List of Top PHP Debugging Tool

By: Sunil Kumar |  In: PHP  |  Last Updated: 2017/10/12

PHP is most popular and widely used language for web development and it has some awesome testing tools , documentation tools and code editors but When we talk about debugging into PHP code var_dump(), print_r(), exit(), debug_backtrace() are our best friend.

while developer working on java or c# have powerful suit of debugging tools which are often integrated with IDE. But same is not in PHP.

When we are working on web development we are dealing with a lot of scripts running on the server and debugging through all these scripts manually is not an easy task.

1. Xdebug

Xdebug is a free and open source project by Derick Rethans and is probably one of the most useful PHP extensions.

It provides more than just basic debugging support, but also stack traces, profiling, code coverage, and so on.

Some useful features of Xdebug

  • With Xdebug you can add a breakpoint and pause the execution of your script to see the state of your application at that time. Most of the modern IDE support Xdebug.
  • It completely replaces echo(), print_r() or var_dump().

Also Read: Start debugging your code easily with XDebug and Sublime

2. Kint

At first glance, Kint is just a pretty replacement for var_dump(), print_r() and debug_backtrace() that offers a better debugging experience.

Kint Debugger makes debugging and dumping variables a more pleasant experience. Kint Debugger integrates seamlessly with the Debug Bar plugin.

Kint is a tool designed to present your debugging data in the best way possible.

Here is a list of useful features of Kint

  • You can disable all Kint output easily so that you can easily debug on the live environment.
  • The variable name and file + line where Kint was called from is displayed.
  • CLI is detected and formatted for automatically.
  • Variable content is displayed in the most informative way – and you never, ever miss anything. Kint guarantees you see every piece of physically available information about everything you are dumping.

3. Whoops

Whoops is a small library, available as a Composer package, that helps you handle errors and exceptions and handling and debugging them across your PHP projects very easily.

It’s an open source library with some great features.

  • Clean, compact, and tested code-base, with no extra dependencies
  • JSON & AJAX support
  • XML & SOAP support
  • Code view for all frames in a stack trace with line highlights

4. Krumo

Krumo is designed to assist developers in debugging variables by providing a simple block that can be configured to display all of the elements of a given array or object. It displays structured information about any PHP variable

  • Krumo is an alternative to PHP’s built-in print_r and var_dump functions.
  • Krumo will print out a stack of variables using CSS and DHTML in the way that is more human readable than the alternatives.

5. Pinba

Pinba is a MySQL plugin and storage engine. It works as a real-time monitoring server for PHP running MYSQL.

Pinba is not a debugging tool in common sense since you’re not supposed to do debugging on production servers, but its main goal is to help developers to monitor the performance of PHP scripts, locate bottlenecks in real-time and direct developers’ attention to the code that really needs it.

6. PHP DebugBar

The PHPDebugBar integrates easily in any projects and can display profiling data from any part of your application. It comes built-in with data collectors for standard PHP features and popular projects. It displays a debug bar in the browser with the information from a PHP script.

Some key features of Debugbar-

  • Easy to integrate with any project
  • Clean, fast and easy to use interface
  • Handles AJAX request
  • Save and re-open previous requests

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Sunil Kumar


I am the owner of acmeextension. I am a passionate writter and reader. I like writting technical stuff and simplifying complex stuff.
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