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Debugging ClojureScript using dap-mode#

In this tutorial, we will cover the steps needed to debug ClojureScript in emacs using Google Chrome Debug Adapter. For general overview of Clojure features check Clojure Guide.


  • Emacs 26.1 or Emacs 27.1+ (recommended)
  • node.js (v6.0.0+, most recent version preferred)
  • npm (comes bundled with node.js) or yarn
  • Java SDK (Version 8+, Hotspot)
  • Google Chrome browser

Sample minimal configuration#

Here it is sample configuration based on the basic configuration in Clojure Guide.

(require 'package)
(add-to-list 'package-archives '("melpa" . "") t)

(setq package-selected-packages '(clojure-mode lsp-mode cider lsp-treemacs flycheck company dap-mode))

(when (cl-find-if-not #'package-installed-p package-selected-packages)
  (mapc #'package-install package-selected-packages))

(add-hook 'clojure-mode-hook 'lsp)
(add-hook 'clojurescript-mode-hook 'lsp)
(add-hook 'clojurec-mode-hook 'lsp)

(setq gc-cons-threshold (* 100 1024 1024)
      read-process-output-max (* 1024 1024)
      treemacs-space-between-root-nodes nil
      company-minimum-prefix-length 1
      lsp-lens-enable t
      lsp-signature-auto-activate nil)

(with-eval-after-load 'dap-mode
  (require 'dap-chrome))

Project creation#

For this recipe, we will use shadow-cljs.

  • Install npx
$ npm install -g npx
  • Create the sample project
    $ npx create-cljs-project dap-debug-app
    npx: installed 1 in 1.764s
    shadow-cljs - creating project: /home/yyoncho/Sources/dap-debug-app
    Creating: /home/yyoncho/Sources/dap-debug-app/package.json
    Creating: /home/yyoncho/Sources/dap-debug-app/shadow-cljs.edn
    Creating: /home/yyoncho/Sources/dap-debug-app/.gitignore
    Creating: /home/yyoncho/Sources/dap-debug-app/src/main
    Creating: /home/yyoncho/Sources/dap-debug-app/src/test
    Installing shadow-cljs in project.
    npm notice created a lockfile as package-lock.json. You should commit this file.
    + shadow-cljs@2.11.23
    added 100 packages from 106 contributors and audited 100 packages in 4.831s
    3 packages are looking for funding
      run `npm fund` for details
    found 0 vulnerabilities


Create and open file src/main/dap/frontend/app.cljs and make sure that clojure-lsp language server is up and running.

Add the following content:


(defn sum [a b]
  (+ a b))

(defn init []
  (sum 1 2)
  (println "Hello World"))

Inside the shadow-cljs.edn :builds section add

  {:target :browser
   :modules {:main {:init-fn}}

This config tells the compiler to call ( when the generated JS code is loaded. Since no :output-dir is configured the default public/js is used. You can start the development process by running:

$ npx shadow-cljs watch frontend
a few moments later ...
[:frontend] Build completed. (134 files, 35 compiled, 0 warnings, 5.80s)

Once the config is saved the server will automatically start and serve the content at http://localhost:8080. There is no need to restart shadow-cljs. When opening the above URL the Browser Console should show "Hello World".


The first step is install Google Chrome Debug Adapter via M-x dap-chrome-setup. This is one time operation.

Then create file launch.json with the following content:

    "version": "0.2.0",
    "configurations": [
            "type": "chrome",
            "request": "launch",
            "name": "DAP clojurescript",
            "url": "http://localhost:8080",
            "sourceMaps": true,
            "webRoot": "${workspaceFolder}",
            "sourceMapPathOverrides": {
                "*": "${workspaceFolder}/src/main/*"

Then open app.cljs and place some breakpoints either by clicking in the fringe or by doing M-x dap-breakpoint-toggle.

After doing that, you can do M-x dap-debug and select DAP clojurescript.

In case you intend to use Chromium, and you get a Error processing "launch": Error: Can't find Chrome - install it or set the "runtimeExecutable" field in the launch config, just add the full path to your Chromium executable. For instance, in a Debian system, it would be /usr/bin/chromium. In your launch.json, just add the following line:

        "runtimeExecutable": "/usr/bin/chromium"


Your editor should look like this:


You may find the complete project sources at

See also#

Last update: May 14, 2024