Attaching a remote debugger Curity

Attaching a Remote Debugger

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In the process of developing plugins for the Curity Identity Server it might be useful to be able to debug the code and with that attach a remote debugger. This article outlines how to configure some of the more common Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) for remote debugging.

The Curity Identity Server

The Curity Identity Server needs to be started with the remote debugging configuration set in JAVA_OPTS. The easiest way to achieve this is to add the JAVA_OPTS command to the startup command:

JAVA_OPTS=-agentlib:jdwp=transport=dt_socket,server=y,suspend=n,address=5005 ./idsvr

However it would also be possible to set JAVA_OPTS more permanently with:

export JAVA_OPTS="$JAVA_OPTS -agentlib:jdwp=transport=dt_socket,server=y,suspend=n,address=5005"

Then start the Curity Identity Server by running idsvr/bin/./idsvr

Running in Docker

When running the Curity Identity Server in Docker there are two preferred options.

  1. Create a new image based on the official Curity Identity Server image with JAVA_OPTS set. Then run the container as usual.
FROM curity/idsvr:latest
ENV JAVA_OPTS="-agentlib:jdwp=transport=dt_socket,server=y,suspend=n,address=*:5005"
  1. Pass JAVA_OPTS as an environment variable in the docker run command:
docker run -it -e PASSWORD=Pa55w0rd! -e JAVA_OPTS='-agentlib:jdwp=transport=dt_socket,server=y,suspend=n,address=*:5005' -p 5005:5005 -p 6749:6749 -p 8443:8443

The Curity Identity Server 6.3 and earlier

For the Curity Identity Server 6.3 and earlier the address needs to be expresses as address=5005 when defining JAVA_OPTS in either the Dockerfile or on the docker run command. This is due to a change in Java 9 and later. The Curity Identity Server bundles Java 11 in version 6.4 and later.

Configure the IDE

Different IDEs will have different ways of configuring a remote debugger for a Java application. In all examples below the Curity Identity Server is assumed to be running on localhost.


From the Run menu, choose Edit Configurations -> Add new... -> Remote JVM Debug.

Give it a name, idsvr for example. Set the Host to localhost and the port to 5005 and click OK.

IntelliJ Remote Debug Config

When the Remote Debugger is created, run Debug and there will be an option to select what Remote Debugger to use, select idsvr.

Visual Studio Code

Go to View -> Run to open the Run view. Click the ⚙️ to open launch.json.

Code launch.json

Add the following to the configurations array:

"type": "java",
"name": "Debug (attach)",
"request": "attach",
"hostName": "localhost",
"port": 5005

After this configuration is saved there should be an option available in the Run and Debug drop-down menu named Debug (attach). Choose that option and click the green play button (or F5) to start debugging.

More details on installing the necessary plugins for Visual Studio Code are outlined in this Using VS Code to Debug Java Applications blog post


Go to Run -> Debug Configurations... -> Choose Remote Java Application and click the New Configuration button. Make sure the Connection Type is set to Standard (Socket Attach). Set the host to localhost and the port to 5005. Then click Debug to start debugging.

Eclipse Debug Configuration


Remote debugging is a very convenient tool to use in the process of developing plugins for the Curity Identity Server. It streamlines the development process and is far more useful than printing log statements.

The example screenshot below shows a break point triggered in IntelliJ with a remote debugger running. The FailedVerificationCredentialManagerEvent triggered and the bottom variables panel shows that the subjectid of the event is alice.

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