debugging node.js with chrome

When writing node.js applications, one of the more difficult things that hasn’t been highlighted very well is how to debug node.js applications. How does one add a breakpoint? How do you step through code? Isn’t there some way to do this?

Approach 1: If you are an Eclipse kind of a developer
Joyent has documented an approach to use Eclipse and the Google Chrome Developer Tools plugin to add debugging capabilities to your node.js app.

Approach 2: node-inspector
There is an amazing node module called node-inspector which gives a web interface to node’s debugging abilities. It allows you to debug your node app while using the very familiar Google Chrome Developer Tools. This is my preferred method to debug node apps since I live in Sublime Text Editor.

I really like this approach because it’s lightweight for the developer. You run your debugging in a web browser in an interface that is very similar to debugging front end JavaScript code. The learning curve is low and it’s easy to get up and running.

There’s already a fantastic write up on how to do this, so I won’t repeat it here, instead go check out how to debug a nodejs app with chrome dev tools.