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Eclipse Java Development User Guide
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Remote Debugging

The client/server design of the Java debugger allows you to launch a Java program from computer on your network and debug it from the workstation running the platform.  This is particularly useful when you are developing a program for a device that cannot host the development platform.  It is also useful when debugging programs on dedicated machines such as web servers. 

Note:  To use remote debugging, you must be using a Java VM that supports this feature.

To debug a program remotely, you must be able to launch the program in debug mode on the remote machine so that it will wait for a connection from your debugger.  The specific technique for launching the program and connecting the debugger are VM-specific.  The basic steps are as follows:

  1. Ensure that you are building your Java program with available debug information.  (You page). 
  2. After you build your Java program, install it to the target computer.  This involves copying the .CLASS files or .JAR files to the appropriate location on the remote computer.
  3. Invoke the Java program on the remote computer using the appropriate VM arguments to specify debug mode and a communication port for the debugger.
  4. Start the debugger using a remote launch configuration and specify the address and port of the remote computer.

When setting up the remote launch configuration there are a few items to take note of:

  • You must ensure you enter the correct hostname i.e. the name of the remote computer where you are currently running your code. The hostname can also be the IP address of the remote machine, for example using instead of localhost .
  • The port number must be the number of the port on the remote machine .

Certain Java VMs support another way of starting a remote debug session. In this alternative connection type, the debugger is launched first. The debugger then waits and listens for the VM to connect to it. To debug this way, you must properly configure and launch a remote debug session, then launch the VM, specifying the location of your waiting debugger. For more information, see Using the remote Java application launch configuration.

Related tasks

Using the remote Java application launch configuration
Disconnecting from a VM


  Published under the terms of the Eclipse Public License Version 1.0 ("EPL") Design by Interspire