Getting PhpStorm ready for Xdebug 2.6

Posted on by Anton Monakov

When it comes to PHP debugging, Xdebug is the de-facto standard. With the 2.6 version released last week, it’s a good time to take a look at the new features. And since Xdebug has always been tightly integrated with PhpStorm, we’ve been preparing ourselves for it, too.

PHP Language Support

First and foremost, be warned: Xdebug 2.6 drops support for PHP 5.5 and 5.6. Only PHP 7 and later is now supported.

If you haven’t upgraded your project yet, this could be another reason for you to consider doing so. PhpStorm will assist you with the task by highlighting the language features which are no longer supported. You can also run the Language level inspection against the entire project scope to get the errors overview:


Escape sequences handling

In earlier PhpStorm and Xdebug versions, you may have come across situations in which the property names had been encoded or parsed incorrectly. As a result, such properties’ values could not be retrieved by the debugger, and all you received instead was an error message.

PhpStorm 2017.3 and Xdebug 2.6 have improvements and fixes in this area. Specifically, the issue with handling ‘\0’ characters has been dealt with:


The properties containing backslashes and quotation marks in their names are now also retrieved as expected:


PHP Notices and Warnings reporting

With Xdebug 2.6, the DBGP debugging protocol can pass notification data to IDEs. Specifically, the PHP Notice and Warning errors are now passed from the debugger engine to PhpStorm. When a PHP notice or a warning is issued, it will now be displayed in the PhpStorm debugging Console. You can instantly jump to the corresponding line in your source code by clicking the link in the message:

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 12.31.07

We hope that these additions will make debugging a more pleasing experience. In case you are totally new to debugging in PhpStorm, refer to the Ultimate Guide and start shaking those bugs off!

Your JetBrains PhpStorm Team
The Drive to Develop

Comments below can no longer be edited.

2 Responses to Getting PhpStorm ready for Xdebug 2.6

  1. Brian Ronald says:

    February 22, 2018

    Can you point me to directions on performing a Language level inspection? I’ve looked all over and can’t find anything like this in PhpStorm. — Scratch that, look under PHP/General/Language Level, and it will be based on your project’s PHP langauge level defined under your project’s Langauges and Frameworks settings.

  2. Clinton Gallagher says:

    February 23, 2018

    PhpStorm has made my life a living hell when it comes to debugging. I’m using VVV/Vagrant with an Ubuntu box in a Virtual Machine running on Windows 10.

    That remote server scenario is often typical for many developers working with WordPress but configuring PhpStorm to debug WordPress code or any other sometestcode.php files in a WordPress site has been a hell of a let down as there are too many configurations to follow and at last count as I recall ~6 different ways to start the debugger from the IDE.

    So I turned to local and simple (so I thought) PHP file debugging and that too is not coming along very well either. I’ve read and watched many tuts and I’m just not htting the sweet spot.


Subscribe for updates