Getting the Windows OS Version in MSBuild

gists, dotnet, build comments edit

I saw a tweet come across asking how to get the OS version in MSBuild. MSBuild will automatically import any environment variables… but it appears the OS version isn’t an environment variable, so it doesn’t have any OS version info you can get out of the box.

You can, however, do a registry key lookup. Here’s a quick MSBuild snippet showing how to get the Windows version out of the registry. If you want more version-related information, there’s a lot in the registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Project DefaultTargets="DisplayVersion" xmlns="">
    <OsVersion>$(registry:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion@CurrentVersion).$(registry:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion@CurrentBuildNumber)</OsVersion>
  <Target Name="DisplayVersion">
    <Message Text="Version: $(OsVersion)" />

Granted, it would be kind of nice to have this out of the box, but at least you don’t have to write a whole custom task for it.