What is the right way to debug in iPython notebook?

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Question :

What is the right way to debug in iPython notebook?

As I know, %debug magic can do debug within one cell.

However, I have function calls across multiple cells.

For example,

In[1]: def fun1(a)
           def fun2(b)
               # I want to set a breakpoint for the following line #
               return do_some_thing_about(b)

       return fun2(a)

In[2]: import multiprocessing as mp
       results=pool.map(fun1, 1.0)

What I tried:

  1. I tried to set %debug in the first line of cell-1. But it enter into debug mode immediately, even before executing cell-2.

  2. I tried to add %debug in the line right before the code return do_some_thing_about(b). But then the code runs forever, never stops.

What is the right way to set a break point within the ipython notebook?

Asked By: Rex


Answer #1:

Use ipdb

Install it via

pip install ipdb


In[1]: def fun1(a):
   def fun2(a):
       import ipdb; ipdb.set_trace() # debugging starts here
       return do_some_thing_about(b)
   return fun2(a)
In[2]: fun1(1)

For executing line by line use n and for step into a function use s and to exit from debugging prompt use c.

For complete list of available commands: https://appletree.or.kr/quick_reference_cards/Python/Python%20Debugger%20Cheatsheet.pdf

Answered By: Tevin Joseph K O

Answer #2:

You can use ipdb inside jupyter with:

from IPython.core.debugger import Tracer; Tracer()()

Edit: the functions above are deprecated since IPython 5.1. This is the new approach:

from IPython.core.debugger import set_trace

Add set_trace() where you need a breakpoint. Type help for ipdb commands when the input field appears.

Answered By: Leopd

Answer #3:

Your return function is in line of def function(main function), you must give one tab to it.
And Use


instead of


to debug the whole cell not only line. Hope, maybe this will help you.

Answered By: Mohit Khurana

Answer #4:

In Python 3.7 you can use breakpoint() function. Just enter


wherever you would like runtime to stop and from there you can use the same pdb commands (r, c, n, …) or evaluate your variables.

Answered By: Vlad Bezden

Answer #5:

You can always add this in any cell:

import pdb; pdb.set_trace()

and the debugger will stop on that line. For example:

In[1]: def fun1(a):
           def fun2(a):
               import pdb; pdb.set_trace() # debugging starts here
           return fun2(a)

In[2]: fun1(1)
Answered By: krock

Answer #6:

After you get an error, in the next cell just run %debug and that’s it.

Answered By: Escachator

Answer #7:

Just type import pdb in jupyter notebook, and then use this cheatsheet to debug. It’s very convenient.

c –> continue, s –> step, b 12 –> set break point at line 12 and so on.

Some useful links:
Python Official Document on pdb, Python pdb debugger examples for better understanding how to use the debugger commands.

Some useful screenshots:
enter image description hereenter image description here

Answered By: flowera

Answer #8:

The %pdb magic command is good to use as well. Just say %pdb on and subsequently the pdb debugger will run on all exceptions, no matter how deep in the call stack. Very handy.

If you have a particular line that you want to debug, just raise an exception there (often you already are!) or use the %debug magic command that other folks have been suggesting.

Answered By: waterproof

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