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Setup Xdebug on WSL

How to setup xdebug in Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). Open your terminal and let's get cracking!

1. Update pecl
sudo pecl channel-update

2. Install xdebug
sudo pecl install xdebug

3. Find
cd /usr
find . -name
In my case it was /usr/lib/php/20180731/

4. Edit your php.ini
Edit the php.ini file for the php version you are using. I had to edit /etc/php/7.3/cli/php.ini but you may be using a different version. If you are unsure, you can find out by running php -i|grep 'php.ini' in the terminal. That should show you where to find you active php.ini file. Now add the following lines to the end of that file:


But make sure you enter the correct path to specified in step 3. Choose another port if you feel like it.

5. Setup VSCode
If you are using VSCode like I do, this last step is for you. Inside your project folder, check if you have a folder .vscode that contains launch.json. If not, click the run button on the left panel. Then click on "create a launch.json file" and select "PHP". In case your project is located in your windows file system instead of your WSL file system - which is the case for me - make sure you add pathMappings.

"pathMappings": {

In my case my launch.json looks like this:

  "version": "0.2.0",
      "name": "Listen for XDebug on WSL",
      "type": "php",
      "request": "launch",
      "pathMappings": {
        "/mnt/c/infi": "C:\\Infi"
      "port": 9000

Make sure the port matches with the one you specified in step 4. Happy debugging!

Top comments (2)

jmcelreavey profile image
John McElreavey

You sir are a legend, I spent ages trying to figure this out. PHPStorm was working fine but VSCode wasn't adding:

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Fixed everything!

troyclose profile image
Troy Close

Thanks for the info. I didn't know about "channel-update" before trying to install the package. Also there seems to be a bug in PEAR/REST.php on line 187 which I was getting as well. I commented out the offending line as a temp fix to install, but need to do a followup and put in a decent patch. If anyone else gets this error, there is a post on SO

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