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Wouldn't it be nice if Visual Studio could work like PortableApps from a thumbdrive?

This suggestion is migrated to Developer Community. Please use below link to view the current status.
https://developercommunity.visualstudio.com/content/idea/351340/wouldnt-it-be-nice-if-visual-studio-could-work-lik.html

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    Jeffrey Palermo shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    I wanted to update the status to make sure you know that we hear you. This isn’t straightforward to deliver for obvious reasons: Visual Studio installs a disparate variety of tools, runtimes and SDKs, many of which come from third parties or other parts of Microsoft. We recognize that developers would love to see something lighter and while we have nothing new to announce at this stage, we are spending a lot of time thinking about how we can improve Visual Studio installation.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Tim Sneath | Visual Studio Team

    112 comments

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      • mroz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        MSFT cannot make VS portable because all their dev is based on bloated COM so installer registers 700'000+ (!!!) entries to Windows Registry when makes full VS installation. I'm really envy when looking at others IDEs that are zip-installable and keep my system perfectly clean and untouched.
        There is something really wrong with MS's approach to software deployment when you realize that installation process is almost as complex as software that installs and that this is the most fragile and erroneous element of VS. You fighting hard with problems you provided yourself, problems that don't exist in rest of non-msft approach. There will be really great if VS + SDK + Installer + zillion other MS' teams take lesson from VS Code team.

      • BR commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes. Removing VS dependencies on registry, c:\program files, etc is a good thing.

        Side by side install is easier, everything you need to Run VS version X will be in directory d:\VSx and its child directories.

      • VJohnston commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree and I do wish every application had a portable version of itself. However, I do realize there may be issues with some applications that need registry access, etc. As a student, I use a school computer as well as my own computer at home and a laptop so it would be convenient. Especially since the school moved everything to a cloud which isn't accessible from pc or laptops... or if the cloud server is down because too many students are accessing it. I'd rather have a local copy that I can use from a usb drive or external ssd/hhd no matter what i'm using.

      • Irmgard Gresse commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is the one idea on the top list that I disagree with. There are just a ton of libraries and SDKs that need to be installed. In addition to the fact that it would be difficult to do, if successful, it would probably be slow to have so much of the program on a flash drive.

        If you wish to do portable development why not get a laptop?

      • Henry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Can we get VS to download all required components to a directory tree, then quit installation? Later, the user could install VS and the required compnents as needed.

        The current mix of some on the local drive, some dynamically downloaded is not a long term solution since VS 2017 install will break with a missing component URL or bad file ~5 years after VS 2017 is released.

        We have VS 2010, 2012, 2015, and 2017 solutions in our large corporation. The VS 2010 and 2012 solutions are either slated for retirement or large redevelopment in the next 2 years.

        We do not upgrade all of our solutions to the latest Visual Studio version every time. Doing so would be a full time job for 20+ developers.

        Microsoft's customers are the businesses; which have a portfolio of business software solutions to use and support. It's the first point to be noted. Cool tools for individual developers is not the focus of a business.

      • Wesley Hatler commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I just want to be able to install the complete package of Visual Studio to a secondary drive. I select my D drive and only 6GBs gets installed on it while 20GB+ gets installed to my SSD

      • Ahmed Alyousify commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        More than 20GB to install, come on, what do you guys think we have as hard drives!!! we have one laptop for everything so expect us to have alot of space.
        I am really in despreate need to use visual studio but i do not have enough space in my c drive, i choose the D drive, it is only saving 4GB on D drive and 16 GB on C? Please. if there is another solution i would be thankful.

      • Pavan Gayakwad commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        VS 2017 setup is nearly 20+GB now, on top it, it always requires internet connection during installation and download few GBs every time.(offline downloading and installing from repository just doesn't work, don't tell me that please). Not every developer has the luxury of connecting to blazing speed and unlimited internet. Its high-time to think on portable approach. Its the need of the hour.

      • mroz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        MSFT cannot make VS portable because all their dev is based on bloated COM so installer registers 700'000+ (!!!) entries to Windows Registry when makes full VS installation. I'm really envy when looking at others IDEs that are zip-installable and keep my system perfectly clean and untouched.

        There is something really wrong with MS's approach to software deployment when you realize that installation process is almost as complex as software that installs and that this is the most fragile and erroneous element of VS. You fighting hard with problems you provided yourself, problems that don't exist in rest of non-msft approach. There will be really great if VS + SDK + Installer + zillion other MS' teams take lesson from VS Code team.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes, please. We have complete Embedded Eclipse/CDT based C/C++ tool chains, including target debugging and many libraries. Installation is just unzipping an archive to a folder, uninstall is just deleting the folder. We do one reference installation, and then just archive it to a ZIP to install it on other machines. Android Studio can do the same, including SDKs. Easy to automate, easy to do manually. As simple as it can get.
        Having VS portable would allow us to do the same.
        The new VS installer brought us some advantages in granularity of what's installed, but is still splatters VS files and registry entries all over the place.

      • Paul M commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        How about letting VS use SDKs that are hosted in containers? That would probably be a nice solution.

      • J876 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        If you cannot put the whole Visual Studio 2017 IDE as a portable app can you at least make a portable version of the command line Microsoft Visual Studio Build Tools (C and C++) that can be run without an installer?

        The command line compiler and linker can't be that hard to make portable can it?

        The icing on the cake would be a decent portable command line text editor and portable windows text editor as well from Microsoft.

        How come there is no command line text editor for Microsoft Windows or Visual Studio? Does no one use the command line to edit text files? I do it in Linux and MS-DOS/FreeDOS all the time.

      • John commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is the very great idea. Many time I want to give my VS to other dev I just need to install it. It should be like give VS by copy paste and install things like C++ 14 manually (VS automatically does that) it will be great because it will save a lot of time for installing it (by downloading it first)

      • Domenico Gentner commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I want to add to this. It would be really nice if Visual Studio wouldn't spread itself so much over the System. And I would also like more freedom to not install what I do not need. I use Visual Studio only for C++.

      • Christos Karras commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is extremely important, I just wasted 1 day troubleshooting a broken Visual Studio installation (including uninstalling and reinstalling everything) and have finally resorted to rebuilding a new machine, because no matter what I try, the reinstallation is still broken. Precisely because it is currently not straightforward to deliver, there's some work to do until it becomes straightforward.

      • Dydzio commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Big advantage of that solution would be possibility to use IDE on temporary machine, even if this lead to special IDE version with stripped functionality it would be good tool in places where Visual Studio Code does not suffice. Assuming less dependency on system components, people could avoid problems with installation, or using IDE after something gets corrupted in the system.

      • James Yeoman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Currently, Visual Studio is only available to install on the user's C:\ drive. This makes it harder for working on projects on various computers. It means that Visual Studio is needed to be installed various times AND the external libraries such as SFML or GLEW for OpenGL. Being able to install onto an external HDD without needing to install anything on the computers using the HDD would make things so much easier. It would mean that precious HDD space on the computers wouldn't be filled with various versions of the .Net framework. It would also mean that students can use their configuration on the computers in colleges and universities without having to install the libraries for an hour and setting up the configurations. They can just get on with their project.

      • jeff bates commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree with David Goodenough, what utter BS on the part of MS. If you can't make VS portable it is either;
        a) you are incompetent
        b) you don't want to
        c) your OS and/or VS systems suck
        d) all of the above

        All you hear from MS is always excuses, excuses.
        Things never get better with MS products they get worse.
        Now you can't have VS 2015 running without having an internet connection, what kind of BS is that.

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