How to use MsBuild MsDeployPublish to target local file system?


I'm trying to replicate the Visual Studio 2010 "Publish..." command (applicable to Web Application projects) where I would in the UI choose Publish Method: "File System".

My attempt at this is...

%msbuild% /t:MsDeployPublish /property:MsDeployServiceUrl="file:///d:\MyDeploymentFolder";MsDeployPublishMethod="File System" "d:\MySourceFolder\Project.csproj"

... and having tried a method of "FileSystem", "File System", "Local", and a few others.

The error I get implies that MsDeploy is still trying to push to an IIS server:

"D:\MySourceFolder\Project.csproj" (MsDeployPub
lish target) (1) ->
(MSDeployPublish target) ->
  C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v10.0\Web\Microsoft.Web
.Publishing.targets(3847,5): error : Web deployment task failed.(The metabase k
ey '/lm/w3svc' could not be found.) [D:\MySourceFolder\Project.csproj]
C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v10.0\Web\Microsoft.Web.P
ublishing.targets(3847,5): error : \r [D:\MySourceFolder\Project.csproj]
C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v10.0\Web\Microsoft.Web.P
ublishing.targets(3847,5): error : The metabase key '/lm/w3svc' could not be fo
und.\r [D:\MySourceFolder\Project.csproj]
C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v10.0\Web\Microsoft.Web.P
ublishing.targets(3847,5): error : Unable to access the IIS configuration syste
m. Please make sure you have IIS 7 (or later) installed.\r [D:\MySourceFolder\Project.csproj]
C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v10.0\Web\Microsoft.Web.P
ublishing.targets(3847,5): error : Retrieving the COM class factory for compone
nt with CLSID {2B72133B-3F5B-4602-8952-803546CE3344} failed due to the followin
g error: 80040154 Class not registered (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80040154 (REG
DB_E_CLASSNOTREG)). [D:\MySourceFolder\Project.csproj]

How can I target the file system for deployment, as Visual Studio normally lets me in the GUI?
asked on Stack Overflow Feb 7, 2012 by DuckMaestro

3 Answers


As per my answer from Using MSBuild, how do I build an MVC4 solution from the command line (applying Web.config transformations in the process) and output to a folder?

msbuild ProjectFile.csproj /p:Configuration=Release ^
                           /p:Platform=AnyCPU ^
                           /t:WebPublish ^
                           /p:WebPublishMethod=FileSystem ^
                           /p:DeleteExistingFiles=True ^

Or if you are building the solution file:

msbuild Solution.sln /p:Configuration=Release ^ 
                     /p:DeployOnBuild=True ^
                     /p:DeployDefaultTarget=WebPublish ^
                     /p:WebPublishMethod=FileSystem ^
                     /p:DeleteExistingFiles=True ^

You can also target the project via the solution using the /t:SolutionFolder/Project:Target syntax:

msbuild Solution.sln /t:SolutionFolder/ProjectFile:WebPublish ^
                     /p:Configuration=Release ^ 
                     /p:WebPublishMethod=FileSystem ^
                     /p:DeleteExistingFiles=True ^
answered on Stack Overflow Jan 7, 2014 by Richard Szalay • edited Apr 23, 2019 by Richard Szalay

I gave up trying to get MSBuild to copy deployable web files (and not do anything else but that), so I scripted it in PowerShell and am really happy with the result. Much faster than anything I tried through MSBuild. Here's the gist (literally):

function copy-deployable-web-files($proj_path, $deploy_dir) {
  # copy files where Build Action = "Content" 
  $proj_dir = split-path -parent $proj_path
  [xml]$xml = get-content $proj_path
  $xml.Project.ItemGroup | % { $_.Content } | % { $_.Include } | ? { $_ } | % {
    $from = "$proj_dir\$_"
    $to = split-path -parent "$deploy_dir\$_"
    if (!(test-path $to)) { md $to }
    cp $from $to

  # copy everything in bin
  cp "$proj_dir\bin" $deploy_dir -recurse
answered on Stack Overflow Feb 24, 2014 by Todd Menier • edited May 14, 2014 by Kevin Panko

I don't think you are being specific enough with what you are telling msbuild.

Pulled this out of one of my bookmarks on the subject, hopefully it will help:

answered on Stack Overflow Feb 7, 2012 by Jesse

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