugger will attempt to connect to your local Zend Studio instance.  If you want to discontinue debugging you execute this command.

unset QUERY_STRING

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8 thoughts on “Debugging a PHP CLI script

  1. stm

    I use back tics in my export to use the ip that I’ve ssh’d in from as the debug host —

    debug_host=`expr “$SSH_CLIENT” : ‘(^[0-9.]*)’`

    or for xdebug

    remote_host=`expr “$SSH_CLIENT” : ‘(^[0-9.]*)’`

    also, if you use phpStorm, be sure to export a SERVER_NAME and REQUEST_URI if you want to do cli debugging

    1. kschroeder

      @stm Sure, if you want to be all professional about it 🙂

    2. kschroeder

      @stm Though, IIRC, the use of expr may not always work on all Linux distros as it’s not part of POSIX. Probably doesn’t matter much, though.

      1. stm

        @kschroeder there is probably a more POSIX way of doing it. it is a pretty simple regex

  2. rdohms

    I would suggest adding all that to a php-debug shell command that wraps the execution, makes it easier to fire it up. Like i did here: http://blog.rafaeldohms.com.br/2011/05/13/debugging-phpunit-tests-in-netbeans-with-xdebug/

    Great tip!

  3. […] to set up a remote debugging connection to your IDE. In his blog post, Kevin Schroeder explains how to do this. You can do this by running the following command, as copied from Kevin’s […]

  4. A very interesting article on debugging a PHP script. This is very helpful. Thank you for posting.

  5. Thanks for sharing this very informative post. It is very useful. Cheers!

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