Visual Studio

Add Git Ignore to existing Visual Studio Project

Last week I mentioned adding a .gitignore file to keep a configuration file from causing issues across machines. Visual Studio make it super easy to add, but the next time I made a change to the project the configuration file showed up in my changes again. Turns out that if Git is already tracking a file adding it to the ignore file will not do anything. I am going to walk through adding an ignore file and then cover the one of the processes that can be used to stop Git from tracking files that are in your ignore file.

Using Visual Studio to add a .gitignore file

Inside of Visual Studio open the Team Explorer window. If you don’t already have it open use the quick launch in the upper right hand side of the window to search for it. If it is not already on the Home page click the house icon in the top of the Team Explorer window.


Click the settings option.


Then click Repository Settings.


Now click the add link next to the Ignore File description. This will add the .gitignore file will all the defaults set for things that should be ignored. You could add the file manually, but then you would not get the nice set of default values. If you do decide to add the file manually this repo contains all the defaults that should be ignored for a project using .NET/Visual Studio.

Now that the file exists check it in.

Stop tracking files that should be ignored

To stop tracking the files in the ignore file open a command prompt and navigate to the directory that contains your solution file (.sln) and run the following commands.

git rm -r --cached . 
git add .
git commit -am "Remove ignored files"

That seemed to do the trick for me. The git commands I found here. If you click on that link you will see there are lots of options on which commands to use for this process. If the above doesn’t work for you one of the other answers should meet your needs.

In the future I will be making sure my ignore file exists first just to avoid any issues.

Add Git Ignore to existing Visual Studio Project Read More »

Unable to start process dotnet.exe

This morning I did a sync of a repo using of Visual Studio and then tried to run a web application I was going start working when I got this error:

Unable to start process C:\Program Files\dotnet\dotnet.exe. The web server request failed with status code 500, Internal Server Error. The full response has been written to C:\Users\ericl\AppData\Local\Temp\HttpFailure_11-01-57.html.

As directed by the error message I opened up the referenced html file. The file stated the requested page cannot be access because the related configuration data for the page is invalid. Along with the path to the configuration file. Here is a screen shot of the rendered file.


I checked the config file referenced in the error message and I saw nothing wrong. It is the default generated file with no changes.

Since this project ran fine on another computer the day before I thought I would search for my profile name on from the other computer on the one having issues. This led me to the .vs/config folder found at the solution level of my application which contained the applicationhost.config file.

The solution

applicationhost.config has a lot of information in it, but the section I needed to change was under the sites tag. The physical path was set to the directory where the project was located on my other computer. I changed the path to match the path on my current computer and all worked fine. Not sure why this path isn’t relative one it exists within the solution. This is the line that I needed to change.

<virtualDirectory path="/" physicalPath="C:\Users\ericl\Source\Repos\ASP.NET Core Contacts\Contacts\src\Contacts" />

As an alternative it also works to close Visual Studio delete the whole .vs folder and reopen the project in Visual Studio. This causes the config file to regenerated with the proper values.

Looks like the .vs folder is in the default .gitignore file, but my project was missing the ignore file.

Unable to start process dotnet.exe Read More »

Tool Spotlight – Add New File and Open Command Line Visual Studio Extentions

Tool Spotlight is a new type of post that I am trying out to bring attention to tools that I find useful and worth sharing. These entries will not be on any sort of schedule and will get posted anytime I come across a tool worth mentioning.

This post is going to cover two Visual Studio extensions that I find very helpful especially in the context of writing ASP.NET Core applications. Both of today’s extensions were written by Mads Kristensen.

 Add New File

The Add New File extension provides a simple way of adding new files without having to go through Visual Studio’s add new item dialog. Visual Studio’s dialog is great when I need it, but a lot of times I am adding a html or JavaScript file and just want a blank file and this extension provides a mechanism to do just that.

Lets look at the difference in the two dialogs. Here is Visual Studio’s dialog:


And here is what the add new file’s dialog looks like:


As you can see the extension’s dialog is much simpler. After the extension is install simply hit Shift+F2 to show the above dialog, enter a file name and click Add file to create a file in the current directory. Directories will also be crated as needed.

Open Command Line

The Open Command Line extension provides a way to open a console from within Visual Studio. The default console application is configurable with options from cmd and PowerShell to cmder and custom user defined applications. Opening the default console to the current directory of the selected item in Visual Studio’s solution explorer can be triggered using the Alt+Space shortcut. The extension also adds an Open Command Line option to the right click menu in solution explorer.


Thoughts and Suggestions

Leave any thoughts on if this sort of post is helpful, your favorite tools or suggestions for future topics in the comments.

Tool Spotlight – Add New File and Open Command Line Visual Studio Extentions Read More »

Introduction to gulpjs

Working on a future blog post I hit some problems involving files that needed to be moved around as part of build process. This is one of the problems that gulp solves.

What is gulp?

Gulp is a task runner that utilizes node. The core idea behind task runners is automation. Have less that needs compiled into css, minified and output into the proper directory? That is a great use case for a task runner.

Gulp is not the only task runner out there. Grunt is another option and has actually been around longer. I am using gulp because it is the default in Visual Studio 2015. Google gulp vs grunt and decide which is right for you.


  1. Install node if needed from this site.
  2. From the console install gulp using npm install gulp -g

Project setup

Next add a gulpfile.js the root of the project where gulp is to be used. If using ASP.NET 5 this file will already exist and will include a few prebuilt tasks. If you are not using ASP.NET 5 the following is a mimimum gulpfile from the official getting started guide.

var gulp = require('gulp');

gulp.task('default', function() {
  // place code for your default task here

Also add gulp to the devDependencies section of the project’s package.json file. Since Visual Studio handles edits to package.json so nicely (intellisense and automatic package restore) I tend to edit the file manually instead of using npm.

 "devDependencies": {
    "gulp": "3.9.0"


The base gulp API only contains 4 functions (src, dest, task and watch) and doesn’t do a whole lot on its own. This is where plugins come in. Gulp has a ton of plugins that do all sorts of useful things. For example, the default gulpfile.js provided by Visual Studio has a min:js task that used gulp-concat and gulp-uglify to combine javascript files and then minify the result.

Example gulpfile for minification of javascript

The following is a full gulpfile based on the default file generated by Visual Studio stripped down to just the bits needed for the min:js task.

"use strict";

var gulp = require("gulp"),
    concat = require("gulp-concat"),
    uglify = require("gulp-uglify");

var paths = {
    webroot: "./wwwroot/"

paths.js = paths.webroot + "js/**/*.js";
paths.minJs = paths.webroot + "js/**/*.min.js";
paths.concatJsDest = paths.webroot + "js/site.min.js";

gulp.task("min:js", function () {
    return gulp.src([paths.js, "!" + paths.minJs], { base: "." })

The above will pull all the javascript files from wwwroot/js and its subfolders and combine them and output the results to site.min.js in the wwwroot/js folder.

Introduction to gulpjs Read More »