Engine.BinPath Property

Note: This API is now obsolete.

Gets or sets the path to MSBuild.exe.

Namespace:   Microsoft.Build.BuildEngine
Assembly:  Microsoft.Build.Engine (in Microsoft.Build.Engine.dll)

[ObsoleteAttribute("Avoid setting BinPath. If you were simply passing in the .NET Framework location as the BinPath, no other action is necessary. Otherwise, define Toolsets instead in the registry or config file, or by adding elements to the Engine's ToolsetCollection, in order to use a custom BinPath.")]
public string BinPath { get; set; }

Property Value

Type: System.String

The path to MSBuild.exe.

In MSBuild 3.5, the "BinPath" is superseded by the "ToolsPath." Therefore, in the .Targets file, use MSBuildToolsPath rather than MBBuildBinPath. In the MSBuild object model, "BinPath" relates to the Toolset you are running. The steps to get the path from the build engine are as follows:

  1. Get the default tools version.

  2. Get the Toolset map.

  3. Find the Toolset, based on the string in the map.

  4. Get the Toolset.

  5. Get the path from the Toolset.

This procedure is not required if you are creating the engine. In that case, you already know the Toolset path.

Because projects in a solution can use different Toolsets, you can also obtain the MSBuild.exe path from the project, as follows.


For more information about Toolsets, see MSBuild Tool Set (ToolsVersion).

The following example creates an Engine object and uses the BuildProjectFile method to build a project file. The FileLogger class is used to log information to a file.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Text;
using Microsoft.Build.BuildEngine;

namespace BuildAProjectCS
    class Program
        static void Main(string[] args)
            // Instantiate a new Engine object
            Engine engine = new Engine();

            // Point to the path that contains the .NET Framework 2.0 CLR and tools
            engine.BinPath = @"c:\windows\microsoft.net\framework\v2.0.xxxxx";

            // Instantiate a new FileLogger to generate build log
            FileLogger logger = new FileLogger();

            // Set the logfile parameter to indicate the log destination
            logger.Parameters = @"logfile=C:\temp\build.log";

            // Register the logger with the engine

            // Build a project file
            bool success = engine.BuildProjectFile(@"c:\temp\validate.proj");

            //Unregister all loggers to close the log file

            if (success)
                Console.WriteLine("Build succeeded.");
                Console.WriteLine(@"Build failed. View C:\temp\build.log for details");


.NET Framework
Available since 2.0
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