Setup Xdebug, MAMP and Netbeans for debugging

Setting up Xdebug equals pain.
It's one of those things that once it is working you shouldn't touch it.

Since v2, Xdebug is included so that's nice.

What you'll need

Update your PHP configuration

Find your active php.ini file and add the following at the bottom:


The first line should already be there correctly when using MAMP. Just uncomment it. If you want to use a custom IDE key you could also add it here, see the last (commented) line.

Restart your server, run a script which calls phpinfo() to see if Xdebug is working. Also check that your IDE key is what you want it to be, you'll need this later.

Install the Xdebug helper

Install the Xdebug helper browser extension.

Configure Netbeans

You need (as a minimum) version 7 because you want url based debugging and not just file based debugging.

Project setup

Add a new IDE project, configure path, php settings etc.
This is all straightforward but there's one crucial (and well hidden) setting:

In the 'run configuration' click 'Advanced'. As 'Debug URL' pick 'Do Not Open Web Browser'. This will enable you to start a debug session in Netbeans, go to your browser (with the extension) and trigger a path that will start debugging in Netbeans.

Netbeans project options

IDE setup

In your IDE options go to PHP > Debugging.
- Set the correct port (9000) - Set the session id (ide key) - Show requested urls (true) - Show debugger console (true)

Netbeans options


That's all, it should be working now. For me it went pretty smooth in the end. By documenting it I hope it will go smooth the next time too.