Debugging code in IntelliJ for OpenMRS Jetty

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Yesterday, while working on OpenMRS I needed to debug some Java code. I could not easily find steps for debugging OpenMRS with IntelliJ on Google, so I decided to write down my findings.

I used IntelliJ's Remote JVM option to connect to OpenMRS Jetty server.

Step1: Configure Jetty to open a remote debugging port:

One needs to set the following in MAVEN_OPTS so that Jetty opens a remote debugging port for IntelliJ to connect to:

I updated the MAVEN_OPTS in my home directory's .zshrc file (since i use ZSH shell on Mac). You may need to set the MAVEN_OPTS variable appropriately for your environment (Windows/Linux/etc) so that it is correctly set, before starting Jetty on command line.

The value "51696" that I have mentioned above is the port where I want the debugger to run. The memory options have been set because Jetty gives an OutOfMemoryException with OpenMRS if the memory is insufficient (and by default, it seems to be insufficient - so you are better off setting the memory values too).

Now, start Jetty normally using "mvn jetty:run". You will notice the following line being printed by Jetty to indicate that debug port has been opened.

Listening for transport dt_socket at address: 51696

Step2: Configure IntelliJ to connect to the remote debugging port of Jetty:

In IntelliJ, go to "Run" menu, and select "Edit Configurations". Select the "Defaults" option on the left menu, and click on the "+" on the Right side, to create a new configuration. In that Select "Remote" option, and enter options as "localhost" and port as "51696" (same as the port number in step 1 above). Put "Name" as anything you like. I have set it as "OpenMRS Jetty".

OpenMRS Jetty Remote Debugger in IntelliJ IDE

That's it! Now you can debug using this "OpenMRS Jetty" configuration. On clicking "Debug" you should see the debugger connected to Jetty, and breakpoints will start working.

Note: If you want to perform Debugging on Eclipse, then basic process would be the same. Step1: No change. Step2: In Eclipse choose Remote JVM Debugging option (similar to IntelliJ).

There are other ways of debugging OpenMRS too, especially if you run Jetty from inside the IDE. But, for me, this method was simpler.

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