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Bring Back the Visual Studio Installation Customization Options

We'd like to have all of the options back to customize Visual Studio. We'd probably like to have more granular installation customization, but at the very least, let us customize the installation.

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    Jason GaylordJason Gaylord shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    65 comments

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      • Andrew McDonaldAndrew McDonald commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree with Heath, the RC changes aren't enough. I unticked all optional components and still ended up with a huge list of stuff for SQL Server etc. in Programs and Features:

        Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Multi-Targeting Pack (I don't do any .NET stuff)
        Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Command Line Utilities
        Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Data-Tier App Framework
        Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Data-Tier App Framework (duplicate entry)
        Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Express LocalDB
        Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Management Objects
        Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Management Objects (x64)
        Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Native Client
        Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Transact-SQL Compiler Service
        Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Transact-SQL ScriptDom
        Microsoft SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Language Service
        Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools - enu (11.1.20424.00)
        Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools Build Utilities - enu (11.1.20425.00)
        Microsoft SQL Server System CLR Types
        Microsoft SQL Server System CLR Types (x64)
        Microsoft System CLR Types for SQL Server 2012
        Microsoft System CLR Types for SQL Server 2012 (x64)
        Microsoft Web Deploy dbSqlPackage Provider - enu
        Prerequisites for SSDT
        SQL Server Data Framework Tools - enu
        WCF RIA Services V1.0 SP2

        I don't need SQL Server, except the Compact edition for VS Intellisense - why is all that installed automatically? And why does that WCF thing merit a Start menu folder filled with nothing but web links and a EULA? Microsoft themselves had to extend the Start menu with things like text search and most-used lists because users' menus were becoming bloated and unwieldy. Stopping the rot at source would be a good start...

        I'd hate to be a SQL developer with all that to comprehend anyway. What's the difference between "Microsoft SQL Server System CLR Types" and "Microsoft System CLR Types for SQL Server 2012"? The words mean the same thing! And clearly it would be an order of magnitude cleaner to have just a single entry for "Microsoft SQL Server 2012", featuring all the other options as tickboxes inside the setup program. You know, just like in the good old days!

        Futhermore, let's examine the "Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0" folder. With all the optional components unticked it's shrunk nicely from 2.88 GB at Beta to 1.56 at RC on my machine, but that's still too large.

        Personally I'm a C++ programmer, but if I wasn't I'd be annoyed at a useless 933 MB 'VC' folder. And within it there's still 253 MB dedicated to ARM libs I'll probably never need, the same amount for x64 libs I might not need yet, and 40 MB dedicated to ATL libraries I certainly don't want.

        Elsewhere, I don't even know what "DIA" stands for, but there's an SDK for it wasting a bit of space. I don't do any .NET work, so no need for "PreEmptive Solutions" (Windows or perhaps even VS Setup actually had the temerity to promote this app into the "most used programs" bit of my Start menu after installation, removing something else I actually used!) And the contents of "Team Tools" seem like they should be individually tickable too.

        Now the second elephant, "Common7\IDE". With no .NET intentions, do I really need these "PrivateAssemblies" and "ReferenceAssemblies" folders? They're massive. Weirdly, in the former, SpaceMonger shows me significant amount of space dedicated to a list of American states in some "States_by_County" subfolder. American states, in a programming IDE! There's also "CommonExtensions" and "Extensions". Not sure why there are two, but if they're called "extensions" their contents should be individually optional, not occupying 120 MB of space.

        And don't think the "Windows Kits" folder doesn't deserve the same analysis. There are all sorts of folders there for WinRT stuff, Arm, x64, etc. that users might not need.

      • HeathHeath commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The customization options provided are very sparse. No option to not install C++, VB.NET? This is somewhat disappointing.

      • cmlcml commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Today I was install RC...
        I unselect all the install options and spend half of hour waiting (hispec machine with ssd) for things i don't want to install.
        Then they took another hour from my preciouss life for uninstall this whole mess

      • Dean J.Dean J. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Microsoft will quickly say (especially Somasegar) that Visual Studio is about giving developers the option to create software in whatever platform they choose. Well how about giving those same people the ability to choose which components of VS to install. Pease don't force a full install.

      • Dev10Dev10 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please bring back customization options. The survey you ran asked us about customization, please don't let our answers be wasted.

      • Vladimir RechVladimir Rech commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please! Bring back install customization! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! (Mother's day causing effects :-p)

      • cmlcml commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Principl e1: Every program needs install customization.
        MS Team: It's not our concern - Cut off "customization".

        Principle 2: Every program needs installation.
        MS Team: It's not our concern - Cut it off!

        Principle 3: Every idea needs followers.
        MS Team: LOL ;)

      • Chris RobertsChris Roberts commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is really laziness under the guise of "we're making things simpler and removing clutter".

        I actually get tired of hearing the much-overused phrase these days of "you spoke, we listened!" ...but I'd love to hear that now with the custom install options, and with giving the VS2010 (or similar) theme back.

      • Tudor TurcuTudor Turcu commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        For the team at Microsoft - this is NOT a consumer-product, is NOT Office - a true developer wants to be able to tweak every aspect of the setup process. Many people choose to install SQL Server Developer separately, not SQL Server Express. Many people never use VB, F#. C++, use a different installer and never use "office tools" Also, usually I select only a few help items that I really need, not all MSDN, I never use the built-in obfuscator etc.

        About "One of the things we learned in Dev10 was that only about 10% of customers chose to customize their installations at all" - how did you found this? I have never enabled the "send feedback to.." checkboxes when installing any product until now.

        For VS web development I expect to be able to customize it to take less than 2 GB of disk space, NOT the huge 9 GB that the installer occupy now after several hours of running the setup.

      • SergeySergey commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        For example, it makes sense to install optional SQL Express. SQL Express version distributed with Visual Studio is often not the last. You have to install SQL Express or SQL Enterprise latest version.

      • a_zura_zur commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        One point is the disk space on SSD. Another point is that later, in the daily work, I have many more options I never use if I not customize the installation. (e.g. “New Project”). My impression is also that the startup is faster if you choose only some languages.
        I have installed every version since Version 6.0, always only C++, but rarely clicked “Send feedback” – sorry probably my mistake.

      • HeathHeath commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        While a consolidated list of components in Add/Remove would be nice, a customized install feature is sorely missed in this Beta.

      • OatherOather commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Agreed, a minimal c++ install without all the .net support would likely speed up the IDE as well (eg the debug exceptions dialog).

      • James D. SchwarzmeierJames D. Schwarzmeier commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Not only should the install be customizable, but it seriously needs to consolidate itself. I think my install put something like 38 different entries in add/remove programs. Are all of these really neccesary? It seems like a lot of the entries are really subcomponents or individual features...can cause quite the mess when trying to uninstall stuff.

      • Taavi KoosaarTaavi Koosaar commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I think at the bare minimum, we need to be able to choose what components to install to save space on SSD's. I almost never install VB.NET or c++ (btw this is HUGE), since i do not develop using them. I think all the different types of developments need to be selectable to minimize the installation and bloat on Visual Studio. Components should be addable later if the requirement rises,

      • Todd SmithTodd Smith commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Myself and all of the guys on my team really want to have at a minimum, the options of VS 10. Sure, disk space is fairly cheap, but the point for us is this: not taking all afternoon to install, and taking it easy on the SSD's we have.

        It always gets me when MS says they took something away because they felt not many used it (such a positive spin on it). Why not just leave it??? Is it really that much effort to giving customers a decent installer??

        I've also left a comment on the suggestion for adding even more customization than VS 10 had....I mean the list of stuff in the Control Panel/Programs list is bewildering.

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