Table of Contents

Buildsystem Integration

The latest version of this documentation is available on GitHub.

Table of Contents

The buildsystem-specific integration styles have heuristics to deduce the correct triplet. This can be overridden in a native way for MSBuild and CMake.

MSBuild Integration (Visual Studio)

If you are using manifest mode(vcpkg.json) see here for additional configuration options.

User-wide integration

vcpkg integrate install

This will implicitly add Include Directories, Link Directories, and Link Libraries for all packages installed with vcpkg to all VS2015, VS2017 and VS2019 MSBuild projects. We also add a post-build action for executable projects that will analyze and copy any DLLs you need to the output folder, enabling a seamless F5 experience.

For the vast majority of libraries, this is all you need to do -- just File -> New Project and write code! However, some libraries perform conflicting behaviors such as redefining main(). Since you need to choose per-project which of these conflicting options you want, you will need to add those libraries to your linker inputs manually.

Here are some examples, though this is not an exhaustive list:

To get a full list for all your installed packages, run vcpkg owns manual-link.

If you are using manifest mode (vcpkg.json) see here for all available options.

Per-project integration

Note: This approach is not recommended for new projects, since it makes them difficult to share with others.

For a portable, self-contained NuGet package, see the export command

We also provide individual VS project integration through a NuGet package. This will modify the project file, so we do not recommend this approach for open source projects.

PS D:\src\vcpkg> .\vcpkg integrate project
Created nupkg: D:\src\vcpkg\scripts\buildsystems\vcpkg.D.src.vcpkg.1.0.0.nupkg

With a project open, go to Tools->NuGet Package Manager->Package Manager Console and paste:
    Install-Package vcpkg.D.src.vcpkg -Source "D:/src/vcpkg/scripts/buildsystems"

Note: The generated NuGet package does not contain the actual libraries. It instead acts like a shortcut (or symlink) to the vcpkg install and will "automatically" update with any changes (install/remove) to the libraries. You do not need to regenerate or update the NuGet package.

Changing the triplet

You can see the automatically deduced triplet by setting your MSBuild verbosity to Normal or higher:

Shortcut: Ctrl+Q "build and run"

Tools -> Options -> Projects and Solutions -> Build and Run -> MSBuild project build output verbosity

To override the automatically chosen triplet, you can specify the MSBuild property vcpkgTriplet in your .vcxproj. We recommend adding this to the Globals PropertyGroup.

<PropertyGroup Label="Globals">
  <!-- .... -->
  <vcpkgTriplet Condition="'$(Platform)'=='Win32'">x86-windows-static</vcpkgTriplet>
  <vcpkgTriplet Condition="'$(Platform)'=='x64'">x64-windows-static</vcpkgTriplet>

CMake Integration

cmake ../my/project -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=[vcpkg-root]/scripts/buildsystems/vcpkg.cmake

Projects configured with the vcpkg toolchain file will have the appropriate vcpkg folders added to the cmake search paths. This makes all libraries available to be found through find_package(), find_path(), and find_library().

See Installing and Using Packages Example: sqlite for a fully worked example using our CMake toolchain.

Note that we do not automatically add ourselves to your compiler include paths. To use a header-only library, simply use find_path(), which will correctly work on all platforms:

# To find and use catch
find_path(CATCH_INCLUDE_DIR NAMES catch.hpp PATH_SUFFIXES catch2)

If you are using manifest mode (vcpkg.json) see here for all available options.

For different IDE integrations see here.

Using an environment variable instead of a command line option

The CMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE setting simply must be set before the project() directive is first called. This means that you can easily read from an environment variable to avoid passing it on the configure line:

  set(CMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE "$ENV{VCPKG_ROOT}/scripts/buildsystems/vcpkg.cmake"
      CACHE STRING "")

project(myproject CXX)

Using multiple toolchain files

To use an external toolchain file with a project using vcpkg, you can set the cmake variable VCPKG_CHAINLOAD_TOOLCHAIN_FILE on the configure line:

cmake ../my/project \
   -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=C:/vcpkg/scripts/buildsystems/vcpkg.cmake \

Alternatively, you can include the vcpkg toolchain at the end of the primary toolchain file:

# MyToolchain.cmake
set(VCPKG_TARGET_TRIPLET x64-my-custom-windows-triplet)

Note: vcpkg does not see the settings in your own triplets, such as your compiler or compilation flags. To change vcpkg's settings, you must make a custom triplet file (which can share your own toolchain)

Changing the triplet

You can set VCPKG_TARGET_TRIPLET on the configure line:

cmake ../my/project -DVCPKG_TARGET_TRIPLET=x64-windows-static -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=...

If you use VCPKG_DEFAULT_TRIPLET environment variable to control the unqualified triplet in vcpkg command lines you can default VCPKG_TARGET_TRIPLET in CMake like Using an environment variable instead of a command line option:


Finally, if you have your own toolchain file, you can set VCPKG_TARGET_TRIPLET there:

# MyToolchain.cmake
set(VCPKG_TARGET_TRIPLET x64-my-custom-triplet)

Manual Compiler Setup

Libraries are installed into the installed\ subfolder in classic mode, partitioned by triplet (e.g. x86-windows):

See your build system specific documentation for how to use prebuilt binaries.

On Windows dynamic triplets: To run any produced executables you will also need to either copy the needed DLL files to the same folder as your executable or prepend the correct bin\ directory to your path.

Export Command

This command creates a shrinkwrapped archive containing a specific set of libraries (and their dependencies) that can be quickly and reliably shared with build servers or other users in your organization.

Each of these have the same internal layout which mimics the layout of a full vcpkg instance:

Additionally, NuGet packages will contain a build\native\vcpkg.targets that integrates with MSBuild projects.

Please also see our blog post for additional examples.