Name: [097] Rocky Bernstein
Member: 86 months
Authored: 3 videos

Introducing the pydb Debugger [ID:074] (1/1)

in series: Introducing the pydb Debugger

video tutorial by Rocky Bernstein, added 03/07

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The Extended Python Debugger (pydb) adds many features people have found missing in the stock Python debugger, pdb. It is probably the most comprehensive Python debugger that exists.

When possible, extensions are made by drawing on the concepts and command syntax of the GNU debugger, gdb. This short demo focuses on some of the aspects of the debugger that are missing in other Python debuggers.


See the wiki(PythonBernsteinPydbIntro) for a transcript of the video and the source for

Uploaded on 23rd October 2006, running time 13 minutes.

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22. Richard C. Vile, Jr. Sun, 01 Aug 2010 14:52

I was really looking for a python debugger integrated with ddd. But, I did enjoy your screencast - it has the feel of "real work" with false starts and on the fly problem solving, etc. Follow ups would be nice.

Thanks for the demo!

I only this morning became aware of pydb.

Some really great features here.

I'm curious how it will work without the use

of emacs's split window set-up, but I suppose

that I'll find out soon enough!

Cheers, and thank you again!!


20. Jim Smiley Fri, 09 Apr 2010 09:56

Good demo

18. John Graves Thu, 01 Apr 2010 12:57

Rocky - Thanks for your work on pydb and the screencast. One suggestion for possible improvement for the presentation: take things one simple step at a time as in this written tutorial ( ). I look forward to using pydb and have posted about it to my local Python User Group. Cheers, John in New Zealand

very nice demo, thank you!

16. anonymous Tue, 22 Dec 2009 18:03

Very good introduction.

I am going off the try it now.


Karsten Sorensen

15. anonymous Mon, 14 Dec 2009 13:25

Pydb is exactly what I was looking for - a gdb for Python. A big thanks for all your hardwork.



14. anonymous Sat, 12 Dec 2009 11:53

Nice intro to pydb. I will have to give this a try so I can add this interesting tool to my toolbox.

13. anonymous Wed, 07 Oct 2009 12:21

sufficient to be curious for the rest of this pydb debugger. I personally prefer the vi (vim) editor - not sure if i'll get same functionality - but inspired to look for that. Thanks

Thanks, I look forward to trying the debugger.

Anonymous 9: The tutorial shows commands that are in pydb that are not in pdb. Since this was made however a "warm" or exception type of restart has been added to pdb. (Pydb also has this and a "cold" or "execv" type of restart)

So in particular the things that are in pydb that are not in pdb are also available from inside ipython. .

Fairly recently, work was done to add pydb debugger commands "ipython" and "python". These allow going into those shells from inside the debugger. It's been a little while, but I recall adding a couple of ipython magic commands for such as for continuing execution. The future thrust is that rather than have a separate debugger command interface (based in the Python Cmd class), perhaps one should use the ipython (or normal interactive python) command interface augmented with ipython magic commands which act as debugger commands.

I think I read on the ipython mailing list that as part of the Google Summer of Code, the ipython internals will undergo a much needed cleanup. The ipython/pdb interaction is really ugly and hacked. The ipython/pydb interaction is a bit ugly too, but less so mostly because those parts where pydb could accomodate ipython it did. (This can't be said of the ipython/pdb interaction).

Prossibly after the summer revision of ipython, more along these lines will be done so the debugger output is more seamless with respect to listing source code, showing tracebacks and so on.

I don't know squat about pygtk so I can't comment here. However if pdb works for pygtk, I can't see why pydb can't. But if you are happy with pdb, I don't see a compelling reason to switch.

Finally, work on pydb is getting phased out. I started total rewrite of the debugger along a more solid architecture. See

10. anonymous Sun, 24 May 2009 11:46

Thanks for the pydb video - it was a quick way for me to see that it is just what I'm looking for to try out python (being really comfortable with gdb - it may even still have a little of the code I put in it back in the 80's!)

9. anonymous Sat, 23 May 2009 03:36

nice tutorial, thanks I'll try it out. I still don't have an idea of what it gives more than pdb debugger inside ipython. Does it work for debugging pygtk applications?

8. anonymous Thu, 07 May 2009 13:37

Thanks for the video - Very helpful :-)

7. anonymous Sun, 19 Apr 2009 01:15

I was looking for more of a polished presentation. Hit me with 10 features that are "most" of what people are looking for, without the mistakes -- like the meta H issue. Although, it was very thoughtful of you to include a video at all. Most SD don't even bother to do that. Thanks for the effort.

Best wishes!

6. anonymous Tue, 24 Mar 2009 18:24

Nice introduction, thanks!

Good work ! I'm love python ! ... 3 weeks programming and this tutorial is very useful. Thanks!

PS: I want more tutorial for python.

Very useful. Thanks!

The audio of the presentation should be more louder.

For the previous question, I see vim being no limitation for python debugger. Just do a google search for "python debugger + vim" and there you with the results.

Thanks for the question. This is not an easy one to address though.

My knowledge of vi is basically using "ESC :" and entering an "ed" command, e.g. $p or s/a/b/. :-) So I'm not versed enough in vi let alone vim to do know how such an interface could be done.

That said, I'm certainly not <b>opposed</b> to the idea should someone else be interested and I would be happy to share whatever knowledge I have on how the the Emacs pydb interaction works. (Not that I wrote that part -- at best I've made <b>slight</b> changes to half a dozen lines.)

A while back I noticed in another debugger I wrote, bashdb, that there was vim support for calling that debugger. I contacted the author about this in order to promote the project in the bashdb manual; I learned that the interaction was extremely basic. Not anywhere near what's commonly available in Emacs.

But speaking of bash support, this does bring to mind the following plan of attack might that be possible. Looking at <a href="">that project</a> you'll see that you <b>can</b> start ddd which interacts with pydb. So perhaps that's one way to go for those people who can use ddd.

Just wondered if you had a similar interface between pydb and vim where a cursor stepped through the source ?

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