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&

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.


8 Thoughts on “Debugging a PHP CLI script

  1. 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

  2. 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:

    Great tip!

  3. Pingback: PHP CLI remote debugging with PhpStorm & Zend Debugger - Richard Tuin's mindspinsRichard Tuin's mindspins

  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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