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MSBuild Joins GitHub, Paving Way for Non-Windows Build Systems

| by Jeff Martin Follow 16 Followers on Mar 20, 2015. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

The MSBuild tool used to build .NET applications has been released as an open source project on GitHub, joining Microsoft’s previously released .NET projects like corefx and coreclr.  MSBuild is used by Visual Studio but MSBuild can also be used on machines that do not have Visual Studio installed.  While there are existing non-Microsoft methods available for building applications, this release of MSBuild means that developers can begin to utilize one standard build system across all of their development platforms.

The project as it currently stands requires Visual Studio 2015 to be built, but eventually this restriction will be removed as support for non-Windows platforms is added.  Microsoft’s Rich Lander indicates that Linux and Mac support is planned to be included “soon” which then in-theory will fully enable a non-Windows build and/or continuous-integration system to be used.  Those interested in building MSBuild at this moment will find it easiest to do so by spinning up a VS2015 CTP6 VM on Azure as this will not affect any local settings or configurations.

In a follow-up comment, Lander notes that current plans are for the .NET corefx project to continue to use MSBuild, while CoreCLR will use CMake.  The general uptake for Microsoft’s projects on GitHub has been positive so far, with Microsoft employees contributing 62% of all pull requests compared to 38% from the community at large.

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except... by Mark N

"this release of MSBuild means that developers can begin to utilize one standard build system across all of their development platforms." Other than being on Github means you can easily fork it. If they don't make it back to the original, then you don't have one thing.

Additionally, the reason other build products exist because in other platforms, build and dependency management have merged and moved beyond XML and are including in things like Continuous Build/Integration/Deployment.

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