Announcing Visual F# Tools 3.1.1, with support for Desktop and Web express

Announcing Visual F# Tools 3.1.1, with support for Desktop and Web express

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Today we are excited to announce the availability of the Visual F# Tools 3.1.1, our first update release to Visual F#.  You can download the installer package here.

Visual F# Tools 3.1.1 is a small, quick-deploying package that can be used to update current editions of Visual Studio 2013.  The package will update the compiler and runtime, along with the IDE tooling.  The F# language edition supported is F# 3.1.  The update contains a small number of bug fixes compared to the baseline in Visual Studio 2013.

When we first announced the feature set for F# 3.1 and the corresponding Visual F# Tools, we made a reference to “internal engineering work to allow more frequent updates,” but did not include many details.  Today’s release is the first fruits of that internal engineering work, and we hope you enjoy the results!

Desktop and Web Express

Many developers will be happy to note that, beginning with this release, Visual F# Tools will be usable as an addition to the Desktop Express edition of Visual Studio.  This was a long-standing request that we are pleased to finally be able to fulfill.  The free Desktop Express edition of Visual Studio enables the creation of desktop apps and supports Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Forms, and Win32.

You can also install Visual F# Tools 3.1.1 as an addition to the free Visual Studio Express 2013 for Web.  Visual Studio Express 2013 for Web provides the core tools to create compelling, innovative web applications and services, and the Visual F# Tools let you bring the power of F# to the web programming domain.

Standalone Compiler and Runtime Install

When installing the package on a clean system without any edition of Visual Studio installed, the compiler, runtime, and F# Interactive will be deployed without IDE tooling.  This can be done to obtain the Microsoft implementation of F# 3.1 available for use in build server and virtual machine scenarios, or when using other editing clients such as Emacs and Xamarin Studio.

Installation can be automated by running the following lines from an administrator Powershell session:

$webclient = New-Object Net.WebClient
$url = ''
$webclient.DownloadFile($url, "$pwd\FSharp_Bundle.exe")
.\FSharp_Bundle.exe /install /quiet

Going Forward

Looking ahead to the future, our team now has the capability to ship Visual F# update releases multiple times per year, getting bug fixes and new features into developers’ hands more quickly than ever before.  The Visual F# Tools will continue to be included with major Visual Studio releases, but now we have the ability to deliver updates to the Visual F# Tools in between.

Requirements and Supported Platforms

Visual F# Tools 3.1.1 is supported on Windows 7 and above, and will operate on top of Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate, Premium, Professional, Desktop Express, and Web Express.  If installing on a system without Visual Studio, the compiler and runtime will be deployed without IDE tooling.  In this case, additional frameworks normally installed with Visual Studio will need to be installed separately, in particular MSBuild 12.0, .NET Framework 4.5.1, and the Windows 7 and 8.1 SDKs.

More Information

To find out more about F# generally, please visit  To find out more about the Visual F# Tools, visit

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  • At last! Excellent! Please, try to convince your management to include F# in all VS Express editions at the time of release.

  • Congratulations! This is awesome.

  • Emacs sux! vi 4eva!

    Sorry, old habits die hard. Awesome that F# is available to people just starting out with .NET, great work guys.

  • Will this work on VS 2012 since our large Fortune 500 company has not upgraded to VS 2013?   F# updates should work at least on the current version of VS and the prior one if the prior one was released 16 months ago.  VS 2012 was released in Sept 2012.

    [Visual F# Team: The IDE tooling in the 3.1.1 package is compatible only with VS 2013]

  • Lovely.

  • Congratulations for your work and many thanks for supporting the express versions.

  • At last!!! This is a great news!!!

  • Dear Microsoft,

    I got the free VS 2013 Express for Desktop, I found no F#. So I did get this F# tools. And it was good.

    BUT!! Then, after I got the free VS 2013 WEB Express, there is no F#!!!

    I tried repairing the F# Tools, but it didn't work still no F#. I just wasted my time waiting. How can you I fix this?

    I already have F# tools, but only my VS 2013 Express for Desktop have F# while my VS 2013 Web Express do not have it.

    [Visual F# Team: Repair only refreshes the components that are already installed - in your case, the Desktop Express integration.  To get integration for Desktop and Web Express, just perform a full uninstall and reinstall of the 3.1.1 package.]

  • The Visual F# Tools package will ignore any custom install path you set for Visual Studio Express and go ahead and put its goodies into C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0 anyway. I installed VSExpress into C:\Program Files (x86)\VisualStudio12.0 (mainly to make setting up environment variables etc. for a scripted buildsystem somewhat easier) and have been scratching my head all morning wondering why the F# project and file types weren't coming up. Copying the files from the path the Visual F# Tools package put them into the place I wanted them made the F# support appear, but it would be great to have an installer that uses custom install locations correctly!

  • Dear Visual F# team, this seems like a great idea, but I can't get it to work, please help! I had VS Express 2012 already installed, and after installing the F# tools, I still cannot see any F# project templates in when I try to open a new project in VS. Am I doing something wrong? I've tried uninstalling and re-installing the tool but to no avail.

    [Visual F# Team - The 3.1.1 package updates Visual Studio 2013 Web and Desktop Express, and Pro+.  It does not update templates or editor tooling for Visual Studio 2012 editions.]

  • Sorry there was a typo, I actually have Visual Studio 2013 Express, with F# tools installed. However, I still do not have the options to open F# project templates. Any idea why?

  • I downloaded the visual f# tools 3.1 for vs desktop express  from "", and then installed it , but there is no change in the "templates" item...I still can't create new F# project.

  • Nice!

    As James said,the problem is the path.

    Copying all the files from "c:/program files/microsoft visual studio 12.0" to the folder where you installed your VS.

  • Thanks. F# is a great language. My next wish is for MS to allow installing Visual F# Power Tools on the Express SKU.

  • I'm having the same problem as Imran.  I have VS 2012 pro installed,  then added VS 2013 express and installed F# 3.1.1 and it went in fine, but no trace of it in the VS2013 express UI.  No templates for example.  I didn't install anything in non-standard places,  it's all under c:\Program files (x86).   Any idea where the installer dumped its parts?  I assume it's the existing 2012 pro installation that confused it.

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