I suggest you ...

Provide Visual Studio updates as an ISO image for offline installation

The offline installation method (run vs2012.2.exe /layout) is sub-optimal and has too many moving pieces. Please provide future (and current if possible) visual studio updates as an ISO.

I work as a consultant on a variety of customer sites, often on virtual machines with no / little internet connectivity. I also work on a laptop which is often disconnected, and sometimes it is connected via a mobile device which would cost hundreds of dollars to download updates.

In most of these situations, the simplest thing that works (and has worked for a long period of time) is to store and copy an ISO file with the appropriate installer.
Providing an ISO for software from MSDN means that I know that I have an accurate unmodified copy of the installer (I can check the checksum matches). This prevents media copy issues, virus infection, etc.

An ISO allows me to efficiently store the installer for use by VMs, or mounting on physical machines as needed without taking up any extra unneccesary space. It means that when I want to share this installer between several developers on physical machines each person only needs to copy a single file. This is an atomic action rather in comparison to a copy folder full of files. It is either done or not done.

An example of one of the sub-optimal parts of the current offline installer method. The downloader spends a lot of time acquiring the software. There is no indication of how long / how much data this is going to take. In VS Update 1, I started an update fetch on my laptop near the end of the day. It had not finished by the time I needed to leave for home. I paused my machine, but could not pause the download (only cancel). This meant I was unable to use my laptop connected during my commute home (it would have cost me an unknown amount of MB * $0.10 / MB). Partial download / pause / resume capability should be a solved problem by now (MSDN has a download manager, there are many other download managers that work for this purpose)

Note: this request is superficially similar to http://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio/suggestions/3378035-standalone-installer-for-vsupdate-kb2707250-exe-wo Please do not merge. This request is explicitly for an ISO delivery, not for an offline delivery. I note that there's a link to a torrent of the ISO in that issue. This is not something we can use in an enterprise environment for complance and security reasons.

Note2: this rant was created while waiting for vs2012.2.exe /layout to complete. I think it's got about 200 pixels left until it completes. I'm not sure how this relates to time or MB/GBs of download.

410 votes
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    Joshka shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Thanks to everyone for voting on this issue. We are happy to let you know that we have addressed this suggestion and you can download the ISO image from: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=298533. More details can be obtained here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudio/archive/2013/05/03/announcing-availability-of-isos-for-visual-studio-updates.aspx

    Deon Herbert – MSFT
    Microsoft Developer Division


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      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I downloaded the iso image of visual studio 2013 express but it does not getting installed ......it gives error as update 3 is not applicable ......

      • Brad Smith commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate


        Can we have a MD5/SHA1 checksum.

        I got:

        File : <C:\VS2012.2.iso>
        MD5 : B211A884 1041599A B1699BF1 E6856A53
        SHA-1 : 664AF80C 33225BEC C548F7C4 2D56D5C9 A128687F

      • John commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You can always download the Iso with the Opera browser which gives you the resume option if the the download stops part way through.

        This is a much better option than using a torrent.

      • Eriawan Kusumawardhono commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I completely agree with DeCaf below. Beginning with VS 2012 Update 2, the update is now available in ISO to download.
        Please mark this suggestion as "Completed" immediately!

      • cromwellryan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        So that you realize, by having a bootstrapper the installer only downloads what is necessary. In many many situations that is gigabytes less than what the ISO will be. As mentioned use the /layout option if you want an image locally.

        Happy coding.

      • Axel Grude commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I bet if I hit Cancel now I have to d/l 1.4 Gigs again. Have to wait 4 days for this, because I don't want to go over this months allowance. Where can I order a DVD, that's faster and cheaper?

      • Axel Grude commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        just installing vs2012 here downloading for four hours and it is 1.4 Gbyte into it according to my VPN counter. Last month I got done for going over the allowance (30Gigs/month) had to pay 285 Euros (normal monthly rate is 25 Euros), because of the scumbags at meteor.ie. Now I have to fear more penalties like this, progress bar is about 80% (Acquiring Microsoft Visual C++ 2012 Microsoft Foundation Class Libraries) and I really regret not having downloaded an ISO :(

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I share the same frustration with everyone here. I started the VS Update 2 on Saturday and it could not complete because it was taking ages and I had to go home. I cancel the update and it reported to have completed 21 out of 50 something.
        I restarted the update today and it started from the beginning. 5 hours in the process am still less than 25% done. The worst part for me the partial updates messed up my WPF applications. The WPF designer does not work anymore and the XAML intellisense does not also work.
        Please Microsoft don't assume that all Windows developers have a fast internet connection that can download 1.8gig in minutes!!! For some of us we need to use a download accelerator like FDM even then it will take hours to download. Without a download accelerator it will take days to download.
        The best approach is to have a single iso or exe to download.

      • AL commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        MS always finds the way to bring something workable to absurdity.
        Use torrent or thepiratebay to download legitimate VS update? Come on guys. LOL Microsoft - this is just stupid, why not just have full downloads, like NORMAL people would do.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 does install all the irrelevant updates like chinese SDK for Windows Phone etc which obviously I dont need because I am from India and why would i require Chinese and Russian and other country SDK

      • radioman . lt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Joshka, download and check it yourself, it's has perfect file match from 2 torrents, all files are identical. You can use WinMerge to compare it. Confirm if you can, solid integrity is important.

      • Joshka commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Can anyone prove that those ISO torrents mentioned below are unmodified?

      • Rajendra commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I think "VS2012.2.exe /layout" will download all local languages. e.g. ..\packages\EFTools folder has 11 sub-folders for 11 languages. I am interested in English only. VS2012.2.exe /? has no option to download specific language. And that might be the reason for 1.8GB size of total download.

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