[Webinar] Streamline your web hosting managementRegister Today


How do I compile to a single executable file?

Posted on 2008-02-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-26
I want to create a simple input application which only include 1 form (just like calculator). Is it possible for VB.NET to compile to a single executable file? So I don't have to create the setup application (or publish it), therefore I can distribute the file only by copying it (as long as it has DotNet framework 2.0 installed). If possible, how?
Question by:bujang6
  • 4

Accepted Solution

Thejaka earned 400 total points
ID: 20863788
This is done by default. However, if you reference DLLs or components that are not included with Windows or DOTNET 2.0 Runtime, then you have to opt for  Setup, or distribute those components with your application as well.

For instance, if you use custom controls in your app, then most likely it will be contained in a separate DLL which you'll have to distribute with your exe. Some of these components will have to be registered (For instance, using regsvr32.exe) on the client machine to function properly.

If you don't use any such custom/additional components in your app, you can simply distribute your exe.

Expert Comment

ID: 20863801
Even when you need additional DLLs for your app, it is sometimes possible to embed these DLLs within your application exe, and design your application to unpack and use these components when executed. However, this is an advanced scenario, and usually too much trouble to implement, where simpler alternatives exist.

Author Comment

ID: 20863925
I didn't use custom/additional components.

When I look inside the Debug directory, along with my compiled .exe file there are also other files (*.pdb, *.application,  *.xml, etc.). According to your comment, then these other files are unnecessary and I can just distribute the single .exe file?

Expert Comment

ID: 20864194
You can ignore most files, but if your app uses predefined application settings, you may need the settings file.

Expert Comment

ID: 20864219
As an aside, just for future reference, note that to use specific versions of side-by-side assemblies etc. (Not needed unless you know what you're doing, and specifically need this) you may need a manifest file for the application.

Alternately, a manifest can be embedded in the resource section of the exe itself.

Featured Post

The new generation of project management tools

With monday.com’s project management tool, you can see what everyone on your team is working in a single glance. Its intuitive dashboards are customizable, so you can create systems that work for you.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Calculating holidays and working days is a function that is often needed yet it is not one found within the Framework. This article presents one approach to building a working-day calculator for use in .NET.
This article shows how to deploy dynamic backgrounds to computers depending on the aspect ratio of display
Enter Foreign and Special Characters Enter characters you can't find on a keyboard using its ASCII code ... and learn how to make a handy reference for yourself using Excel ~ Use these codes in any Windows application! ... whether it is a Micr…
The video provides a quick and easy steps to migrate MBOX file to well known Outlook PST and Office 365. Besides this, it also supports and migrates more than 20 email clients of MBOX which include AppleMail, Opera, Thunderbird and SeaMonkey effortl…
Suggested Courses

608 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question