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Triplet files

Triplet is a standard term used in cross compiling as a way to completely capture the target environment (cpu, os, compiler, runtime, etc) in a single convenient name.

In Vcpkg, we use triplets to describe self-consistent builds of library sets. This means every library will be built using the same target cpu, OS, and compiler toolchain, but also CRT linkage and preferred library type.

We currently provide many triplets by default (run vcpkg help triplet). However, you can easily add your own by creating a new file in the triplets\ directory. The new triplet will immediately be available for use in commands, such as vcpkg install boost:x86-windows-custom.

To change the triplet used by your project, such as to enable static linking, see our Integration Document.



Specifies the target machine architecture.

Valid options are x86, x64, arm, and arm64.


Specifies the desired CRT linkage (for MSVC).

Valid options are dynamic and static.


Specifies the preferred library linkage.

Valid options are dynamic and static. Note that libraries can ignore this setting if they do not support the preferred linkage type.


Specifies the target platform.

Valid options include any CMake system name, such as:

  • Empty (Windows Desktop for legacy reasons)
  • WindowsStore (Universal Windows Platform)
  • Darwin (Mac OSX)
  • Linux (Linux)


Specifies the VS-based C/C++ compiler toolchain to use.

This can be set to v141, v140, or left blank. If left blank, we select the latest compiler toolset available on your machine.

Visual Studio 2015 platform toolset is v140
Visual Studio 2017 platform toolset is v141


Specifies the Visual Studio installation to use.

When unspecified, a Visual Studio instance is selected automatically, preferring Stable 2017, then Preview 2017, then 2015.

The path should be absolute, formatted with backslashes, and have no trailing slash:

set(VCPKG_VISUAL_STUDIO_PATH "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Microsoft Visual Studio\\Preview\\Community")


Specifies an alternate CMake Toolchain file to use.

This (if set) will override all other compiler detection logic. By default, a toolchain file is selected from scripts/toolchains/ appropriate to the platform.

See also the CMake documentation for toolchain files:


Sets additional compiler flags to be used when not using VCPKG_CHAINLOAD_TOOLCHAIN_FILE.

This option also has forms for configuration-specific and C flags:


macOS Variables


Sets the install name used when building macOS dynamic libraries. Default value is @rpath. See the CMake documentation for CMAKE_INSTALL_NAME_DIR for more information.


Sets the minimum macOS version for compiled binaries. This also changes what versions of the macOS platform SDK that CMake will search for. See the CMake documentation for CMAKE_OSX_DEPLOYMENT_TARGET for more information.


Set the name or path of the macOS platform SDK that will be used by CMake. See the CMake documentation for CMAKE_OSX_SYSROOT for more information.

Per-port customization

The CMake Macro PORT will be set when interpreting the triplet file and can be used to change settings (such as VCPKG_LIBRARY_LINKAGE) on a per-port basis.


if(PORT MATCHES "qt5-")
    set(VCPKG_LIBRARY_LINKAGE dynamic)

This will build all the qt5-* libraries as DLLs, but every other library as a static library.

For an example in a real project, see

Additional Remarks

The default triplet when running any vcpkg command is %VCPKG_DEFAULT_TRIPLET% or a platform-specific choice if that environment variable is undefined.

  • Windows: x86-windows
  • Linux: x64-linux
  • OSX: x64-osx

We recommend using a systematic naming scheme when creating new triplets. The Android toolchain naming scheme is a good source of inspiration: