NativeScript Extension for Visual Studio Code
To install the NativeScript extension for Visual Studio Code open the Command Palette (
Cmd+Shift+P) and run
Extensions: Install Extension command, then search for 'NativeScript' and choose it from the list.
After the installation completes, the extension appears in the list of installed extensions. You can see it if you run
Extensions: Show Installed Extensions command from the Command Palette.
Open your application root folder, created with
tns create command, in Visual Studio Code.
Generate launch configurations
Click the debugging icon in the View bar, and then click the gear icon to choose the NativeScript debug environment. A
launch.json file should be generated in your
.vscode folder, containing 4 default launch configurations -
Launch on iOS,
Attach on iOS,
Launch on Android and
Attach on Android. You can always add your own debug configuration or alter the existing ones just by editing the
Launch an application with the debugger
Choose one of the launch configurations (e.g.,
Launch on iOS) and press the
stopOnEntry flag to
true in your
Once the debugger is attached you can inspect scope variables, set breakpoints, watch expressions, execute code while the app is paused on a breakpoint etc. You can find more information about the debugging support in Visual Studio Code in the VS Code Debugging Guide.
What's more awesome is that the default launch configurations take advantage of the NativeScript CLI functionality. Therefore, while the VS Code debugger is attached, every change to the app's source will trigger a livesync (after saving the altered file) which will update and restart the target application while the VS Code debugger is automatically reattached to the new app instance preserving all breakpoints and watched expressions. The watching feature can be disabled by setting the
watch flag to
false in your
Attach the debugger to an already running app
If you have an already running NativeScript application in your emulator or device, you can attach the VS Code debugger to it, without even restarting the app. Just select the desired attach configuration through the debug configuration menu and press the start button.
Supply additional arguments to the debug command
Under the hood, starting a particular debug configuration executes the
tns debug command with various arguments. You can append additional arguments by supplying them in the
tnsArgs property of a debug configuration definition in
launch.json. For example, if you add
"tnsArgs": "--log=trace" in the
Launch on iOS configuration, in the background VS Code will execute the
tns debug ios --no-client --log=trace command, which will give you more verbose information in the Debug Console.
Turn on diagnostic logging
diagnosticLogging flag for a particular debug configuration in
launch.json file is set to
true (its default value is
false), diagnostic messages will be logged on the debugger console after attaching the debugger to the NativeScript application. This is useful for rough debugging of the extension itself because all sent/received messages that are part of the communication between the frontend and the backend are logged.
Use NativeScript-specific commands
nativescript in the Command Palette, and you will see all NativeScript-specific commands. Currently, there are only two of the, but the list will grow in the future.
Run on Android/iOS command is the equivalent of
tns run in the NativeScript CLI. It lets you build, deploy and run your app on an emulator/device directly from Visual Studio Code.
NativeScript CLI version detection
The extension depends on a globally installed NativeScript CLI. It will show an error message if it can't find it.
The extension requires a specific NativeScript CLI version and if you have another version installed, you will see a warning message. The extension is likely to work with the unsupported version, but it is recommended to update the NativeScript CLI or the VS Code extension.