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Standalone install of Visual C++ Build Tools RRS feed

  • Question

  • I would like to install Visual C++ Build Tools on a build server that is not connected to the Internet.  The download from http://landinghub.visualstudio.com/visual-cpp-build-tools appears to be a download and install combo tool.  Is there a standalone version of this installer that comes bundled with all the packages it needs to install?
    Tuesday, October 11, 2016 11:15 PM

Answers

  • Hi jnewman9838,

    Thank you for posting in MSDN forum.

    >> Is there a standalone version of this installer that comes bundled with all the packages it needs to install?

    Currently, there is not a standalone installer of the Visual C++ Build Tools.

    But using /layout command will satisfy your requirement which allows you to download the full set of files to a local folder, and this folder has all the necessary files for offline installation.

    Please try the following steps:

    1.Run the following command at a command prompt: <executable name> /layout.
    This command downloads all the packages for the installation.

    You may see my screenshot as example:

    2.After you run the command, you should be prompted for the download location. Enter the location, and then choose Download.

    3.When the package download is successful, you should see the following two package folders:

    In the file location that you specified, find the executable file and the package folder. This is everything you need to copy to a shared location or install media.
    You can now run the installation from the file location or the install media.

    Best Regards,


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    • Marked as answer by jnewman9838 Thursday, October 13, 2016 3:55 AM
    Wednesday, October 12, 2016 2:51 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi jnewman9838,

    Thank you for posting in MSDN forum.

    >> Is there a standalone version of this installer that comes bundled with all the packages it needs to install?

    Currently, there is not a standalone installer of the Visual C++ Build Tools.

    But using /layout command will satisfy your requirement which allows you to download the full set of files to a local folder, and this folder has all the necessary files for offline installation.

    Please try the following steps:

    1.Run the following command at a command prompt: <executable name> /layout.
    This command downloads all the packages for the installation.

    You may see my screenshot as example:

    2.After you run the command, you should be prompted for the download location. Enter the location, and then choose Download.

    3.When the package download is successful, you should see the following two package folders:

    In the file location that you specified, find the executable file and the package folder. This is everything you need to copy to a shared location or install media.
    You can now run the installation from the file location or the install media.

    Best Regards,


    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time. Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.

    Click HERE to participate the survey.

    • Marked as answer by jnewman9838 Thursday, October 13, 2016 3:55 AM
    Wednesday, October 12, 2016 2:51 AM
    Moderator
  • Hello!

    Thank you for your reply.

    Could you please share with us your opinion about why MS doesn't provide a complete offline installer? What's the point of using these online stubs everywhere?

    It is very frustrating that instead of clicking one link one has to perform some very unclear and time-consuming set of actions.

    Saturday, August 11, 2018 1:40 PM
  • This is always tough to answer, because what other people find a valid explanation is not necessarily what you find valid.

    Anyway, let's look at the "time consuming" action. Are you not counting the time you would take to download any offline installer package from the Microsoft site in this? For example, let's take Visual Studio 2015 Community with Update 3 here. The download for this is 7.1GB according to the website.

    Now, if you were to download this offline downloader, then it would download 7.1GB. If you were to download just the stub executable and then download through the executable, how much do you think you would download?

    There is also the annoying thing that the Visual Studio 2015 offline installer isn't truly offline. It has optional components selectable, and if you want to install one of those then you would still have to install Visual Studio online. A true fully offline version of the installer was around 20GB IIRC.

    If there was a version of this for the 2017 installer, the same thing would probably happen. The Visual Studio 2017 offline installation is huge if you include all of the optional components. I think it is somewhere around 30GB for a single language update 7. Build tools is a fair bit smaller, but I would say that it is somewhere around 10-12GB for a single language update 7, and I think these are under estimates.

    So it is one of those cases that in the long run, there is no real difference between downloading everything in an ISO upfront or downloading everything as part of the --layout command.


    This is a signature. Any samples given are not meant to have error checking or show best practices. They are meant to just illustrate a point. I may also give inefficient code or introduce some problems to discourage copy/paste coding. This is because the major point of my posts is to aid in the learning process.

    Sunday, August 12, 2018 2:57 AM
  • Thank you for such a detailed answer!

    The issue I'm frustrated with is the environment without Internet access. I need to obtain all installation files on one PC and then transfer them to another PC. Yes, the download and copy time should be almost the same - but as you know, copying of one big file is faster and more convenient compared to a bunch of small files. The same thing applies to downloading: one file is easier to download than ten thousand files.

    Finally, storing and managing one ISO is easier and more straightforward, too.

    That's my point of view. Of course I understand that this is quite a non-standard use case, so no real need to do so, unfortunately.

    Thank you again for spending your time on this question!

    Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:22 PM
  • The issue that I see is that you lose time and speed when you want to do anything with that big file.

    As I said, you have 3 options when you go to use that file.

    The first is use some disk image software that can mount the iso file as an virtual drive. This will perform worse than just reading it off of the hard disk.

    Second is to use archive software to read the contents of the iso file and extract it to your hard disk. This takes time and you end up needing double the space of the installer when you want to install it.

    Third is actually write the iso to optical media. This will require using a bluray drive these days, reading and writing from the drive is slow and you either waste writable media, or get rewritable media which tend to be more expensive.

    So what you gain in ease of one ISO you lose in doing anything with it.

    Updating Visual Studio is also more of a pain too.

    But with the current way, you just run the layout again on the current offline image and it will update the layout to the latest version and only download the updated components. This is in contrast to having to get a second ISO image and run two installers at the very least, one for the base version and one for the update. This has been happening regularly with Visual Studio 2017.

    So my view is what you may lose in the ease of just downloading one big file, you gain in the simplicity of storage and maintaining the offline install is way easier. (I look at the offline install as one directory rather than the contained files).


    This is a signature. Any samples given are not meant to have error checking or show best practices. They are meant to just illustrate a point. I may also give inefficient code or introduce some problems to discourage copy/paste coding. This is because the major point of my posts is to aid in the learning process.

    Friday, August 17, 2018 3:46 AM
  • OK, now I got your point of making VS updates easier and less time-consuming. There may be something in it) Thank you again for the detailed answer!
    Tuesday, August 21, 2018 1:05 AM