Option 1: Install the Visual F# Tools from Microsoft

logo On Windows, F# programmers commonly use the Visual F# Tools from Microsoft.

If you already have Visual Studio 2012/13/15 Professional or above, you can use that. All recent versions of Visual Studio come with the Visual F# Tools, using an on-demand install the first time you create or open an F# project. The Visual F# Tools include the command-line compiler (fsc.exe) and F# Interactive (fsi.exe). See Visual F# Resources for more information about the Visual F# Tools from Microsoft.

logo Visual F# Power Tools

Optionally, install the community-provided Visual F# Power Tools, for use with Visual Studio 2013 and 2015 (Community or higher, not Express, see above). They include source code formatting, auto-generating XML Docs, navigation bar, highlight and find references, rename refactoring, depth colorizer, implement interface, record stub generation, union pattern match case generation and the navigate-to command.

Option 2: Install F# and Xamarin Studio

logo Xamarin Studio is a free IDE for general purpose development with commercial add-ins for mobile development. MonoDevelop is a free and open source IDE based on the same code. F# can be used with either.

  1. Install the free standalone F# compiler tools, following Option 1 above or Option 3 below.
  2. Install Xamarin Studio or MonoDevelop for Windows

Option 3: Install the free F# compiler and tools alone

If you’re just looking for F# command-line tools, e.g. for a build server or cloud VM image, then use the following requirements and installation steps:

  1. Requires .NET 4.5:

    • On Windows 10 .NET 4.6 is already present by default

    • On Windows 8 and Windows 2012 Server, this is already present by default

    • On Windows 7 and Windows 2008 Server, install .NET 4.5 from Microsoft

  2. Requires the Windows SDK:

  3. Requires Microsoft Build Tools 2015 - Install Microsoft Build Tools 2015

  4. Install the free Visual F# Tools 4.0 from Microsoft

    Alternatively, do a quiet install from a PowerShell administrator prompt (the URL is the redirect of the above).

     $webclient = New-Object Net.WebClient
     $url = 'http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/1/2/9122D406-F1E3-4880-A66D-D6C65E8B1545/FSharp_Bundle.exe'
     $webclient.DownloadFile($url, "$pwd\FSharp_Bundle.exe")
     .\FSharp_Bundle.exe /install /quiet

The compiler tools on 64-bit Windows are installed at

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\F#\4.0\Framework\v4.0\fsc.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\F#\4.0\Framework\v4.0\fsi.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\F#\4.0\Framework\v4.0\fsiAnyCpu.exe

The compiler tools on 32-bit Windows are installed at

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\F#\4.0\Framework\v4.0\fsc.exe
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\F#\4.0\Framework\v4.0\fsi.exe
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\F#\4.0\Framework\v4.0\fsiAnyCpu.exe

If you’re looking for Visual F# Tools 3.0 specifically, its standalone version could be downloaded here.

Option 4: Run already compiled F# code on servers

Compiled F# code depends on the FSharp.Core.dll assembly. This file is not part of a standard .NET installation, so in order to execute applications written in F# on servers (or other machines without developer tools), it must be installed or bundled with your application. The recommended procedure is to bundle this component with your final application.

The Visual F# Tools downloads from Microsoft installs FSharp.Core.dll into GAC, as well as the command-line tools fsc (the F# compiler) and fsi (F# Interactive).

Option 5: Build F# from source