The Microchip Debugger (MDB) in MPLAB® X IDE

Last modified by Microchip on 2024/02/06 14:22


Microchip Debugger is a command line utility used to interact with Microchip's debug tools, both hardware (MPLAB® REAL ICE™, MPLAB ICD 3, PICkit™ 3) and software (MPLAB-SIM Simulator).

MDB, modeled after the popular open-source GNU debugger (GDB), is a utility that provides command line access and scripting capabilities for the integrated debugger used by MPLAB X IDE. Most typical debugging and programming activities may be performed interactively on the command line, but the real power lies in the ability to write scripts to control an automated testing or programming process.

MDB is installed along with MPLAB X IDE.

Key Features

  • Provides access to Microchip debuggers from a terminal or console
  • Faster than the IDE for some projects
  • Can be run from scripts to automate repetitive tasks
  • May be invoked from a script (execute/call or mdb.bat)
  • Uses a syntax similar to the GNU debugger (GDB)
  • Special commands synchronize the debugger and MDB script reader
  • Stimulus Control Language (SCL) files can be loaded using the stim command
  • Core jar (Java) files enable the creation of custom MDB interfaces


Download the User's guide or access the User's guide online.