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.