How to configure MSBuild to locate the F# build targets

By Nikos Baxevanis


When the AutoFixture.AutoFoq build run on the CodeBetter CI server for the first time, the following error message appeared:

MSB4057: The target “Build” does not exist in the project.

That was strange since the build run successfully in a development workstation with VS 2012 and .NET 4.5 installed.

Solution (CI Server)

By moving the project to a different agent, with .NET 4.5 installed, the problem was solved on the CodeBetter CI server.

However, the same issue was reported again - this time in a development workstation with VS 2013 RC.

Solution (Workstation)

Adam Chester has provided a solution which seems to work pretty well for VS 2012, VS 2013, and the CodeBetter CI server.

The solution can be applied to all F# projects using the MSBuild platform.

The most important changes are shown below. You can also see the diff as an image here:


A note for VS 2012 users

While VS 2013 RC applies these changes automatically for F# projects, in VS 2012 the project file must be tweaked manually:

###Step 1 - Append:


###Step 2 - Find and Replace:

<Import Project="$(MSBuildExtensionsPath32)\..\Microsoft SDKs\F#\3.0\Framework\v4.0\Microsoft.FSharp.Targets" Condition=" Exists('$(MSBuildExtensionsPath32)\..\Microsoft SDKs\F#\3.0\Framework\v4.0\Microsoft.FSharp.Targets')" />


  <When Condition="'$(VisualStudioVersion)' == '11.0'">
      <FSharpTargetsPath>$(MSBuildExtensionsPath32)\..\Microsoft SDKs\F#\3.0\Framework\v4.0\Microsoft.FSharp.Targets</FSharpTargetsPath>
<Import Project="$(FSharpTargetsPath)" Condition="Exists('$(FSharpTargetsPath)')" />

###Step 3 - Find and Replace:

<Reference Include='FSharp.Core, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a'>


<Reference Include='FSharp.Core, Version=$(TargetFSharpCoreVersion), Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a'>

The F# build targets, compiler, and run time should be located successfully now.