How to Invoke MDB



Launch a terminal / command prompt window

In Windows, from the Start menu, select Accessories ▶ Command Prompt


In some versions of MPLAB X IDE you must run mdb from inside its directory:

Platform MDB Directory
Windows (32-bit) C:\Program Files\Microchip\MPLABX\mplab_ide\bin
Windows (64-bit) C:\Program Files (x86)\Microchip\MPLABX\mplab_ide\bin
Linux /opt/microchip/mplabx/mplab_ide/bin
Macintosh /Applications/microchip/mplabx/

cd directory_path_from_table_above

From the Windows command line, run the command:


From the Linux or Mac OSX command line, run the command:


When MDB is running, you should see its command prompt:


You can enter commands at the mdb prompt, or you can use mdb to execute scripts.

If you type help and hit Enter you should be presented with a list of available commands.


The list of classes of commands:

breakpoints -- Making program stop at certain points
data -- Examining/Changing data
deviceandtool -- Selecting debug tool and device
others -- Others
programming -- Programming device and its relative functions
running -- Running the program
stack -- Examining stack

Type "help" followed by a class name for a list of commands in that class.
Type "help" followed by command name for full documentation.

Add a command alias to simplify changing directories on the Windows command line

  • Create a file called C:\doskey.cmd with the following content:
    @echo off
    DOSKEY cdm=cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microchip\MPLABX\mplab_ide\bin"

  • Right click on your command prompt launcher and select Properties. Change the Target to the following:
    %windir%\system32\cmd.exe /K C:\doskey.cmd
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