Running Python processes and tooling on Windows Server 2016

Symptoms

Robocorp tooling like the VS Code extensions warn about Long path support and the executing the fix is not changing the state. For more details on why checkout the troubleshooting guide

Workaround and disclaimers

Even though we pretty much rule out the usage of older Windows variants in our system requirements, we realize that updates are not always immediately possible.

According to Microsoft, we have to emphasize that these versions are already outside the mainstream support, so there is a heavy incentive to update due to security implications.

The main disclaimer here is that implementing this workaround disables the system checks in our tooling which can lead to some hard to crack support issues, so please take note and remember to state that you have this on when requesting help.

To stop the system checks and get rid of the notifications you need to setup two environment variable in Windows user-level:

Environment Variables

After setting the environment variables, you need to close all tools and terminals. A reboot is not mandatory, but is probably the simplest way to ensure everything has noticed the change.

Set ROBOCORP_HOME -variable correctly

  • The ROBOCORP_HOME path:
    • Must be unique for a user (in cases where the machine has multiple users)
    • Must not contain spaces or special characters.
    • Should be as short as possible to mitigate the potential for passing the Windows Path Limitation.
      • The default user-specific folder is: C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Local, which is just too long.

Checking the system

You can always run the system check manually to verify other parts of the settings using RCC

  • Download RCC executable
  • Run command: rcc config diagnostics
  • The Checks -section shows which parts are passing and which are failing in the output.
    • Checks include network access checks and others, so this is worth doing.
January 21, 2022