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Debugging Your Code

Deno supports the V8 Inspector Protocol used by Chrome, Edge and Node.js. This makes it possible to debug Deno programs using Chrome DevTools or other clients that support the protocol (for example VSCode).

To activate debugging capabilities run Deno with the --inspect, --inspect-wait or --inspect-brk flags.

--inspect Jump to heading

Using the --inspect flag will start your program with an inspector server which can be connected to with a client that supports the V8 Inspector Protocol, for example Chrome DevTools. Visit chrome://inspect in a Chromium derived browser to connect Deno to the inspector server. This allows you to inspect your code, add breakpoints, and step through your code.

deno run --inspect your_script.ts

⚠️ If you use the --inspect flag, the code will start executing immediately. If your program is short, you might not have enough time to connect the debugger before the program finishes execution. In such cases, try running with --inspect-wait or --inspect-brk flag instead, or add a timeout at the end of your code.

--inspect-wait Jump to heading

Before running the code, the --inspect-wait flag will pause execution until a debugger is attached.

deno run --inspect-wait your_script.ts

--inspect-brk Jump to heading

The --inspect-brk flag will pause execution on the first line of the program. This will freeze your program as soon as you connect, allowing you to add additional breakpoints or evaluate expressions before resuming execution. This is the most commonly used inspect flag. JetBrains and VSCode IDEs use this flag by default.

deno run --inspect-brk your_script.ts

Example with Chrome DevTools Jump to heading

Let's try debugging a program using Chrome Devtools. For this, we'll use file_server.ts from std, a static file server.

Use the --inspect-brk flag to break execution on the first line:

$ deno run --inspect-brk --allow-read --allow-net https://deno.land/std@0.224.0/http/file_server.ts
Debugger listening on ws://
Download https://deno.land/std@0.224.0/http/file_server.ts
Compile https://deno.land/std@0.224.0/http/file_server.ts

In a Chromium derived browser such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, open chrome://inspect and click Inspect next to target:


It might take a few seconds after opening the DevTools to load all modules.

DevTools opened

You might notice that DevTools pauses execution on the first line of _constants.ts instead of file_server.ts. This is expected behavior caused by the way ES modules are evaluated in JavaScript (_constants.ts is left-most, bottom-most dependency of file_server.ts so it is evaluated first).

At this point all source code is available in the DevTools, so let's open up file_server.ts and add a breakpoint there; go to "Sources" pane and expand the tree:

Open file_server.ts

Looking closely you'll find duplicate entries for each file; one written regularly and one in italics. The former is compiled source file (so in the case of .ts files it will be emitted JavaScript source), while the latter is a source map for the file.

Next, add a breakpoint in the listenAndServe method:

Break in file_server.ts

As soon as we've added the breakpoint, DevTools automatically opens up the source map file, which allows us step through the actual source code that includes types.

Now that we have our breakpoints set, we can resume the execution of our script so that we can inspect an incoming request. Hit the "Resume script execution" button to do so. You might even need to hit it twice!

Once our script is running, try send a request and inspect it in Devtools:


Break in request handling

At this point we can introspect the contents of the request and go step-by-step to debug the code.

VSCode Jump to heading

Deno can be debugged using VSCode. This is best done with help from the official vscode_deno extension. Documentation for this can be found here.

JetBrains IDEs Jump to heading

Note: make sure you have this Deno plugin installed and enabled in Preferences / Settings | Plugins. For more information, see this blog post.

You can debug Deno using your JetBrains IDE by right-clicking the file you want to debug and selecting the Debug 'Deno: <file name>' option.

Debug file

This will create a run/debug configuration with no permission flags set. If you want to configure them, open your run/debug configuration and add the required flags to the Command field.

--log-level=debug Jump to heading

If you're having trouble connecting to the inspector, you can use the --log-level=debug flag to get more information about what's happening. This will show you information like module resolution, network requests, and other permission checks.

deno run --inspect-brk --log-level=debug your_script.ts

--strace-ops Jump to heading

Deno ops are an RPC mechanism between JavaScript and Rust. They provide functionality like file I/O, networking, and timers to JavaScript. The --strace-ops flag will print out all ops that are being executed by Deno when a program is run along with their timings.

deno run --strace-ops your_script.ts

Each op should have a Dispatch and a Complete event. The time between these two events is the time taken to execute the op. This flag can be useful for performance profiling, debugging hanging programs, or understanding how Deno works under the hood.