Remote Debugging WinForms Desktop Apps on Windows RT

Once you have your Windows RT device jailbroken and running your WinForms applications it would be very handy to be able to remotely debug those apps running on Windows RT, similar to what can be done when developing Windows Store apps.

The first step is to share the project folder. Right-click the project in the Solution Explorer in Visual Studio and click “Open Folder in File Explorer”. Then use the context menu in Explorer to share the folder with a common Windows user. The basic sharing wizard worked fine in my testing.

Sharing Wizard

Next we need to setup debugging for the project. Unlike a Windows Store application the remote debugger options aren’t available from the Start debugging button in VS2012. Each project type in Visual Studio seems to surface its remote debugging options in a slightly different way.

Right-click the project in Solution Explorer and click Properties. On the Debug tab, select “Start external program” and enter the path to your exe using the UNC (network) path. Then, check “Use remote machine” and enter either the computer name or IP of your Windows RT device.

Debug Settings

Switch to the Windows RT device and start the Remote Debugger from the Start screen. If you do not have the Remote Debugger for Windows RT installed you can download the Remote Tools for Visual Studio 2012 on your Windows RT device here, under Additional software. Make sure you select the ARM download.

With the Remote Debugger running on your Windows RT device, you should now be able to click Play in VS2012. The application will launch on your Windows RT device, and you can set breakpoints and debug as you normally would.

Windows RT Debugging

Throw in the Remote Desktop app in Windows RT along with the split screen feature and you’ll be debugging from your couch in no time!

RDP Debugging

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One thought on “Remote Debugging WinForms Desktop Apps on Windows RT

  1. Pingback: Sharing a Keyboard and Mouse with Windows RT | blog.nwoolls.com

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