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Build CoreCLR on Windows

These instructions will lead you through building CoreCLR.


Environment

You must install several components to build the CoreCLR and CoreFX repos. These instructions were tested on Windows 7+.

Visual Studio

Visual Studio must be installed. Supported versions:

  • Visual Studio 2015 (Community, Professional, Enterprise). The community version is completely free.
  • Visual Studio 2017 (Community, Professional, Enterprise). The community version is completely free.

For Visual Studio 2015:

  • Ensure you have installed at least Visual Studio 2015 Update 3.
  • Make sure that you install "VC++ Tools". By default, they will not be installed.
  • To build for Arm32, Make sure that you have the Windows SDK for Windows 10 installed (or selected to be installed as part of VS installation). To explicitly install Windows SDK, download it from here: Windows SDK for Windows 10

For Visual Studio 2017:

  • When doing a 'Workloads' based install, the following are the minimum requirements:
    • .NET Desktop Development
      • All Required Components
      • .NET Framework 4-4.6 Development Tools
    • Desktop Development with C++
      • All Required Components
      • VC++ 2017 v141 Toolset (x86, x64)
      • Windows 8.1 SDK and UCRT SDK
      • VC++ 2015.3 v140 Toolset (x86, x64)
  • When doing an 'Individual Components' based install, the following are the minimum requirements:
    • Under ".NET":
      • .NET Framework 4.6 targeting pack
      • .NET Portable Library targeting pack
    • Under "Code tools":
      • Static analysis tools
    • Under "Compilers, build tools, and runtimes":
      • C# and Visual Basic Roslyn Compilers
      • MSBuild
      • VC++ 2015.3 v140 toolset (x86, x64)
      • VC++ 2017 v141 toolset (x86, x64)
      • Windows Universal CRT SDK
    • Under "Development activities":
      • Visual Studio C++ core features
    • Under "SDKs, libraries, and frameworks":
      • Windows 10 SDK or Windows 8.1 SDK
  • To build for Arm32, Make sure that you have the Windows 10 SDK installed (or selected to be installed as part of VS installation). To explicitly install Windows SDK, download it from here: Windows SDK for Windows 10.
    • In addition, ensure you install the ARM tools. In the "Individual components" window, in the "Compilers, build tools, and runtimes" section, check the box for "Visual C++ compilers and libraries for ARM".
  • Important: You must have the msdia120.dll COM Library registered in order to build the repository.
    • This binary is registered by default when installing the "VC++ Tools" with Visual Studio 2015
    • You can also manually register the binary by launching the "Developer Command Prompt for VS2017" with Administrative privileges and running regsvr32.exe "%VSINSTALLDIR%\Common7\IDE\msdia120.dll"
  • Important: By default, the build will attempt to use VS2015 as the toolset for the build. To build using VS2017 as your toolset, you must use the "Developer Command Prompt for VS2017".

Visual Studio Express is not supported.

CMake

The CoreCLR repo build has been validated using CMake 3.9.3.

  • Install CMake for Windows.
  • Add its location (e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\CMake\bin) to the PATH environment variable.
    The installation script has a check box to do this, but you can do it yourself after the fact following the instructions at Adding to the Default PATH variable

Python

Python is used in the build system. We are currently using python 2.7.9, although any recent (2.4+) version of Python should work, including Python 3.

  • Install Python for Windows.
  • Add its location (e.g. C:\Python*) to the PATH environment variable.
    The installation script has a check box to do this, but you can do it yourself after the fact following the instructions at Adding to the Default PATH variable

Git

For actual user operations, it is often more convinient to use the GIT features built into Visual Studio 2015. However the CoreCLR and the tests use the GIT command line utilities directly so you need to install them for these to work properly. You can get it from

  • Install Git For Windows
  • Add its location (e.g. C:\Program Files\Git\cmd) to the PATH environment variable.
    The installation script has a check box to do this, but you can do it yourself after the fact following the instructions at Adding to the Default PATH variable

PowerShell

PowerShell is used in the build system. Ensure that it is accessible via the PATH environment variable. Typically this is %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0.

Powershell version must be 3.0 or higher. This should be the case for Windows 8 and later builds.

  • Windows 7 SP1 can install Powershell version 4 here.

DotNet Core SDK

While not strictly needed to build or test the .NET Core repository, having the .NET Core SDK installed lets you use the dotnet.exe command to run .NET Core applications in the 'normal' way. We use this in the Using Your Build instructions. Visual Studio 2015 (update 3) should have installed the .NET Core SDK, but in case it did not you can get it from the Installing the .Net Core SDK page.

Adding to the default PATH variable

The commands above need to be on your command lookup path. Some installers will automatically add them to the path as part of installation, but if not here is how you can do it.

You can of course add a directory to the PATH environment variable with the syntax

    set PATH=%PATH%;DIRECTORY_TO_ADD_TO_PATH

However the change above will only last until the command windows closes. You can make your change to the PATH variable persistent by going to Control Panel -> System And Security -> System -> Advanced system settings -> Environment Variables, and select the 'Path' variable in the 'System variables' (if you want to change it for all users) or 'User variables' (if you only want to change it for the currnet user). Simply edit the PATH variable's value and add the directory (with a semicolon separator).


Building

Once all the necessary tools are in place, building is trivial. Simply run build build.cmd script that lives at the base of the repository.

    .\build 

	[Lots of build spew]

	Product binaries are available at C:\git\coreclr\bin\Product\Windows_NT.x64.debug
	Test binaries are available at C:\git\coreclr\bin\tests\Windows_NT.x64.debug

As shown above the product will be placed in

  • Product binaries will be dropped in bin\Product\<OS>.<arch>.<flavor> folder.
  • A NuGet package, Microsoft.Dotnet.CoreCLR, will be created under bin\Product\<OS>.<arch>.<flavor>\.nuget folder.
  • Test binaries will be dropped under bin\Tests\<OS>.<arch>.<flavor> folder

By default build generates a 'Debug' build type, that has extra checking (assert) compiled into it. You can also build the 'release' version which does not have these checks

The build places logs in bin\Logs and these are useful when the build fails.

The build places all of its output in the bin directory, so if you remove that directory you can force a full rebuild.

Build has a number of options that you can learn about using build -?. Some of the more important options are

  • -skiptests - don't build the tests. This can shorten build times quite a bit, but means you can't run tests.
  • -release - build the 'Release' build type that does not have extra development-time checking compiled in. You want this if you are going to do performance testing on your build.

See Using Your Build for instructions on running code with your build.

See Running Tests for instructions on running the tests.