Debugging NodeJS Applications

in Front-End Web Technologies

With the introduction of Microsoft Visual Studio Code, debugging of NodeJS application is now a quite simple procedure to follow

For example, suppose we have the following NodeJS super simple application

console.log("Hello NodeJS");

and we would like to debug it (although there is no much to debug)

Just open command line prompt. Switch to the directory containing your JavaScript file and type

code .

I am assuming that you already installed Visual Studio Code from here (very short installation).

Now, Visual Studio Code should open and display the list of files under the current directory

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Double click the app.js file, set a breakpoint using F9 and press F5

The debug settings will be opened

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If your main file is app.js (as it is for our sample) you don’t need to change anything. Just press F5 again and VSCode will break into your code

Pic3

That’s it !!!

It is quite amazing how simple you can start develop and debug applications with NodeJS. Think for a moment for the all steps that you need to complete in order to develop and debug application under the Java/.NET platforms

I think that Microsoft did quite an amazing job with VSCode.

BTW, VSCode is cross platform which means that the same process I just described above can be executed under Linux/Mac platforms. For example, go to Help | Toggle Developer Tools and you will see Chrome developer tools on the side

Pic4

If you are wondering what is going on here you should read more details at the Electron project web site

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