Angular (v2+) debugging in VSCode

With the VSCode Extension “Debugger for Chrome” this should be a quick setup for most projects, especially if you are using angular-cli.

Open your project and install the “Debugger for Chrome” extension and reload VSCode. Once reloaded, open the command panel (Shift + Cmd + P) and type launch, before selecting “Debug: Open launch.json”. From the list select “Chrome” to generate the base “launch.json” for the Chrome debugger.

There are a couple of changes to be made to this base config, some to make the general Chrome debugging experience nicer and some to be able to debug your Angular project.

The first thing we do is update the “url” port number, for angular-cli the default port is 4200.

"url": "http://localhost:4200"

Now we need to tell the debugger that source maps are required.

"sourceMaps": true

You should now be able to build you application (angular-cli -> ng serve) then debug by starting the VSCode debugger. You may have issues connecting if you have Chrome session running with more than one tab.

To get round this we can have the debugger create a Chrome profile for the debugger on first start up and reuse the same profile on every debug session. The neatest way I have found to do this is to create a profile in the projects .vscode directory. Creating one here, rather than in TEMP or another location that you may reuse, gets round issues you may experience when switching between multiple projects.

To enable this, add the following line. Set the directory as you see fit.

"userDataDir": "${workspaceRoot}/.vscode/chrome/",

Now when the debugger starts, it will start a new Chrome session, great! You may notice that stopping and starting the debug session will cause Chrome to complain, easy fix, just add the following and you wont get the annoying prompts.

"runtimeArgs": [

Now we should have something that looks a little like this:


Happy debugging!