node package manager


Build projects with MSBuild and XBuild using Grunt


Build projects with MSBuild and XBuild using Grunt

Getting Started

This plugin requires Grunt ~0.4.0. In other words it should work on 0.4.0 or higher.

If you haven't used Grunt before, be sure to check out the Getting Started guide, as it explains how to create a Gruntfile as well as install and use Grunt plugins. Once you're familiar with that process, you may install this plugin with this command:

npm install grunt-msbuild --save-dev

Once the plugin has been installed, it may be enabled inside your Gruntfile with this line of JavaScript:


The "msbuild" task


In your project's Gruntfile, add a section named msbuild to the data object passed into grunt.initConfig().

    msbuild: {
        dev: {
            src: ['ConsoleApplication5.csproj'],
            options: {
                projectConfiguration: 'Debug',
                targets: ['Clean', 'Rebuild'],
                version: 4.0,
                maxCpuCount: 4,
                buildParameters: {
                    WarningLevel: 2
                customArgs:[ '/noautoresponse', '/detailedsummary'],
                verbosity: 'quiet'


Name Description Default
projectConfiguration Configuration to pick Release
targets Targets to run Build
version .NET version 4.0
maxCpuCount Number of cores to use 1
nodeReuse If msbuild should hang around false
consoleLoggerParameters Customize Console Logger
buildParameters Additional properties
customArgs Additional args, see MSBuild Command-Line Reference
verbosity Verbosity level (quiet, minimal, normal, detailed or diagnostic) normal

For more information, see MSBuild Command-Line Reference.

MSBuild version selection

Pass a version parameter to the task options as shown above to select a specific MSBuild version.

The version number is used to look up the MSBuild executable. Old MSBuild versions are installed to the corresponding .NET Framework directory (under C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework). Recent MSBuild versions are installed to program files (C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild). The following version mappings are used:

Version .NET Framework directory
1.0 1.0.3705
1.1 1.1.4322
2.0 2.0.50727
3.5 3.5
4.0 4.0.30319
Version MSBuild directory
12.0 12.0
14.0 14.0

If a version is not passed, the task will attempt to locate the latest version of MSBuild. Failing that, the task will fallback to 4.0.


If this task is run on OS X or Linux it will assume that xbuild is in the path and use that instead of MSBuild.


All contributions welcome :) Add to the VS integration tests for any new or changed functionality if possible.

Issues and installing previous versions

If you have any problems with the latest release please log an issue at

If you need to roll back to an earlier version you can use the following syntax to install a specific version

npm install grunt-msbuild@0.1.12

Also see for details of how to specify a particular package version in your package.json file

Release Notes

Version Notes
2.0 This version replaces exec() with spawn() to improve memory usage and also to support coloured console output. This has been tested internally.
0.1.12 Support for MSBuild 12 added
0.1.11 ...