Debugging with xdebug and virtualbox

I'm struggling to get xdebug up and running. I have a ubuntu virtualbox running a lamp stack that I'm using as a local server. I'm able to load the site locally from that. PHPStorm project is set up on a mounted drive that points to /var/www on the local server. 


I'm trying to figure out what I need to do in order to get phpstorm to debug. I feel like this is pretty straightforward until I start digging through online tutorials. I feel like I need to set up a CLI Interperter, but I'm not sure which settings to use for that. Any help here would be greatly appreciated. 


Here's a starting point:

You would want to add a CLI interpreter under File | Settings | Languages & Frameworks | PHP that would point to php executable inside a Virtual Box VM


I've got the same problem Daniel Pagliarini, have you managed to sort this out? If yes, care to share the solution?  I've already spent an hour or two researching this, to no avail.


You might want to post some screenshots illustrating your current config - we'll be able to assist from there.


Thanks mate, I've finally managed to get it running.  There were a number of problems in the end compounding the issue. 

My main source of pain was that a local vbox-instance config isn't really covered clearly anywhere I could find, and quite a number of steps are required.   The online resources are a bit misleading sometimes.   And even when all bits are together it seems you have to kick it into gear with a dummy file in the root of the project - my breakpoint in an included file didn't want to work until I did this.   Took me half a day, sadly.


UPDATE: inserting xdebug_break(); in the php helped to stop! Also, xdebug.client_host should point to the machine where IDE is located, not the server.


Well, care to tell us what this file is or resources you found.  Now, I have the same or similar issue...  After I hit debug, seems like it connects; there are no errors.  However the exec never stops in PhpStorm wherever I set the breakpoints.  I have the checkboxes to stop at 1st line of php or whenever the source code is not avail. checked.

I'm on XDebug 3, php 7.4

Thank you



My working configuration (Virtualbox):

zend_extension = /usr/lib64/php/modules/
xdebug.remote_autostart = 1
xdebug.default_enable = 1
xdebug.remote_enable = 1
xdebug.remote_connect_back = 1
xdebug.remote_handler = dbgp
xdebug.overload_var_dump = 1
xdebug.show_exception_trace = 1
xdebug.remote_host =
xdebug.remote_port = 9000
xdebug.remote_mode = req
xdebug.idekey = "PHPSTORM"

In PHPSTORM should be configured DBGproxy with IDEKEY: PHPSTORM and port 9000

System: CentOS 7.9, php 7.3, xdebug 2.9.8


For anyone finding this answer, please bear in mind that there are significant changes between xdebug 2 and xdebug 3. There is upgrade guide provided by XDebug here:

My working config now, with phpStorm up to date and VirtualBox:

xdebug.client_host =
xdebug.client_port = 9003


zend_extension - should be matched to your php version that you use, mine is php-fpm 7.2

xdebug.client_host - is your local IP, xdebug installation should get this one right


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