Option 1: Install the Visual F# Tools from Microsoft

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

Install a free trial edition of Visual Studio 2013 (Professional or higher)


Install the free Visual Studio 2013 Desktop Express plus the free Visual F# Tools 3.1.2


Install the free Visual Studio 2013 Web Express plus the free Visual F# Tools 3.1.2


Install the free Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web plus the free Visual F# Tools 3.0

The tools include the command-line compiler (fsc.exe) and F# Interactive (fsi.exe). See fsharp.net 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 2012 and 2013 (Professional or higher). 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.

logo Note to ReSharper users

With some versions of ReSharper, the Alt+Enter shortcut key for the Execute in Interactive command of the Visual F# Tools doesn’t work, as ReSharper overrides this for its own purposes. To fix this, either upgrade to ReSharper or greater, or install the resharper-fsi-friendly plugin.

If you are using Visual F# Power Tools along side with ReSharper, there is a known issue where some F# commands are hidden by ReSharper. Until it is fixed, you can workaround by disabling the ReSharper option “Hide overridden Visual Studio menu items” (ReSharper -> Options -> Keyboard & Menus).

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 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. Install the free Visual F# Tools 3.1.2 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/E/A/3/EA38D9B8-E00F-433F-AAB5-9CDA28BA5E7D/FSharp_Bundle.exe'
     $webclient.DownloadFile($url, "$pwd\FSharp_Bundle.exe")
     .\FSharp_Bundle.exe /install /quiet

The compiler tools are installed at

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\F#\3.1\Framework\v4.0\fsc.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\F#\3.1\Framework\v4.0\fsi.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\F#\3.1\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: Install Tsunami

Tsunami is an innovative fully featured F# IDE. It has a number of unique features ideally suited for Big Data, Data Science and Machine Learning. It is capable of being embedded directly into other Desktop Applications and Websites.

Option 5: Build F# from source

  • Build and contribute to the F# compiler and library from the source

Option 6: Run already compiled F# code on servers

Compiled F# code depends on the FSharp.Core assembly, which is available in FSharp.Core.dll. 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.

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