Debugging support for 64-bit Edit and Continue in Visual Studio 2013

Debugging support for 64-bit Edit and Continue in Visual Studio 2013

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You asked, and we have listened. When using the debugger, Edit and Continue for 64-bit targeted environments is something that many .NET developers wanted, and voted heavily for on the Visual Studio uservoice site. The good news is that with the latest version of Visual Studio, it’s here and you can now try it yourself.

 

Here is how to see it in action:

Consider the following line of code and imagine you are stopped at that line in the debugger (e.g. due to a breakpoint)

int ret = 5 * foo;

 

If you try to edit that code and specifically from foo to bar (int ret = 5 * bar;) while debugging in previous versions of Visual Studio, you would see this dialog

With VS2013, the dialog will not appear again, and instead you’ll be able to edit the code and continue debugging.

For people who are new to the Edit and Continue feature, Edit and Continue eliminates the need to stop and restart a debugging session when a developer makes modification to code being debugged. This feature exist for 32-bit targeted environments and with the latest version of Visual Studio it is now available for 64-bit. Please read online for more on the Edit and Continue debugger feature.

 

There are several ways that Edit and Continue helps the developer:

  • Rapid development - developers find that starting a debugging session is time consuming making rapid development harder. Having the ability to continue debugging without the need to restart the debugging session makes the scenario much faster.
  • Help fix hard to reproduce bugs - finding the potential location of a bug that is hard to reproduce is extremely difficult. Being able to make changes to the potential area and verifying it simplifies the debugging flow dramatically as it might be difficult to verify the fix done if the debugging session will need to be restarted.
  • Dealing with large scale projects - starting a debugging session for large scale project is time consuming. Adding to its complexity of large projects makes it even more time consuming as any modification to the code, requires in addition to restarting the debugging session time to recompile the project.

Note that some ASP.NET developers are not aware that support for Edit and Continue exists but requires developers to enable it first. This can be done by going to the project properties and under the web settings there is a checkbox you’ll need to check named “enabled Edit and Continue”. To simplify the workflow starting with Visual Studio 2013 the setting is turned on by default.

 

For Azure cloud tools developers there are two main options: web role and worker role. To enable Edit and Continue for web roles you’ll need to set your web role project to use IIS Express. Worker roles currently are not supported, however we will enable this in a future release.

In closing, we are really happy to bring this capability to you and as always your feedback is welcome in the diagnostics forum.

 

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  • @gkarkalis

    Forgot to mention - you can add a request for this on visualstudio.uservoice.com (this is what we use to prioritize customer requests based on the number of votes they get)

  • Other developers with a 64bit development workstation/laptop you can TARGET x86 to gain edit and continue.  Just in case you didn't know this already.

  • I don’t see when and how this is to be delivered: will it come via Windows Update? When will we get it?

  • @PTraill

    Support for 64-bit Edit and Continue is already in Visual Studio 2013

    If you are talking about something else - can you be more specific?

  • What about in the win exe environment...all flags set for edit and continue ..but constant must load module, this is after waiting for it to load all modules prior to debug mode.  Compile Win 7 x64 AnyCPU..

  • After setting this up I still had some troubles editting a web project. After some googling I found out IIS Express runs 32 bits which caused all the trouble. This is how I set IIS Express to 64 bit mode and solved it: www.johandorper.com/.../iis-64-bit-mode-with-edit-and-continue

  • Very well! But please finish work to support most of С# features, eac have som any restrictions.

  • @Roman

    We have several UserVoice requests from customers regarding EnC, please vote on any (let me know if you need the links) and/or add more. We are definitely looking at these requests for our next release, and knowing which are most important to customers is crucial in prioritizing the work.

  • "With VS2013, the dialog will not appear again".

    Hmm those were dangerous words as I am still seeing the dreaded message "Changes to 64-bit applications not allowed" in VS 2013. This is in a window forms app. Edit and Continue is turned on in the Options->Debugging panel. I think I have framework 4.5.1 though it's seems to be difficult to tell which version is being used from the files. Looking in the registry I believe I have it installed. What gives?

  • @Julian Brown

    Thanks for pointing this out! We are tracking this issue, and the CLR team is currently investigating. We will keep you updated as to the progress.

  • @Julian Brown

    Can you please verify that you don't have IntelliTrace set to High (se to collect Call information)? That disables Edit and Continue.

    Does Edit and Continue for x86 work for you?

  • @Maria Ghiondea

    I don't see the Intellisense option on my VS2013. Maybe because it's Premium not Ultimate?

    Turning the build to AnyCPU I still get the same error - "Changes to 64-bit applications not allowed" - yet I know that produces x86 compatible code. Turning specifically to target x86 I am getting other errors that are too tedious to deal with right now.

  • Intellitrace I mean not Intellisense. You should add an editing feature to this forum.

  • @Julian Brown

    In Tools/Options/IntelliTrace --> if you have IntelliTrace events and call information, Edit and Continue will be disabled.

    This is a feature for Ultimate only

  • OK that's what I thought. So what next? Are you investigating this issue still?

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