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Eclipse Java Development User Guide
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Managing conditional breakpoints

A conditional expression can be applied to a line breakpoint such that the breakpoint suspends execution of a thread in one of these cases:

  • when the result of the expression is true
  • when the result of the expression changes

A conditional expression can contain arbitrary Java code and may contain more than one statement, allowing breakpoint conditions to implement features like tracing. For example, a condition can execute a print statement and then return a hard coded value to never suspend ("System.out.println(...); return false;").

To set a condition on a breakpoint:

  1. Find the breakpoint to which an enabling condition is to be applied (in the Breakpoints View or in the editor marker bar).
  2. From the breakpoint's pop-up menu, select Breakpoint Properties... .  The Breakpoint properties dialog will open.
  3. In the properties dialog, check the Enable Condition checkbox. 
  4. In the Condition field enter the expression for the breakpoint condition.
  5. Do one of the following:
    • If you want the breakpoint to stop every time the condition evaluates to true, select the condition is 'true' option.  The expression provided must be a boolean expression.
    • If you want the breakpoint to stop only when the result of the condition changes, select the value of condition changes option.
  6. Select OK to close the dialog and commit the changes. While the breakpoint is enabled, thread execution suspends before that line of code is executed if the breakpoint condition evaluates to true

A conditional breakpoint has a question mark overlay on the breakpoint icon.

Related concepts
Java perspectives
Java editor

Related tasks
Adding breakpoints
Applying hit counts
Catching Java exceptions
Removing breakpoints
Setting method breakpoints
Stepping through the execution of a program

Related reference
Breakpoints view


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