The State of Node Debugging

Node debugging on Node 7 and 8

Rather than using node-inspector on Node 7 and 8 you can now use chrome dev tools debugger with a special flag (--inspect), then navigating to “about://inspect” in chrome. It looks something like this:

# this opens the process up for debugging
node --inspect server.js

# this breaks execution immediately
node --inspect-brk server.js

Unfortunately, this feature does not work in the current LTS version of Node.js (version 6.11.0). Paul Irish did a great presentation at Google IO 2017 describing the new features in Dev tools that were added to support Node.js debugging.

You can quit using node-inspector

Ultimately you can now stop using node-inspector, if you are able to upgrade to the latest version of Node. The Node Inspector is a heavy dependency to keep in your dependency tree and you should get rid of it if you can, additionally the featureset that the node-inspector project can offer has already fallen behind what chrome dev tools provides.

Written on April 16, 2017