How to debug a NuGet-based Orchard Core solution - Orchard Core Nuggets

Zoltán Lehóczky's avatar
Orchard Core Nuggets, Orchard Core, NuGet, Debugging, Shape Tracing Helpful Extensions, Alt and Class attributes for the Image Shortcode - This week in Orchard (28/08/2020)

How can you debug Orchard Core code when you’re working with a solution that loads Orchard packages from NuGet? Orchard’s packages are built with symbols so you can actually use them as source too!

First, in Visual Studio be sure to uncheck “Enable Just My Code” under Tools → Options → Debugging → General. Then you can debug almost as usual:

  • If you want to step into Orchard’s code from your own code then just put a breakpoint into your code as usual and hit Step Into (F11). It’ll open the Orchard source and debugging will work as usual.

  • If you want to place a breakpoint anywhere in the Orchard Code that you can’t step into from yours (like a controller action) then do the following:

    1. Add a reference to the type anywhere in your own code. E.g. just write ItemController somewhere and import the namespace for OrchardCore.Contents.Controllers.ItemController.

    2. Hit Go To Definition (F12) on the type.

    3. Now you’re at the decompiled source of the type. This won’t be perfect but at least you’ll be able to place a breakpoint at the beginning of the method or other member you want to debug. Be sure to tick “Allow the source code to be different from the original” under the breakpoint’s settings.

    4. Run the app with the debugger attached. Your breakpoint will be hit and then the nice symbol sources will be used, just as when you step into Orchard’s code.

Note that with “Enable Just My Code” you’ll also potentially see exceptions from the libraries you use or from .NET, even if they’re swallowed down the line. Depending on your work it might be better to keep the option ticked most of the time.

Alternatively, you can also try opening a full Orchard source solution (with the Orchard version closest to what you’re using) and attach it to your own app. This sometimes works too but you can only debug Orchard’s own code in that case, not yours.

Did you like this post? It's part of our Orchard Core Nuggets series where we answer common Orchard questions, be it about user-facing features or developer-level issues. Check out the other posts for more such bite-sized Orchard Core tips and let us know if you have another question!


  • Bertrand said Reply

    Shouldn’t the packages include symbols?

  • Zoltán Lehóczky said Reply

    They should, and they do, see the liked PR:

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