Koozali SME Server Debugging

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Server debugging

One issue that is often found to be problematic by new developers is debugging perl code on your SME server.

There are several ways to do this, both locally and remotely.

Enable template debugging

I happened to stumble over this in the templates.pm file

config set processtemplate Debug yes

This will add some debugging lines to /var/log/messages showing you the progress of the template expansion.

To disable either set the key to no or delete it.

Builtin Db routines

You can also use a couple of routines from db.pm

=item B<db_print>
 db_print(\%config, $key);
Prints out keys and raw values in the %config database.  If $key is
given it prints the $key and its raw value.  If no $key is given it
prints out all the keys and their raw values.
=item B<db_show>
 db_show(\%config, $key);
Prints out keys and their values in a human readable format.
If $key is given it prints out the $key, type and properties of that
$key.  Otherwise it prints out the key, type and properties for all
=item B<db_print_type>
 db_print_type(\%config, $key);
Prints out keys and their types in the %config database.
If $key is given, it prints out just that $key and its type.
Otherwise it prints out all the keys and their types.
=item B<db_print_prop>
 db_print_prop(\%config, $key);
 db_print_prop(\%config, $key, $property);
Prints out the properties (or a single $property) of the given $key in
the %config.

Locally using perl -d

There are a number of tutorials online.

To start you use:

perl -d myFile.pl

There are then a number of options you can use to control the debugger:

l 10 - list line 10
l get_pattern - find lines matching 'pattern'
b 22 - set breakpoint at line 22
s - step forward a line including all subroutines
n - step forward a line but jump through subroutines
c - continue to next break point
c 47 - continue to line 47
p $variable - print variable
q - quit

Remote debugging using an IDE

I have been using Komodo IDE courtesy of an Open Source Developers licence from Activestate

You can now get the app for free here but need a free account to use it:


The simplest mode to use with Komodo IDE is to just use the IDE as a debugger to step through code. Code on the remote server can be edited if you have sufficient permissions.


This will enable us to work with one desktop and one server. See the section on debug proxy for multiple connections.

Server setup

From your installed Komodo directory we need to copy a set of files to the server.

I actually copied the entire dbgp directory as there are other files in there that are useful including the debug proxy.

scp -r ~/komdoeditDirectory/lib/support/dbgp root@some.server://opt/

We should now have /opt/dbgp on the server

We now need to set some paths on the server:

export PERL5LIB=/opt/dbgp/perllib:$PERL5LIB
export PERLDB_OPTS=RemotePort=your.desktop.i.p:9020 async=1

If required you can also add a user identifier:

export DBGP_IDEKEY=jdoe

Note: As with local debugging, the Break Now function is disabled by default. Setting async=1 breaks at the first line - see the docs for more information

Single machine setup

On your desktop we need to set up the Listener for Komodo.

Set a specific port to 9020 (match the port above)
Set a user name as above

Now we need to start a program on the server. The debug code will then call Komodo.

The following forms should work

perl -d myFile.pl

Add -d to the header of your file e.g.

#!/usr/bin/perl -w -d

Then do

perl myFile.pl

Add -d to /sbin/e-smith/signal-event

Then do

signal-event some-event

You should get a popup from Komodo stating that a remote application has requested a debugger session. When you click yes you will get a second box stating that a mapping could not be opened. If we are just going to use Komodo as a debugger then we can answer no and you are then in debug mode allowing you to step through the code and view variables.

Mapping for editing

Should you wish to actually edit code as well you will need to set up some form of file mapping between the URI that the debugger sends and your 'Server' setup in Komodo

Note that without some of the esmith libraries installed locally you will get some warnings about being unable to locate certain files but these can safely be ignored.

In Komodo preferences you need to setup a Server/Remote Account for the remote server. e.g.

Remote Account : Test_v10
Type: SCP
Port: 2222
Username: root
Pass: somepass (or alternatively use SSH keys)

You can then set up a mapping similar to this:

URI : file://v9-test/
Maps To : scp://Test_v9/


URI : file://v9-test/etc/e-smith
Maps To : scp://Test_v9/etc/e-smith

You could be more specific about the directories should you require. Remember that you inherit the server permissions - you cannot save a file that is Read Only on the server !

Local file mapping

I seemed to have managed this using sshfs:

shfs -p 2222 root@ ~/Mounts/somedirectory

You can then access the files normally and it is easy to map the remote to the 'local' files.

Tidying up afterwards

Either reboot the server or use the following:

export PERL5LIB=/usr/local/lib64/perl5:/usr/local/share/perl5:/usr/lib64/perl5/vendor_perl:/usr/share/perl5/vendor_perl
export DBGP_IDEKEY=jdoe

Perl CGI Debugging

Debugging CGI programs on live production servers can seriously impair performance. You have been warned !!

Please see here for further details:


You would need a custom httpd.conf fragment. I used 46PerlDebug with these options (configure to suit)

SetEnv PERL5LIB "/opt/dbgp/perllib:$PERL5LIB"
SetEnv PERLDB_OPTS "RemotePort=192.168.x.x async=1"
SetEnv DBGP_IDEKEY "user"

You should now be able access your cgi-script and debug accordingly.

