Friday, 20 January 2017

Restore my Xamarin project's NuGet and Xamarin-Component dependencies using CLI


How do I restore all of my Xamarin project dependencies when neither Visual Studio's "extensions and updates", nor NuGet package manager GUI have the versions my project requires?

Similarly, how do I restore these packages in the command line so Jenkins can automatically build my Xamarin project?

My questions apply to fresh clones of my team's Xamarin project from Git, where the NuGet nor Xamarin component 3rd party dependencies aren't included in the project's repository.

Before you start:

The solution below assumes that you have knowledge of Xamarin, Xamarin components, NuGet, (Jenkins), the command line, and have a valid account for Xamarin. (It was written as a quick reminder. Please refer to the referenced links if more detail is needed.)

One solution:

One solution is to use the nuget.exe and xamarin-component.exe command line tools to restore NuGet and Xamarin component dependencies.

You can get the Xamarin component CLI executable from here: (you'll need to sign in with your Xamarin account, and follow the instructions Microsoft provided)

You can get the NuGet CLI executable from here:

When you have these CLI tools installed (or copied to your project's root - not ideal, but helps to troubleshoot), you can then use them or include them in your script as follows:

  • navigate to the directory where your solution file is (e.g. YourSolutionName.sln)
    nuget.exe restore
    xamarin-component.exe restore YourSolutionName.sln
  • (first time) enter your Xamarin account credentials (needed for xamarin-component)

At this point, the output should give an indication of all 3rd party dependencies that were successfully restored.


This solution was tested to work on a project that has dependencies about a year old (and are no longer available via the Visual Studio GUI). The versions of the tools tested were Visual Studio 2015 (14.0.25431.01 Update 3), Xamarin (with corresponding Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS Additionally, all 3rd party libraries were originally installed using Visual Studio's "Extensions and Updates..." GUI and NuGet package manager's GUI. Your mileage may vary, depending on versions and how your team has setup your Xamarin project.

This solution also depends on Microsoft/Xamarin still providing the CLI tools, as well as the 3rd party dependency versions specified in your project still existing for download.

Nonetheless, hopefully this has at least come in handy or given some new ideas :)


Thursday, 5 January 2017

Delay lock screen display sleep time in Windows 10


In Windows 10, how do I prevent my displays from turning off shortly after locking my screen?

Power savings nor display life are an issue for my situation.

Reason: I have an external dock that causes all my windows to move to my primary display after the displays are turned off.


This how-to assumes you are comfortable with editing the registry. Serious damage can be done if you make a mistake!


  1. enable "Console lock display off timeout" in the Advanced Power Settings via the registry:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power\PowerSettings\7516b95f-f776-4464-8c53-06167f40cc99\8EC4B3A5-6868-48c2-BE75-4F3044BE88A7
    • set "Attributes (type DWORD)" to 2
    • (to hide, set Attributes back to 1)
  2. open advanced power options (or close then reopen, if it was already open before the registry change)
  3. change timeout to desired value (example screenshot below):


  • This was tested to work in Windows 10 Pro.
  • Changing this setting is strongly discouraged in situations where power saving or monitor life are important.
  • This only works for lock screens while a user is signed in.


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Android screenshot to computer with adb


How do I use adb to get a screenshot from an Android device or emulator?

I'd like to target a specific device when more than one are connected to adb.

I already know how to open adb shell and put a device in debugging mode.


One method is the following:

  1. Get list of devices:
    adb devices -l

    You should get a list that looks like:

  2. Once you have a device identifier, such as "emulator-5554", you can use similar commands as below. (Replace "emulator-5554" with your device identifier).
    adb -s emulator-5554 shell screencap -p /sdcard/screencap.png
    adb -s emulator-5554 pull /sdcard/screencap.png
  3. (Optional) remove the last screencap from your device (in this example, named "emulator-5554"):
    adb -s emulator-5554 shell rm /sdcard/screencap.png

Other notes:

If you've only got one device accessible to adb, you can simply do the following:

adb shell screencap -p /sdcard/screencap.png
adb pull /sdcard/screencap.png
adb shell rm /sdcard/screencap.png

If you'd like to see a one-liner to do the above, check out the neat example here: