Tuesday 11 January 2011

How to run the Visual Studio Remote Debugger as a Service

I've previously outlined a fairly clunky approach to getting the VS remote debugger installed and configured to start automatically (e.g. in a dev environment); since writing that post, I've since unearthed the remote debugger wizard and the joys (and ease) of running it as a service.

Firstly, the remote debug wizard is not shipped with VS2010 so you'll need to download the rdbgsetup file appropriate for your environment. Run the installer and you'll be prompted to configure the remote debugger once installation completes.

The wizard will present you with the option to Run the "Visual Studio 2010 Remote Debugger" service; check the box and supply an account with Log on as a service rights (the wizard will complain if the account isn't configured correctly).

To grant Log on as a service rights, do this in Windows Server 2008:

  1. Administrative Tools –> Local Security Policy;
  2. Security Settings\Local Policies\User Rights Assignment;
  3. Open Log on a service and add the user you want to configure.

The wizard will also configure the firewall on the machine to be debugged so you'll need to tell it what kind of users you want to allow in.

Once complete, you'll find the Visual Studio 10 Remote Debugger service listed in the Services applet and configured to start automatically. It runs as msvmon100 in the Services tab of Windows Task Manager.

Finally, launch visual studio and connect to the target server (Tools –> Attach to Process or CTRL+ALT+P and enter the name of your server in the Qualifier box.

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  1. And this just worked for you without any hassle? I'm trying to setup the service in an HPC cluster for developers, but the only way I can get connection to work is via msvsmon set to no authentication mode. It won't even connect to the Service version in any mode.

    What did you use for a service account? Did you connect as the same account from visual studio?

  2. I think I found it. Disabling UAC seems to have allowed the service to work properly.


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