However, having tried it you cannot use this on server-manager panels because perl is setuid.

It could be used in other scenarios, but not server-manager.

Multiple machine debug proxy


Notes are here: http://docs.komodoide.com/Manual/debugger#debugging-programs-komodo-ide-only_remote-debugging_debugger-proxy

Perl with Visual Studio

Still working on this but we need Perl Language Server

 yum --enablerepo=* install gcc gcc-c++ perl-App-cpanminus perl-AnyEvent-AIO perl-Coro
 cpanm Class::Refresh
 cpanm ExtUtils::CBuilder
 cpanm Compiler::Lexer
 cpanm Hash::SafeKeys
 cpanm Perl::LanguageServer

PHP remote debugging

You can debug on your local workstation but it is extremely useful to be able to debug direct on the server environment. You may have one PHP version installed on your desktop but be running a different one on the server, and you may have a different server setup.

First you need to install the xdebug packages eg:

Important.png Note:
Xdebug 3 is not available for PHP versions less than 7.2 You will need php54-php-pecl-xdebug

yum install php74-php-pecl-xdebug3
yum install php80-php-pecl-xdebug3


yum install php*php-pecl-xdebug3

Next you need a small template fragment to enable remote debugging.

Xdebug 2
mkdir -p /etc/e-smith/templates-custom/etc/php.ini
nano /etc/e-smith/templates-custom/etc/php.ini/90XdebugSettings 

Add this:

; /etc/e-smith/templates-custom/etc/php.ini
xdebug.remote_enable                   = true
xdebug.remote_host                     =
xdebug.remote_port                     = 9001
xdebug.remote_handler                  = dbgp
xdebug.remote_log                      = /var/log/xdebug.log
xdebug.remote_mode                     = req
xdebug.max_nesting_level               = 5000

Xdebug 3

New syntax.

https://xdebug.org/docs/upgrade_guide https://xdebug.org/docs/all_settings

nano /etc/e-smith/templates-custom/etc/php.ini/90XdebugSettings

xdebug.start_with_request               = yes
xdebug.discover_client_host             = true
xdebug.client_host                      = localhost
xdebug.client_port                      = 9003
xdebug.idekey                           = users
xdebug.mode                             = debug
xdebug.log                              = /var/log/xdebug.log

Expand templates and restart services:

signal-event webapps-update

We should see Xdebug here

php74 -v
PHP 7.4.28 (cli) (built: Feb 15 2022 13:23:10) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.4.0, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
   with Zend OPcache v7.4.28, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies
   with Xdebug v2.9.8, Copyright (c) 2002-2020, by Derick Rethans

Or like this:

php80 -v

PHP 8.0.19 (cli) (built: May 10 2022 08:07:35) ( NTS gcc x86_64 ) Copyright (c) The PHP Group Zend Engine v4.0.19, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies

   with Zend OPcache v8.0.19, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies
   with Xdebug v3.1.5, Copyright (c) 2002-2022, by Derick Rethans

Komodo IDE

We can obtain the debug proxy from the installation, and move it to the server and then execute from there:

python /root/dbgp/bin/pydbgpproxy -d -i

Or alternatively grab the lastest xdebug client here:

mkdir /root/xdbg-proxy
cd /root/xdbg-proxy
curl https://xdebug.org/files/binaries/dbgpProxy -o dbgpProxy
chmod 0700 dbgpProxy
./dbgpProxy -s -i

In Komodo Go to Preferences, Debugger, Connections

Komodo should listen on: System provide port

Check 'I am running a debugger proxy' Listener address: IP.of.your.server:9003 Proxy key: individual key name for this desktop

Save and check that it connected to the debugger.

Now to debug a file:




Visual Studio/VS Codium

Sample launch.json

Note for newer versions of Xdebug the default port is now 9003 Pay careful attention to the path mapping,. This has to be absolutely correct or it will not work.

   // Use IntelliSense to learn about possible attributes.
   // Hover to view descriptions of existing attributes.
   // For more information, visit: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=830387
   "version": "0.2.0",
   "configurations": [
           "name"        : "vscphpdebug",
           "type"        : "php",
           "request"     : "launch",
            "stopOnEntry" : false,
           "proxy": {
           "enable" : true,
           "host" : "my.server.ip",
           "key" : "users", // As set in the server above
           "port": 9003,
           "allowMultipleSessions" : true
           "pathMappings": {
           "/home/e-smith/files/ibays/testbay/html/phptestcode": "${workspaceFolder}"

Now you can run start the PHP debugger in Codium so it connects the to the debug server, and then trigger it with a URL like this:


Editors and IDEs

Some Open Source Editors/IDEs

These all allow remote debugging.

Komodo-IDE https://www.activestate.com/products/komodo-ide

Komodo Debug tools: https://code.activestate.com/komodo/remotedebugging/

Eclipse https://www.eclipse.org/

Netbeans https://netbeans.org/

Codium https://itsfoss.com/vscodium/ - Use PHP Debug - felixfbecker.php-debug
For Codium I can't see a remote Perl debugger as yet.