WebStorm 2016.1 Help

Run/Debug Configuration: Spy-js for Node.js

In this dialog box, create configurations for tracing Node.js applications using the Spy-js tool.

On this page:

Getting Access to the Run/Debug Configuration: Spy-js for Node.js Dialog Box

  1. Download and install Node.js because it is used by the Spy-js trace server.
  2. Make sure the Spy-js plugin is enabled. The plugin is bundled with WebStorm and activated by default. If the plugin is not activated, enable it on the Plugins page of the Settings / Preferences Dialog as described in Enabling and Disabling Plugins.

Spy-js for Node.js- Specific Configuration Settings

Node interpreter In this field, specify the NodeJS installation home. Type the path to the NodeJS executable file manually, or click the browseButton.png button and select the location in the dialog box, that opens.

With Spy-js, it is recommended to use Node.js version 0.10.24 or higher.

To enable tracing ECMAScript 6 scripts, use Node.js version 0.11.13 or higher and specify --harmony as a Node parameter.

Node parameters In this text box, type the NodeJS-specific command line options to be passed to the NodeJS executable file. For example, to enable tracing ECMAScript 6 scripts, specify --harmony as a Node parameter. Note that Node.js must be version 0.11.13 or higher.
Working directory In this field, specify the working directory of the application. All references in the starting NodeJS application file, for example, includes, will be resolved relative to this folder, unless such references use full paths.

By default, the field shows the project root folder. To change this predefined setting, choose the desired folder from the drop-down list, or type the path manually, or click the Browse button browseButton.png and select the location in the dialog box, that opens.

JavaScript file In this field, specify the full path to the file to start running the application from.

If you are going to trace CoffeeScript, specify the path to the generated JavaScript file. The file can be generated externally or through transpilation using file watchers. For more details, see Transpiling CoffeeScript to JavaScript.

Application parameters In this text box, type the NodeJS-specific arguments to be passed to the starting NodeJS application file through the process.argv array.
Environment variables In this field, specify the environment variables for the NodeJS executable file, if applicable. Click the Browse button browseButton.png to the right of the field and configure a list of variables in the Environment Variables dialog box, that opens:
  • To define a new variable, click the Add toolbar button add.png and specify the variable name and value.
  • To discard a variable definition, select it in the list and click the Delete toolbar button delete.png.
  • Click OK, when ready

The definitions of variables are displayed in the Environment variables read-only field with semicolons as separators. The acceptable variables are:

  • NODE_PATH: A :-separated list of directories prefixed to the module search path.
  • NODE_MODULE_CONTEXTS: Set to 1 to load modules in their own global contexts.
  • NODE_DISABLE_COLORS: Set to 1 to disable colors in the REPL.
Configuration file From this drop-down list, choose the file with the configuration settings to apply to the tracing session.

A configuration file is a JavaScript file with the extension .js or .conf.js that contains valid JavaScript code that meets the Spy-js configuration requirements. If WebStorm detects files with the extension .conf.js in the project, these files are displayed in the drop-down list.

Type the path to the configuration file manually or click the Browse button browseButton and choose the location in the dialog box that opens. Once specified, a configuration file is added to the drop-down list so you can get if next time from the list instead of specifying the path.


add Alt+Insert Click this button to add a new configuration to the list.
delete Alt+Delete Click this button to remove the selected configuration from the list.
copy Ctrl+D Click this button to create a copy of the selected configuration.
settings Edit defaultsClick this button to edit the default configuration templates. The defaults are used for newly created configurations.
arrowUp or arrowDown Alt+Up or Alt+Down Use these buttons to move the selected configuration or folder up and down in the list.

The order of configurations or folders in the list defines the order in which configurations appear in the Run/Debug drop-down list on the main toolbar.

sortAlphabetically Sort configurations Click this button to sort configurations in alphabetical order.

Common options

NameIn this text box, specify the name of the current run/debug configuration. This field does not appear for the default run/debug configurations.
Defaults This node in the left-hand pane of the dialog box contains the default run/debug configuration settings. Select the desired configuration to change its default settings in the right-hand pane. The defaults are applied to all newly created run/debug configurations.
Share Select this check box to make the run/debug configuration available to other team members.

The shared run/debug configurations are kept in separate xml files under .idea\runConfigurations folder, while the local run/debug configurations are kept in the .idea\workspace.xml.

This check box is not available when editing the run/debug configuration defaults.

Single instance onlyIf this check box is selected, this run/debug configuration cannot be launched more than once.

Every time a new run/debug configuration is launched, WebStorm checks the presence of the other instances of the same run/debug configuration, and displays a confirmation dialog box. If you click OK in the confirmation dialog box, the first instance of the runner will be stopped, and the next one will take its place.

This makes sense when the usage of certain resources can cause conflicts, or when launching two run/debug configurations of the same type consumes too much of the CPU and memory resources.

If this check box is not selected, it is possible to launch as many instances of the runner as required. So doing, each runner will start in its own tab of the Run tool window.

Before launchSpecify which tasks must be performed before applying the run/debug configuration. The specified tasks are performed in the order they appear in the list.
ItemKeyboard shortcutDescription
add Alt+Insert Click this icon to add a task to the list. Select the task to be added:
  • Run External tool. Select this option to run an application which is external to WebStorm. In the dialog that opens, select the application or applications that should be run. If the necessary application is not defined in WebStorm yet, add its definition. For more information, see Configuring Third-Party Tools and External Tools.
  • Run Another Configuration. Select this option to have another run/debug configuration executed. In the dialog that opens, select the configuration to run.

    This option is available only if you have already at least one run/debug configuration in the current project.

  • Run File Watchers. Select this option to have WebStorm apply all the currently active file watchers, see Using File Watchers for details.
  • Generate CoffeeScript Source Maps. Select this option to have the source maps for your CoffeeScript sources generated. In the dialog that opens, specify where your CoffeeScript source files are located. For more information, see CoffeeScript Support.
delete Alt+Delete Click this icon to remove the selected task from the list.
edit1 Enter Click this icon to edit the selected task. Make the necessary changes in the dialog that opens.
arrowUp Alt+Up Click this icon to move the selected task one line up in the list.
arrowDown Alt+Down Click this icon to move the selected task one line down in the list.
Show this page Select this check box to have the run/debug configuration settings shown prior to actually starting the run/debug configuration.
Active tool windowSelect this option if you want the Run/Debug tool windows to be activated automatically when you run/debug your application. This option is enabled by default.

See Also

Last modified: 11 July 2016