DNN Daily Tip: Debugging DotNetNuke Development on Windows Vista and Visual Studio 2005

Last week I got started on getting the DotNetNuke Wiki module into a 4.4.0 source solution, so that I could convert the module to ASP.NET 2.0 and debug it in Visual Studio. Normally this wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary, I setup DotNetNuke solutions for a living, I can do it in my sleep, but I decided I was going to do all of this on my main machine running Windows Vista Ultimate edition.

You would think this might not be too difficult, but it sure was. Here's what I was starting with.

DotNetNuke 4.4.0 Source package, available for download from www.dotnetnuke.com.

Visual Studio 2005 w/ SP1

IIS7 Installed

IIS6 compatibility partially installed.

After multiple failures, and quite a bit of head smashing (on the wall) I gave up for the weekend. I blogged about the troubles, and a little birdie came to the rescue (If you read this birdie and don't mind me mentioning your name let me know)!

The little birdie pointed out the Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista Beta. I believe this update did the trick because after installing the update everything seemed to work!

Here are some of the things I know you have to perform, as well as the update, to get DNN, Vista and VS2k5 to play nicely. I hope I didn't leave anything out.

1. Install IIS7 (found in the control panel, classic view, programs and features, "Turn windows features on or off").

2. Install IIS6 Compatibility, the screenshot below is what my IIS installed features look like

3. Create your web site in IIS, I actually created a new site, not a virtual directory. A benefit of IIS7 on Vista, the ability to create multiple web sites! I just used localhost as the host header, and pointed it to the location of my extracted DNN files.

4. For the Application Pool in IIS I chose the Classic .Net AppPool

5. Under the Authentication section of your IIS web site be sure to enable Windows Authentication

6. Configure the rest of your DotNetNuke installation the normal way. (Setup the proper folder permissions, network service account gets full rights to the web site folder). Setup your web.config file to use the proper connection strings.

7. Open Visual Studio 2005 using the Run As Administrator option if you're using UAC

8. Open up the DotNetNuke.sln file from your extracted files. When you run the site for the first time DNN should run through it's installation procedures, installing the database, extracting a few modules, etc. I did have a problem with the project the first two times I ran it, but on the third try it seemed to install properly. I don't know if it was just a fluke or not the first two times, but all is well now.

9. Now I'm able to run and debug the DotNetNuke 4.4.0 solution on my Windows Vista machine. Hope this helps some of you out in your endeavors.

(All of the screenshots were made utilizing the Snipping tool inside of Windows Vista. Where's snippy? I get to it by clicking on start, and typing SNIP into the search bar, try it out!)


  • Chris,
    I have everything working in Vista. IE7, IIS7,VS2005wVista update. Sql2005. The DNN sites work fine however the module settings won't update. I can't figure it out. I am using the ClassicAppPool. I though it might be IE7 but it doesn't work in Firefox either. Something is blocking the Module settings from updating. I can add modules, delete actually everything I've tested works but not the settings update. Any Ideas? I have mixed mode sql security. Network Service security rights on the folder. II6 Compatibility installed. VS2005 works fine. My modules work fine on the Production machine in Win2003 so I know it's not the modules.
    Any help would be appreciated.

    Tom Harris

  • Thanks for the fyi as I'm just going through this process.

    Re: non dnn module update. There seems to be an issue with the dnn db updates and module caching... Restarting IIS seemed to clear it up.

  • Great blog...going through this now. Any idea if this will work on Vista Home Premium? I don't think the version of IIS on it supports windows authentication but I've never used that in my DNN local development anyway. Other than Vista I have the rest of the software you guys are working with.

  • I really hope this works. I'm using DNN for a city-wide portal and need to get this popping on Vista...PLEASE work....

  • Thanks, these steps helped me get DNN 4 up an running without much difficulty in Vista Ultimate.

  • Thanks this helped, but I still have an issue or 2. First off, when I set the Windows Authentication under IIS7 to 'enabled' It complains that 'Challenge- based and login redirect-based authentication can't be used simultaneously'. This goes away if I disable the forms authentication. When I run the install, everything installs fine. On starting DNN, I am prompted with a Windows Authentication prompt which when entered allows DNN to display. The problem is that it shows me as logged in to DNN without ever having logged in via the DNN login link. I am unable to log out and then use the DNN login link to login to the site. The problem is that I don't have admin rights.

    Any advice is appreciated.

  • Installed IIS 7, installed IIS 6 compatibility modules. I did NOT have the Classic .NET App Pool, had to create it myself, after choosing that, still no way to get the Windows Authentication visible...sigh...

  • thanks for this, it really helped me.

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