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Easy Debugging of NUnit Tests from Visual Studio 2008 Professional

, 23 Jun 2009 Apache
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How to easily debug NUnit tests in Visual Studio 2008 professional edition


This article describes a convenient way of debugging NUnit tests using open source plugin to Visual Studio 2008. Many open source and cross platform projects choose NUnit testing framework for mono and nant support.


Visual Nunit plugin for Visual Studio 2008 was developed to speed up development of MXP protocol reference implementation. Being able to debug unit tests easily from integrated development environment is a big efficiency factor.


  1. Download the latest release from here.
  2. Run the installer.
  3. Start Visual Studio 2008.
  4. Select from Menu View->Other Windows->NUnit View.
  5. Place the view to location of your choice.

Debugging Process

The debugging with Visual Nunit is achieved by simply double clicking the test at NUnit View. To create test cases to your project, do the following steps:

  1. Download NUnit 2.5 from here.
  2. Add nunit.framework.dll to your projects references.
  3. Add test case to the project (See example below).
  4. Make sure your project dependencies have copy local properties set.
  5. Build the project.
  6. To start debugging, click the arrow button of a test row in the NUnit View.
  7. Proceed as normal with Visual Studio Debugging.

Stopping debug will terminate the nunit runner process if your unit test is hanging or if you do not wish to wait until it is completed.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Text;
using NUnit.Framework;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.Threading;

namespace NunitTests
    public class ExampleTestFixture
        public void TestSuccess()
            Trace.TraceInformation("Test trace.");

        public void TestException()
            throw new Exception("Test Exception");

        public void TestAssert()
            Assert.Fail("Test Assert");

        public void TestHang()

Points of Interest

Visual Nunit was written with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 SDK. The project type is Visual Studio Integration Package and the sources are available as open source project from here.


  • 21st June 2009 - Initial version


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Apache License, Version 2.0


About the Author

Tommi Laukkanen
Finland Finland
Web and rich client solutions since 2002 with .NET and Java.

Open source contributor to Visual Nunit, OpenSimulator, MXP protocol and IdealistViewer.

Comments and Discussions

Questioncan't step through code Pinmembergary-s14-Apr-12 10:55 
QuestionRe: can't step through code PinmemberAndreas Gieriet26-Dec-12 13:20 
QuestionVery nice tool! just one question Pinmemberpaul.vencill5-May-11 6:34 
Generalvisual NUnit can't find unit tests Pinmemberx-coder200710-Jan-11 2:09 
GeneralCan't run tests - please help Pinmemberbszom28-Oct-10 6:40 
GeneralRe: Can't run tests - please help Pinmembernaughton8-Aug-12 15:28 
GeneralVisual Nunit 2010 1.1.7 Released PinmemberTommi Laukkanen9-Oct-10 22:55 
GeneralRe: Visual Nunit 2010 1.1.7 Released PinmemberScythal31-Dec-10 6:41 
GeneralStopping at breakpoints PinmemberMember 292366017-Aug-10 16:14 
GeneralRe: Stopping at breakpoints PinmemberTommi Laukkanen9-Oct-10 22:53 
GeneralDebugging of NUnit tests:VS 2010, Visual NUnit and project's config file Pinmemberlevenyu16-Aug-10 13:02 
GeneralRe: Debugging of NUnit tests:VS 2010, Visual NUnit and project's config file PinmemberSRM196929-Sep-10 18:45 
GeneralRe: Debugging of NUnit tests:VS 2010, Visual NUnit and project's config file PinmemberTommi Laukkanen29-Sep-10 19:18 
QuestionCould you make a VS 2010 version please? PinmvpOmar Al Zabir5-May-10 6:12 
AnswerRe: Could you make a VS 2010 version please? PinmemberTommi Laukkanen5-May-10 6:47 
GeneralVisual Nunit 2010 1.1 and Visual Nunit 2008 1.0.2 released PinmemberTommi Laukkanen19-Dec-09 5:20 
QuestionTests not showing up? PinmemberBernard O'Flynn27-Nov-09 0:36 
AnswerRe: Tests not showing up? PinmemberDan Neely7-Jan-10 6:18 
AnswerRe: Tests not showing up? Pinmemberjfh1089-Jan-10 8:13 
AnswerRe: Tests not showing up? Pinmemberom29722-Jan-10 0:59 
GeneralBeta Release of Visual Nunit support for Visual Studio 2010 PinmemberTommi Laukkanen6-Nov-09 18:21 
GeneralVisual Nunit 1.0.1 Released PinmemberTommi Laukkanen1-Nov-09 7:53 
GeneralVisual Nunit Runner stopped working Pinmembertomasz pr.30-Jul-09 2:26 
GeneralRe: Visual Nunit Runner stopped working PinmemberTommi Laukkanen30-Jul-09 21:11 
GeneralRe: Visual Nunit Runner stopped working Pinmembertomasz pr.30-Jul-09 22:56 

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