Xdebug for Debian9 remote Server


Creating this post because I have exhausted all resources.

I have a IntelliJ Ultimate installation, with the php plugins (these are two: "PHP  version 182.4892.16"  Vendor JetBrains


another plugin called "PHP latest version 0.4  Vendor Artem Khvastunov)

I have a virtual machine running debian9 (stretch), with apache version 2.4.25   and  php 7.0.33-0+deb9ul (cli)

My workstation running IntelliJ Ultimate and the debian VM are both on the same network (

I am a little bit lost on *what* do I have to put into the php.ini on my server.


I did install xdebug in the server via:  apt-get install php-xdebug.

On a phpinfo() page, I do have listed the Xdeb v2.5.0.

On that page, on the "Apache Environment" section, there is:


I also have a section in that page titled "xdebug", and it has:

version 2.5.0



Now I am lost.

What happens next?

When I run a php page (say, main.php)... what happens?

Do I have to enter into php.ini the IP address of my workstation?

Or should I go about it with the FireFox extension "Xdebug helper - by BrianGilbert_" ??


Thank you in advace.

Much appreciated!


And now it's working!

If I go to FireFox, I enable the Xdebug helper extension


Then, head on over to IntelliJ Ultimate, and enable the "Start Listening for PHP Debug Connections"


Then set a breakpoint in the middle of the code:

We then reload the page, and IntelliJ stops the execution on the breakpoint!



Thanks to everyone!!


What happens next?

The most common step next would be setting up your php.ini so that xdebug.remote_host was an address the VM could access your workstation. Please also don't forget to set xdebug.remote_enable to on.

After that,

Or should I go about it with the FireFox extension "Xdebug helper - by BrianGilbert_" ??

yes, I would recommend that, although I usually go with the Debug this page bookmarklet.


Please check this guide, it has answers to all your questions and more: https://www.jetbrains.com/help/phpstorm/debugging-with-phpstorm-ultimate-guide.html

Please also note that the Xdebug remote log is extremely helpful in troubleshooting debugging.



Thank you Eugene Morozov!

I am going to try this and report back.


Ok, I believe everything should be working.

In php.ini, I have:



The ip address is my current machine's address, and the "server" (which is running php) is

I can ping from one machine to the other just fine.


I opened up a phpinfo(); page, and under the "xdebug" section, it does state:

Version 2.5.0


These two values were automatically populated by the system.

So I *imagine* the "PHPSTORM" was reported back by my IntelliJ Ultimate edition.



The code is not hitting my breakpoints in the application.

If I set a simple page with "echo 'mark10';"  and put a breakpoint on that line... I never get a hit.


Am I missing something?


Ok, I started almost from zero the entire configuration.

I am "stuck" on this step, Section: Web server debugging (here is the parent link).


Once I have all the configuration ready, in IntelliJ Ultimate, I go to Run --> Web Server Debug Validation

A new window opens, where I select "Remote Web Server".

Screenshot is attached below.

The "Deployment server" is the same on selected/created as "Remote Host" for the project (and where I set the php.ini with the Xdebug settings).

The problem is the "Path to create a validation script:".

If I set it to " / ", I get the message: Please, configure remote path mapping for the validation directory.

If I set it to either " /var/www/html " OR TO " /var/www/html/app ", I get the message: Path to the validation directory is invalid.

Am I missing something?

(Note, I have apache set to have as Document Root: /var/www/html/app)


All help is greatly appreciated!


In fact, this is local address -- you could easily check this by clicking "..." button.

Hope it helps!


Thank you for the help Vasiliy Yur!

I saw that if I click on the elipsis "...", I do get the "file directory browser" for my *local* machine.

So I then selected a local directory, yet I am still getting a message:

"Please, configure remote path mapping for the validation directory."


Ok, getting some good progress.

I entered the "Remote Host" configuration.

Created a new mapping --> set a new directory in my local machine, then set the "/var/www/html/app" directory on the development server.

NOTE: In my apache config, the "server root" is /var/www/html/app  .

Now I am getting the screenshot below.

I believe the Information-Message is from the xdebug config on the server side.

Will update shortly...


I believe the message is telling me to change the xdebug.remote_host on the php.ini *in the server*.

Yet I do have it set like that.




I had a typo in php.ini

WRONG: xdebug_remote_host

CORRECT: xdebug.remote_host

Fixed, and now IntelliJ Ultimate is happy.

Onwards to the next speed-bump!


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