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It's recommended that you use Xdebug if you are managing your own PHP and web server installs. Zend Debugger comes bundled with Zend Server and is the recommended debugger in situations when you are developing on a Zend Server environment. It gets bundled with Zend Server, and can be turned on using the Zend Server configuration tools. 

This tutorial explains how to install Zend Debugger extension to your web server and prepare it to be used for debugging with PhpStorm IDE.

  1. Download the Zend Debugger package which corresponds to your operating system from
  2. Locate the (Linux, Mac OS X) or ZendDebugger.dll (Windows) file in the directory which corresponds to your version of PHP (e.g. 4.4.x, 5.0.x, 5.1.x, 5.2.x, 5.3.x).
  3. Copy the file to your Web server in a location that is accessible by the Web server.
  4. Add the following lines at the end of your php.ini file:

    The value of the 'zend_debugger.allow_hosts' parameter is the IPs of your machine to connect to the server debugger. It could be a comma-separated list of IPs in the format X.X.X.X (e.g. You can also use a net mask to denote 'wild card' IP addresses(e.g. would include all IP addresses with the prefix 192.168.2)


    Please note that non thread-safe Zend Debugger extension should be used with non thread-safe Windows binary, and thread-safe Zend Debugger extension should be used with thread-safe Windows binary.
    For a thread-safe Windows binary use the 'zend_extension_ts' parameter instead of 'zend_extension'.

  5. Restart your Web server.
  6. Check your installation:
    1. Create a file with the following content:
    2. Open a page corresponds to this file and check phpinfo() output. It should contain Zend Debugger section:

You can find more detailed instruction in the official installation guide.

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