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Debug Builds from the Command Line with Longhorn 4074

Tuesday 1 June, 2004, 04:32 PM

There is no supported way of using Visual Studio .NET to build programs for the WinHEC build (4074) of Longhorn. There are a few hacks suggested out on the Internet showing how to cajole an extant version of Whidbey/VS.NET 2005 into running on build 4074, but since the .NET Framework versions don't match, it seems like a bit of a fragile thing to do. So I'm sticking with the command line for now, using my editor of choice: COPY CON.

Fortunately, msbuild is quite happy to read .csproj files, so being VS.NET-deprived is merely a major inconvenience, rather than a showstopper.

One thing that wasn't immediately obvious to me was how to do debug builds - if you just run msbuild with no parameters it'll produce a release build. And unlike previous SDKs for Windows, there isn't a separate Debug and Release/Retail command prompt. (The SDK and DDK have usually given you two shortcuts, each launching command prompt windows set up to build applications, one configured to produce a debug build, the other a release build.)

I'm sure this is written somewhere really obvious in the documentation, but I didn't see it for one reason or another. So if, like me, you were wondering how to do this, and unlike me, have come across this blog entry (which obviously wasn't here until I wrote this...) here's the trick for one-off builds:

msbuild /property:Config=Debug

Of course it soon gets old typing that every time. Fortunately, the build files will happily read the chosen configuration out of the environment. So all you really need to do is the rather obvious:

set CONFIG=Debug

just once, and then you can do the usual:

msbuild

thereafter.

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