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Configuring Projects Using MSBuild

Most configuration settings of PostSharp can be set as MSBuild properties. This topic describes how to modify them.

List of well-known properties

See Well-Known MSBuild Properties.

Setting MSBuild properties with a text editor

To set a property that persistently applies to a specific project, but not to the whole solution, the best solution is to define it directly inside the C# or VB project file (*.csproj or *.vbproj, respectively) using a text editor.

  1. Open the Solution Explorer, right-click on the project name, click on Unload project, then right-click again on the same project and click on Edit.

  2. Insert the following XML fragment just before the <Import /> elements:

  3. Save the file. If the project was open in Visual Studio, go to the Solution Explorer, right-click on the project name, then click on Reload project.

Setting MSBuild with environment variables

Since all environment variables are imported into MSBuild property, you can set any MSBuild property by setting the environment variable of the same name before starting the MSBuild process. This is a convenient way to set up PostSharp from a build server.

Configuring several projects at a time

Instead of editing every project file, you can define shared settings in a file named Directory.Build.props and store in the same directory as the project file or in any parent directory of the parent file.

Thanks to this mechanism, it is possible to define settings that apply to a large set of projects and control the grain of settings.

Files Directory.Build.props are normal MSBuild project or targets files; they should have the following content:

            <? xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<Project xmlns="">


Before MSBuild added support for Directory.Build.props, PostSharp implemented the same feature using a file named PostSharp.Custom.targets, which was searched for in up to 8 levels of parent directories. This feature is still supported, but we recommend to use Directory.Build.props.

Setting MSBuild properties from the command line

When an MSBuild property does not need to be set permanently, it is convenient to set is from the command prompt by appending the flag /p: PropertyName = PropertyValue to the command line of msbuild.exe, for instance:

            msbuild.exe /p:PostSharpUsePipeServer=False


See Also

Other Resources

MSBuild Properties
Directory.Build.props and Directory.Build.targets