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Signing a .pdb file

Posted on 2011-09-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I would like to distribute my .pdb files through a ClickOnce install, but I cannot do it because the system does not want to sign the ClickOnce manifest when the .pdb are unsigned. And without a signed manifest, no ClickOnce.

How do you sign them.

I might be able do it by calling sn.exe in the build events, but is there an easier way built into Visual Studio?
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:x77
ID: 36521237
Pdb Files are used only on Debug, Reflector analysis, Mono.Cecil.Pdb.dll and other tools for code analysis.
Note that when you compile on release mode, pdb files are´nt generated.

You can distribute the Pdb files to other programmers, but I do´nt see advantages for distribution to users on release mode.

Pdb contains information aditional not cotained on assembly like parameter and local variable names on methods.
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LVL 40
ID: 36522668
I very well know what pdb files are.

The idea of distributing them in release is to be able to retrieve more precise information from the stacktrace, such as source code line numbers, when exceptions arise on a test deployment to a few users before committing to a few hundred.

The problem is that Click Once deployment requires that the .pdb be digitally signed, but the compiler does not sign them. I was wondering if there was an easy way to do it because we frequently republish the application during those tests.
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LVL 40

Accepted Solution

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Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger) earned 0 total points
ID: 36591289
The requirement for a signature for ClickOnce deployment has been removed in framework 3.5 SP1.

One of those changes that did not make it in the What's New, so I was not aware of it.

I simply removed the signatures from the manifest and application, and the pdb files were accepted when I published the package.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger)
ID: 36715472
Nobody came with a solution, so I had to find one somewhere else.
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