IntelliJ IDEA 2018.1 Help

Debugging JavaScript Deployed to a Remote Server

Before you start, configure the built-in debugger as described in Configuring JavaScript Debugger. To use the Live Edit functionality and view the changes in your HTML and CSS in the browser on the fly, install the JetBrains IDE Support Chrome extension.

Find more in Live Edit in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

What is a remote web server?

In IntelliJ IDEA, any server with the document root outside the current project is called remote. This server may be actually running on a physically remote host or on your machine.

For example, if your project is in C:/IntelliJ IDEAProjects/MyProject and the web server document root is C:/XAMPP/htdocs, for IntelliJ IDEA this web server is remote.

How do I synchronize my application sources on the server with their local copies in my IntelliJ IDEA project?

To debug an application on a remote web server, you need to have the copies of its sources in a IntelliJ IDEA project. To synchronize local and remote sources, create a deployment configuration as described in Creating a Remote Server Configuration and Configuring Synchronization with a Web Server.

Debugging an application on a remote server

  1. Set the breakpoints in the JavaScript code, as required.
  2. Create a debug configuration of the type JavaScript Debug:
    From the main menu, choose Run | Edit Configuration, then in the Edit Configurations dialog, click add on the toolbar and select JavaScript Debug from the pop-up list.
  3. In the Run/Debug Configuration: JavaScript Debug dialog that opens, specify the URL address at which the application is running. This URL address should be a concatenation of the Web server root URL and the path to the HTML file relative to the web server document root in accordance with server access configuration, see Configuring Synchronization with a Web Server. Click OK to save the configuration settings.
  4. Choose the newly created configuration in the Select run/debug configuration drop-down list on the toolbar and click Debug debug. The HTML file specified in the run configuration opens in the chosen browser and the Debug Tool Window appears.
  5. In the Debug tool window, proceed as usual: step through the program, stop and resume the program execution, examine it when suspended, view actual HTML DOM, etc.


Suppose you have a simple application that consists of an index.html file and a MyJavaScript.js file, where index.html references MyJavaScript.js. Let's now deploy our simple application to a local web server, see Deploying your application. In this example it is Apache:


When using a local web server, such as Nginx or Apache, as in our example, or the web server is on a remote host, you need to create a Run/Debug configuration to start the JavaScript debugger. To do that, click the drop-down list at the upper right-hand corner of the IntelliJ IDEA window and choose Edit Configurations. Alternatively, choose Run | Edit Configurations from the main menu:

In the Run/Debug Configurations dialog that opens, click add and choose JavaScript Debug from the list:
ws quick start debug external server 2
Specify the URL you are running your application at:
ws quick start debug external server 3
In our example, the local project structure and file structure on the server are the same so no mappings are required.

Now we can start debugging: choose the new run/debug configuration from the drop-down list in the upper right-hand corner of the IntelliJ IDEA window, and then click debug to the right of the list:

ws quick start debug external server 4

Configuring mappings

Mappings set correspondence between files on a web server and their local copies.

When do I need mappings?

  • When your application is deployed and running on a remote web server.
  • When you have defined several resource root folders in addition to the project root.

In most cases, IntelliJ IDEA sets path mappings automatically by reusing mappings from the deployment configuration. If your application structure is complicated, additional manual configuration is required.

To configure mappings:

  1. Create a debug configuration of the type JavaScript Debug as described in Debugging an application.
  2. In the Remote URLs of local files area, map the files and folders to URL addresses of files and folders on the server according to the currently used deployment configuration, see Mapping local folders to folders on the server and the URL addresses to access them.
Last modified: 24 July 2018

See Also