Debugging is simply a term used to refer to making the device in question show each step of how it processes its tasks.
Remember when you were back in school (or maybe even currently in school!) and in Maths writing the answer to a question just wasn’t enough to get the full marks?
You had to write out the whole step-by-step guide of how you reached your answer. This is essentially what debugging is.
Your Switch/Router/device bares all and shows all the inner working of how exactly it processes that data.
This is very useful when troubleshooting an issue because we can try and identify the exact step at which the problem occurs.
However, it should be noted that because you are asking your device to ‘explain its answers’, debugging will be more taxing on the processor of the device. Exactly like how much longer and how much more effort is required in a test when you have to explain your answer, rather than just write the answer alone.
So use debugs for short periods of time and keep an eye on the CPU usage!
Note: On Cisco IOS devices, even though you may enable debugs, you won’t see it appear on your screen in real time. For us to enable this, we have to use the ‘terminal monitor’ command.