Introduced in Conan 1.26. This generator is aimed to supersede the existing visualstudio and visualstudiomulti generators.


This is a deprecated feature. Please refer to the Migration Guidelines to find the feature that replaced this one.

This is a generator to be used for Visual Studio projects (.sln solutions and .vcxproject files), natively, without using CMake at all. The generator will create Visual Studio properties files that can be added to the projects and solutions in the IDE, under the “properties” tab.

If a conanfile declares two requirements "zlib/1.2.11", "poco/1.9.4", then running the conan install -g=msbuild will create the following files:

  • One properties file for each dependency and transitive dependency, like conan_zlib.props, conan_openssl.props and conan_poco.props. These files will transitively import other files, in this case as the poco package depends on openssl, the conan_poco.props will import conan_openssl.props file.

  • One file for each dependency for each configuration, like conan_zlib_release_x64_v141.props, containing the corresponding variables (include folders, library folders, library name, etc.) for that configuration, like the <ConanzlibIncludeDirectories> variable. These files are conditionally included per configuration by the base dependency file (conan_zlib.props).

  • One conandeps.props Visual Studio properties file, importing all the direct dependencies, in this example both conan_zlib.props and conan_poco.props.

The per-configuration files are created after installing that specific configurations.

$ conan install . -g msbuild -s build_type=Release -s arch=x86_64
# This will generate the conan_xxx_release_x64 properties files
$ conan install . -g msbuild -s build_type=Debug -s arch=x86
# This will generate the conan_xxx_debug_x86 properties files

This is a multi-configuration generator, after installing different configurations it is possible to switch the configuration directly in the Visual Studio IDE.

If a Visual Studio solutions consists of multiple subprojects, it is possible to add individual property files to specific subprojects, making it available that dependency and its transitive dependencies to that subproject only.