MSBuild Reserved and Well-Known Properties

 

For the latest documentation on Visual Studio 2017, see Visual Studio 2017 Documentation.

MSBuild provides a set of predefined properties that store information about the project file and the MSBuild binaries. These properties are evaluated in the same manner as other MSBuild properties. For example, to use the MSBuildProjectFile property, you type $(MSBuildProjectFile).

MSBuild uses the values in the following table to predefine reserved and well-known properties. Reserved properties cannot be overridden, but well-known properties can be overridden by using identically named environment properties, global properties, or properties that are declared in the project file.

The following table describes the MSBuild predefined properties.

PropertyDescriptionReserved or Well-Known
MSBuildBinPathThe absolute path of the folder where the MSBuild binaries that are currently being used are located (for example, C:\Windows\Microsoft.Net\Framework\versionNumber). This property is useful if you have to refer to files in the MSBuild directory.

Do not include the final backslash on this property.
Reserved
MSBuildExtensionsPathIntroduced in the .NET Framework 4: there is no difference between the default values of MSBuildExtensionsPath and MSBuildExtensionsPath32. You can set the environment variable MSBUILDLEGACYEXTENSIONSPATH to a non-null value to enable the behavior of the default value of MSBuildExtensionsPath in earlier versions.

In the .NET Framework 3.5 and earlier, the default value of MSBuildExtensionsPath points to the path of the MSBuild subfolder under the \Program Files\ or \Program Files (x86) folder, depending on the bitness of the current process. For example, for a 32-bit process on a 64-bit machine, this property points to the \Program Files (x86) folder. For a 64-bit process on a 64-bit machine, this property points to the \Program Files folder.

Do not include the final backslash on this property.

This location is a useful place to put custom target files. For example, your target files could be installed at \Program Files\MSBuild\MyFiles\Northwind.targets and then imported in project files by using this XML code:

 <Import Project="$(MSBuildExtensionsPath)\MyFiles\Northwind.targets"/>
Well-Known
MSBuildExtensionsPath32The path of the MSBuild subfolder under the \Program Files or \Program Files (x86) folder. This path always points to the 32-bit \Program Files folder on a 32-bit machine and \Program Files (x86) on a 64-bit machine. See also MSBuildExtensionsPath and MSBuildExtensionsPath64.

Do not include the final backslash on this property.
Well-Known
MSBuildExtensionsPath64The path of the MSBuild subfolder under the \Program Files folder. For a 64-bit machine, this path always points to the \Program Files folder. For a 32-bit machine, this path is blank. See also MSBuildExtensionsPath and MSBuildExtensionsPath32.

Do not include the final backslash on this property.
Well-Known
MSBuildLastTaskResulttrue if the previous task completed without any errors (even if there were warnings), or false if the previous task had errors. Typically, when an error occurs in a task, the error is the last thing that happens in that project. Therefore, the value of this property is never false, except in these scenarios:

- When the ContinueOnError attribute of the Task Element (MSBuild) is set to WarnAndContinue (or true) or ErrorAndContinue.

- When the Target has an OnError Element (MSBuild) as a child element.
Reserved
MSBuildNodeCountThe maximum number of concurrent processes that are used when building. This is the value that you specified for /maxcpucount on the command line. If you specified /maxcpucount without specifying a value, then MSBuildNodeCount specifies the number of processors in the computer. For more information, see Command-Line Reference and Building Multiple Projects in Parallel.Reserved
MSBuildProgramFiles32The location of the 32-bit program folder; for example, C:\Program Files (x86).

Do not include the final backslash on this property.
Reserved
MSBuildProjectDefaultTargetsThe complete list of targets that are specified in the DefaultTargets attribute of the Project element. For example, the following Project element would have an MSBuildDefaultTargets property value of A;B;C:

 <Project DefaultTargets="A;B;C" >
Reserved
MSBuildProjectDirectoryThe absolute path of the directory where the project file is located, for example C:\MyCompany\MyProduct.

Do not include the final backslash on this property.
Reserved
MSBuildProjectDirectoryNoRootThe value of the MSBuildProjectDirectory property, excluding the root drive.

Do not include the final backslash on this property.
Reserved
MSBuildProjectExtensionThe file name extension of the project file, including the period; for example, .proj.Reserved
MSBuildProjectFileThe complete file name of the project file, including the file name extension; for example, MyApp.proj.Reserved
MSBuildProjectFullPathThe absolute path and complete file name of the project file, including the file name extension; for example, C:\MyCompany\MyProduct\MyApp.proj.Reserved
MSBuildProjectNameThe file name of the project file without the file name extension; for example, MyApp.Reserved
MSBuildStartupDirectoryThe absolute path of the folder where MSBuild is called. By using this property, you can build everything below a specific point in a project tree without creating dirs.proj files in every directory. Instead, you have just one project—for example, c:\traversal.proj, as shown here:

 <Project ...> <ItemGroup> <ProjectFiles Include="$ (MSBuildStartupDirectory) **\*.csproj"/> </ItemGroup> <Target Name="build"> <MSBuild Projects="@(ProjectFiles)"/> </Target> </Project>

To build at any point in the tree, type:

 msbuild c:\traversal.proj

Do not include the final backslash on this property.
Reserved
MSBuildThisFileThe file name and file extension portion of MSBuildThisFileFullPath.Reserved
MSBuildThisFileDirectoryThe directory portion of MSBuildThisFileFullPath.

Include the final backslash in the path.
Reserved
MSBuildThisFileDirectoryNoRootThe directory portion of MSBuildThisFileFullPath, excluding the root drive.

Include the final backslash in the path.
Reserved
MSBuildThisFileExtensionThe file name extension portion of MSBuildThisFileFullPath.Reserved
MSBuildThisFileFullPathThe absolute path of the project or targets file that contains the target that is running.

Tip: You can specify a relative path in a targets file that's relative to the targets file and not relative to the original project file.
Reserved
MSBuildThisFileNameThe file name portion of MSBuildThisFileFullPath, without the file name extension.Reserved
MSBuildToolsPathThe installation path of the MSBuild version that's associated with the value of MSBuildToolsVersion.

Do not include the final backslash in the path.

This property cannot be overridden.
Reserved
MSBuildToolsVersionThe version of the MSBuild Toolset that is used to build the project.

Note: An MSBuild Toolset consists of tasks, targets, and tools that are used to build an application. The tools include compilers such as csc.exe and vbc.exe. For more information, see Toolset (ToolsVersion), and Standard and Custom Toolset Configurations.
Reserved

MSBuild ReferenceMSBuild Properties

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