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Debugging Node.js apps with Chrome DevTools debugger

Published April 12, 2024Last updated May 16, 20241 min read

Debugging with a debugger and breakpoints is recommended rather than using console logs. Chrome provides a built-in debugger for JavaScript-based apps.

This post covers configuring and running a debugger for various Node.js apps in Chrome DevTools.

Prerequisites

  • Google Chrome installed

  • Node.js app bootstrapped

Setup

Open chrome://inspect, click Open dedicated DevTools for Node and open the Connection tab. You should see a list of network endpoints for debugging.

Run node --inspect-brk app.js to start the debugger, it will log the debugger network. Choose the network in Chrome to open the debugger in Chrome DevTools.

Debugging basics

The variables tab shows local and global variables during debugging.

The step over next function call option goes to the following statement in the codebase, while the step into next function call option goes deeper into the current statement.

Add logs in the debug console via logpoints by selecting the specific part of the codebase so it logs when the selected codebase executes.

Boilerplate

Here is the link to the boilerplate I use for the development.