Get Free Audit

Developer Mode and Debugging in Magento 2

Feb 14, 2018

16690 Andrey Litvin

Developer Mode and Debugging in Magento 2

Every developer knows how it’s important to be good at debugging in Magento 2. In the article we consider the debug technique and suggest the steps you should follow to achieve the result. Hope you’ll find it useful.

In Magento 2 there are some application modes:

1. Default mode

The mode is enabled when no other mode is specified. In this mode:

  • Static files are generated dynamically in response to a request.
  • Static files are published to the pub/static directory for generating faster. If they are missing, it is generated from the basic templates (placed in vendor or app).
  • Errors are not displayed to users and stored in log files.

Partner With Us

Let's discuss how to grow your business. Get a Free Quote.
Talk to Andrey

2. Developer mode

The mode is used for developing. It is characterized by following:

  • Static files are generated and published to pub/static directory (as it is in the default mode). With that, they are always generated from basic templates.
  • Errors are displayed in the browser and can be seen by users.
  • Errors that get in var/reports are more detailed.

3. Production mode

The mode is considered to be the most optimized and suitable for server production. In this mode, all data is loaded from cache (if there is). For generating you need to use the deployment mechanism (in bin/Magento). In this mode:

  • Static files are stored in the cache only.
  • Errors are not displayed and stored in the log files.

In order to change the production mode for developer mode, you need to get bin/magento started with settings deploy:mode:set developer.

Then you need to delete the content of the following directories (except for .htaccess files and the file of pub/static/deployed_version.txt version):


For debugging in Magento 2 the following methods can be applied:

1. XDebug

In my opinion, the method is the best, but it can’t always be used. In order to apply it, you need to configure the environment (PHP/apache) and install some modules to connect it. On the Internet, you can find a lot of manuals how to install XDebug (for example, or which is from official Magento 2 documentation). The main advantage of the method is breakpoints installation and the ability to review and change variables at any time.

2. Developer mode

Here the developer mode is used in Magento 2. The mode allows displaying errors directly on the screen. It is convenient when debugging failed modules (blank page or 500 error). In order to make the mode enabled, you need to add the following to the directory using console:

Magento Audit

Take your online store to the next level with BelVG Magento Audit

Visit the page

3. Logs

In the method, log files are used. It directs when the program algorithm fails and what exactly goes wrong. The method is hidden from the user and doesn’t require displaying the data on the screen. Moreover, in Magento 2 there’s the \Psr\Log\LoggerInterface class that allows logging events and output variables to Magento log files. It has the following public methods:

The log method is more general.

$level – here the level of logging is set (all the constants are in the \Psr\Log\LogLevel class).
$message – the output message.
$context – the variables array for output which is converted to JSON.

magento development services

Magento Development Services

Take your online store to the next level with BelVG Magento development

Click to visit the page

All logs will be output to var/log/system.log, except for the debug method, as it stores logs to var/log/debug.log file.

For example,

Partner With Us Let's discuss how to grow your business. Get a Free Quote.
Talk to Andrey

4. Display Magento errors

Magento 2 automatically saves error messages to var/reports and doesn’t display on the screen. In order to get it displayed, you need to rename the local.xml.sample file placed in pub/errors into local.xml. The file contains error display settings. Here you can configure emailing error notifications.

The content of local.xml.sample:

5. Template path hints

The method outputs the names of all page blocks and classes.  In order to enable path hints, you need to go to Stores->Configuration->Advanced->Developer, then on the tab “Debug” choose “Enabled Template Path Hints for Storefront” and “Add Block Names to Hints”.

Developer Mode and Debugging in Magento 2_2

Looking for an expert Magento 2 development team? Turn to BelVG!

magento webdesign

Magento Webdesign

Take your online store to the next level with BelVG Magento Webdesign

Visit the page
Andrey Dubina
Partner With Us Looking for a partner to grow your business? We are the right company to bring your webstore to success. Talk to Andrey


  1. I read your blog, Really amazing blog about Debugging in Magento 2. Thanks for share it.

Post a new comment

BelVG Newsletter
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.
Email *