Runar Ovesen Hjerpbakk

Programmer. Software Architect. Technical Manager.

The application to execute does not exist

I really do love dotnet-script and its almost perfect integration with Visual Studio Code. But as it is a .Net Core global tool, and VSCode uses file-based task specifications which know nothing of this, things can sometimes break.

I’ve create a simple script for giving me a nice text to share whenever I post a new post to this site. Sure, this can be further automated, but you’ve got to start someplace.

For development I use two different Macs, an iMac at home and a MacBook Pro during my commute. I started coding this on my iMac, but on my ride to work I got this error while trying to debug from VSCode on my MacBook Pro:

The application to execute does not exist: '/Users/sankra/.dotnet/tools/.store/dotnet-script/0.25.0/dotnet-script/0.25.0/tools/netcoreapp2.1/any/dotnet-script.dll'
The target process exited without raising a CoreCLR started event. Ensure that the target process is configured to use .NET Core. This may be expected if the target process did not run on .NET Core.
The program '[41202] dotnet' has exited with code 129 (0x81).

The script ran fine from the shell using dotnet script main.csx . So what is the cause of this error?

The solution

To enable debugging in VSCode, dotnet-script uses a launch.json which can look like this:

   "version": "0.2.0",
   "configurations": [
         "name": ".NET Script Debug",
         "type": "coreclr",
         "request": "launch",
         "program": "dotnet",
         "args": [
         "cwd": "${workspaceRoot}",
         "stopAtEntry": true

The path to dotnet-script.dll looked fine, but it did not exist on disk. Listing the installed dotnet global tools, showed the following:

dotnet global tools versions

That explained it, dotnet-script was on an older version on this machine. The solution was to update dotnet-script with:

dotnet tool update dotnet-script -g

Some more smarts on VSCode’s side would’ve been nice, but at least I now know what to do if I encounter this particular error in the future.