Quickpost: Compiling with Build Tools for Visual Studio 2017

( Original text by Didier Stevens )

Compiling C/C++ programs with Microsoft’s command-line compilers is possible, even if you don’t have Visual Studio installed. You can do this with the Build Tools for Visual Studio 2017 (a free download).

Go to https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/downloads/ and download the Build Tools:

The downloaded file does not include the build tools, but it’s a stager that will download the necessary build tools. It requires .NET, you might get an error if the proper version is not installed:

Installing the correct .NET framework will fix this problem:

Once this download is completed, you can get to the actual installer where you choose the tools you want:

I selected the Visual C++ build tools, a download of about 1 GB:

Once the build tools are installed, you can open a shell via the start menu:

The C/C++ compiler is invoked with command cl:

As an example, I’m compiling the following program:

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