The lldb-dap tool (formerly lldb-vscode) is a command line tool that implements the Debug Adapter Protocol. It can be installed as an extension for Visual Studio Code and other IDEs supporting DAP. The protocol is easy to run remotely and also can allow other tools and IDEs to get a full featured debugger with a well defined protocol.

Local Installation for Visual Studio Code#

Installing the plug-in is very straightforward and involves just a few steps.


  • Install a modern version of node (e.g. v20.0.0).

  • On VS Code, execute the command Install 'code' command in PATH. You need to do it only once. This enables the command code in the PATH.

Packaging and installation#

cd /path/to/lldb/tools/lldb-dap
npm install
npm run package # This also compiles the extension.
npm run vscode-install

On VS Code, set the setting lldb-dap.executable-path to the path of your local build of lldb-dap.

And then you are ready!

Updating the extension#

Note: It’s not necessary to update the extension if there has been changes to lldb-dap. The extension needs to be updated only if the TypesScript code has changed.

Updating the extension is pretty much the same process as installing it from scratch. However, VS Code expects the version number of the upgraded extension to be greater than the previous one, otherwise the installation step might have no effect.

# Bump version in package.json
cd /path/to/lldb/tools/lldb-dap
npm install
npm run package
npm run vscode-install

Another way upgrade without bumping the extension version is to first uninstall the extension, then reload VS Code, and then install it again. This is an unfortunate limitation of the editor.

cd /path/to/lldb/tools/lldb-dap
npm run vscode-uninstall
# Then reload VS Code: reopen the IDE or execute the `Developer: Reload Window`
# command.
npm run package
npm run vscode-install

Deploying for Visual Studio Code#

The easiest way to deploy the extension for execution on other machines requires copying lldb-dap and its dependencies into a./bin subfolder and then create a standalone VSIX package.

cd /path/to/lldb/tools/lldb-dap
mkdir -p ./bin
cp /path/to/a/built/lldb-dap ./bin/
cp /path/to/a/built/liblldb.so ./bin/
npm run package

This will produce the file ./out/lldb-dap.vsix that can be distributed. In this type of installation, users don’t need to manually set the path to lldb-dap. The extension will automatically look for it in the ./bin subfolder.

Note: It’s not possible to use symlinks to lldb-dap, as the packaging tool forcefully performs a deep copy of all symlinks.

Note: It’s possible to use this kind flow for local installations, but it’s not recommended because updating lldb-dap requires rebuilding the extension.

Formatting the Typescript code#

This is also very simple, just run:

npm run format