The click-through-installer will guide you through the installation process. The installer lets you select the Visual Studio Version for which you want Visual D to be installed. It will always install for all users, not only for a single user.
Visual D does not work with any of the Express versions of Visual Studio. Other than the commercial editions, the Express versions do not support loading third party extensions and add-ins.
In November 2014 Microsoft released Visual Studio Community 2013, a version similar to Visual Studio Professional, but free for most users unless working in larger companies. Visual D integrates just as well as with the commercial versions.
Visual D also works with the professional and community version of Visual Studio 2015 and 2017. Please be aware that the VC runtime libraries that ship with VS 2015 are not supported by dmd up to 2.068 when compiling 64-bit applications.
Visual Studio Shell
A free alternative are the integrated Visual Studio Shell distributions, that can be downloaded from Microsoft (see below for links). The shells are identical with the Visual Studio IDE, but stripped of any language support. It still contains the native debugger that can be used to debug D applications.
VS Shell 2008 can be found here, though a newer version is recommended. Some functionality is not supported in VS2008.
VS Shell 2010 can be used, but there don't seem to be any installers available from Microsoft anymore.
Unfortunately, the Visual Studio Shells 2008 and 2010 are missing one file that is needed for the conversion of the debug information by cv2pdb. This is msobj80.dll for VS2008 and msobj100.dll for VS2010 and must be extracted from a standard installation, the Visual C Express edition or the Windows SDK. You might also find it installed by other Microsoft products. Put this file alongside mspdbcore.dll, normally in <VS-installation-path>\Common7\IDE.
The Visual Studio Shell 2012 is installed with two packages, the isolated shell followed by the integrated package. Fortunately it has all the files needed for debugging, and the Visual D installer patches the installation to make the x64 debugger work.
To use GDC as the compiler to build D files, you will first have to install the MinGW environment and the GDC compiler:
Add the MinGW64/bin path to your PATH environment variable or the executable path list in the "GDC Directories" option page. Then switch the "Compiler" option in the project configuration to "GDC".
To create a 64-bit executable, you will have to add a new platform to the project and solution in the configuration manager.
- when building a library you should change the output file name extension to ".a".
- when building a library object files will be generated into the project directory, not the intermediate directory, because there seems to be no GDC option to change the output folder for multiple files.
The latest releases can be found at https://github.com/ldc-developers/ldc/releases/
For debugging applications, you should also install cv2pdb which is now included in the Visual D installer. Please make sure, changes to Common7\Packages\Debugger\autoexp.dat do not mix with previous manual installations of cv2pdb. Visual D also installs the alternative debug engine mago that does not need cv2pdb.
cv2pdb has been extended to also convert from DWARF debug information to PDB, so it is possible to debug applications built with GDC in Visual Studio. Be sure to select the "Visual Studio" debugger in the debugger project settings. Mago cannot be used as the debug engine, it currently only supports the DMD CodeView debug format.