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Microsoft.Build (MSBuild)

The Microsoft Build Engine is a platform for building applications. This engine, which is also known as MSBuild, provides an XML schema for a project file that controls how the build platform processes and builds software. Visual Studio uses MSBuild, but MSBuild does not depend on Visual Studio. By invoking msbuild.exe on your project or solution file, you can orchestrate and build products in environments where Visual Studio isn't installed.

For more information on MSBuild, see the MSDN documentation.

Build Status

Full framework build from master (stable, inserted into Visual Studio builds): Build Status

The xplat branch is soon to be merged back upstream. Follow the The Great Merge milestone for progress.

Runtime\OS Windows Ubuntu Mac OS X
Full Framework Build Status N/A N/A
.NET Core Build Status Build Status Build Status

Join the chat at Check out what we're working on using our Waffle board!

Source code

  • Clone the sources: git clone


Building MSBuild in VS 2015

For the full supported experience, you will need to have Visual Studio 2015. You can open the solution in Visual Studio 2013, but you will encounter issues building with the provided scripts.

To get started on Visual Studio 2015:

  1. Install Visual Studio 2015. Select the following optional components:
  • Microsoft Web Developer Tools
  • Universal Windows App Development Tools
    • Tools and Windows SDK 10.0.10240
  1. Clone the source code (see above).
  2. Restore NuGet packages: msbuild /t:BulkRestoreNugetPackages build.proj
  3. Open src/MSBuild.sln solution in Visual Studio 2015.

Building MSBuild in Unix (Mac & Linux)

MSBuild's xplat branch allows MSBuild to be run on Unix Systems. Set-up instructions can be viewed on the wiki: Building Testing and Debugging on .Net Core MSBuild

How to Engage, Contribute and Provide Feedback

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact with any additional questions or comments.

Before you contribute, please read through the contributing and developer guides to get an idea of what kinds of pull requests we will or won't accept.

Want to get more familiar with what's going on in the code?

You are also encouraged to start a discussion by filing an issue or creating a gist.

MSBuild Components

  • MSBuild. Microsoft.Build.CommandLine is the entrypoint for the Microsoft Build Engine (MSBuild.exe).

  • Microsoft.Build. The Microsoft.Build namespaces contain types that provide programmatic access to, and control of, the MSBuild engine.

  • Microsoft.Build.Framework. The Microsoft.Build.Framework namespace contains the types that define how tasks and loggers interact with the MSBuild engine. For additional information on this component, see our Microsoft.Build.Framework wiki page.

  • Microsoft.Build.Tasks. The Microsoft.Build.Tasks namespace contains the implementation of all tasks shipping with MSBuild.

  • Microsoft.Build.Utilities. The Microsoft.Build.Utilities namespace provides helper classes that you can use to create your own MSBuild loggers and tasks.


MSBuild is licensed under the MIT license.


The Microsoft Build Engine (MSBuild) is the build platform for .NET and Visual Studio.




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