Visual D works with all Visual Studio versions from 2008 to 2019. Please make sure to have the C++ development tools aswell as a Windows SDK included in the Visual Studio installation.
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.
DMD is a the reference D compiler. It has the latest features of D implemented first, and usually provides the fastest compilation times for debug builds.
Not all functionality of Visual D has been adopted to GDC and LDC, so having DMD available is recommended.It is also used as the default in most options, e.g. when creating new projects.
You can change the DMD installation path at the global Tools->Options->Projects and Solutions->Visual D Settings->DMD Directories option page.
LDC is a D compiler using the LLVM backend. It can produce more efficient code than DMD. The latest releases can be found at https://github.com/ldc-developers/ldc/releases/. You should install the "multilib" version.
Enter the LDC installation path at the global Tools->Options->Projects and Solutions->Visual D Settings->LDC Directories option page. Then switch the "Compiler" option in the project configuration to "LDC".
GDC is a D compiler using the GNU compiler suite backend. It can produce more efficient code than DMD.As there is currently no uptodate build of GDC available for Windows, support for it has fallen behind and is untested. With GDC being included with the GCC compiler suite in May 2019, this might change in the near future.
You can find a rather dated build at http://gdcproject.org/downloads. Please also install the respective MinGW environment.
Enter the GDC installation path at the global Tools->Options->Projects and Solutions->Visual D Settings->GDC Directories option page. Then switch the "Compiler" option in the project configuration to "GDC".
- 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.
- as there are no recent GDC releases for Windows, support for it has fallen short. Please don't expect completeness.
- GDC is not supported by the VC project integration.
Visual Studio 2008 - 2012Visual D supports these versions, but is no longer being tested on these.
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.
Visual Studio Shell
A free alternative to the commercial releases 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.