Notification of Visual Studio Build with Growl

Problem

Compiling C++ projects in Visual Studio can take quite a while. A programmer might switch to a different application to do something else (say browse) while the code compiles. It would be nice if the programmer can get a visual notification of the success or failure of the build happening in the background once it is done.

Solution

Growl is a neat tool that can make this happen. Here is how to get notifications of your Visual Studio builds using Growl:

  1. Download and install Growl.
  2. Download and install the Visual Studio plugin for Growl.
  3. Open Visual Studio and choose Tools ā†’ Growl. (If you do not see a Growl item in the Tools menu, see the end of this post for a fix.)
  4. In the Growl dialog, enable Notifications and choose whether you want to be notified on Project or Solution builds.
  5. Run Growl and compile something in Visual Studio. You should see a notification on your display when the build succeeds or fails.

The kind of display used for the notification can be configured in Growl. Enjoy your build notifications! šŸ™‚

Fix

I could not get the Visual Studio plugin working on my computer, i.e., there was no Growl menu item in Visual Studio. Though I chose to install for Everyone, I found that the Visual Studio plugin was installing to C:\Users\Superuser\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\MSEnvShared\Addins\Growl Add-In, where Superuser is the login of an administrator. It is actually supposed to install to C:\Program Files (x86)\Growl Extras\Growl Add-In for Visual Studio\

A quick fix worked for me. I copied the Growl Add-in folder to C:\Users\Joe\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\MSEnvShared\Addins\Growl Add-In, where Joe is my non-admin username. And when I opened Visual Studio as the user Joe, Growl worked! šŸ™‚

Tried with: Growl 2.0.8 and Visual Studio 2008 and 2010

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