Debugging Node.js Applications

Debugging Node.js applications is an essential skill for any developer working with the platform. Node.js is a powerful tool for building scalable and efficient applications, but debugging issues can be a challenging task. In this article, we will go through some tips and techniques for debugging Node.js applications.

Console.log statements

One of the most common ways to debug Node.js applications is by adding console.log statements throughout your code. This technique can help you understand the flow of your application and identify issues that might be causing problems.

Debugging with VS Code

VS Code is a popular code editor that provides a built-in debugging tool for Node.js applications. This tool allows you to set breakpoints, inspect variables, and step through your code line by line.

To start debugging with VS Code, you need to add a debug configuration to your project’s launch.json file. Once you have configured your launch.json file, you can start debugging by clicking the Debug button in the sidebar and selecting your configuration.

Node.js debugger

Node.js has a built-in debugger that allows you to step through your code and inspect variables in real-time. To use the Node.js debugger, you need to start your application with the –inspect flag.

For example, to start a Node.js application with the debugger enabled, you can use the following command:

node --inspect server.js

Once your application is running with the debugger enabled, you can open the Chrome DevTools and navigate to the Node.js debugger panel. From there, you can set breakpoints, step through your code, and inspect variables.

Debugging with third-party tools

There are also many third-party tools available for debugging Node.js applications. Some popular tools include:

  • NDB: A debugger that integrates with the Chrome DevTools and provides a more streamlined debugging experience.
  • WebStorm: A powerful IDE that provides built-in debugging tools for Node.js applications.
  • Node Inspector: A debugger that provides a web-based interface for debugging Node.js applications.


Debugging Node.js applications is an essential skill for any developer working with the platform. By using console.log statements, debugging with VS Code, the Node.js debugger, and third-party tools, you can quickly identify and fix issues in your code. Remember to always test your code thoroughly and debug early and often to avoid more significant problems down the road.