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# Visual C++ is rallying an army on my computer...I'm scared

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### #1Casey Hardman  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2716

Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:22 AM

I only remember installing Visual Studio C#...why is there a horde of Visual C++'s in my Programs and Features section of my control panel?

...and why does any software require so many different entries into the Programs and Features?  Why not just "Microsoft Visual C++"?

Are these some kind of necessary libraries for running programs that use C++ or something?  What is their purpose?  Are they hostile?  Do they have weapons?

### #2Milcho  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1177

Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:44 AM

None of that looks like anything to worry about.

The Visual C++ Redistributable installations are there because games build under Visual C++ require the libraries that usually come with the compiler. The redistributable gives you those libraries allowing you to play games that require them, without having to install the full Visual C++ compiler.

I've seen on more than one occasion that some games package the Visual C++ Redistributable along with their install process, so it's likely that if you didn't install these directly, they were installed by a game or some other program that depends on them and had the redistributable installed along with its installation. I don't think you really have to worry about those, they're not harmful, and they don't carry weapons

### #3Casey Hardman  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2716

Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:32 AM

Ah, I see...thanks for the explanation.

Do I need to have so many of them?  Can I just delete all but the latest?

### #4demonkoryu  Members   -  Reputation: 980

Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:16 AM

The multiple versions of the runtime don't supersede each other. In other words, some programs depend on the VC++ 2005 Runtime, others on the 2008, and so on; and won't work if the corresponding version is not installed. In any case, these entries are sane and there's no reason you should uninstall any of them.

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### #5Karsten_  Members   -  Reputation: 2090

Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:34 AM

I find it amusing that one of my main reasons for using C++ is that you dont need extra runtimes and with pretty much any other C++ compiler than Microsoft's this is the case.

I find it even more amusing that even though Microsoft develops both Windows and Visual C++ it still needs to provide extra runtimes to get it working on their own platform ;)

That aside, it is possible to use the latest Microsoft C++ compiler without requiring the latest runtime on the target machine but it seems that not many developers do it.

But yeah, your computer looks normal. Especially for one that has a version of Visual Studio installed.

Mutiny - Open-source C++ Unity re-implementation.
Defile of Eden 2 - FreeBSD and OpenBSD binaries of our latest game.

### #6Ameise  Members   -  Reputation: 1101

Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

I find it amusing that one of my main reasons for using C++ is that you dont need extra runtimes and with pretty much any other C++ compiler than Microsoft's this is the case.

I find it even more amusing that even though Microsoft develops both Windows and Visual C++ it still needs to provide extra runtimes to get it working on their own platform ;)

That aside, it is possible to use the latest Microsoft C++ compiler without requiring the latest runtime on the target machine but it seems that not many developers do it.

But yeah, your computer looks normal. Especially for one that has a version of Visual Studio installed.

Why is that 'amusing'? All systems require runtimes for their applications - the only difference is that on systems like Linux, you are usually building the application on that system, so the runtimes are likely already there.

### #7Karsten_  Members   -  Reputation: 2090

Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:27 AM

Exactly.. and on Windows you are building on that system... but still need a runtime lol

Take a look at GCC on Windows (Mingw). This doesn't need a user to install yet another runtime package does it? It uses the one that comes with Windows (or as a DLL or statically linked in with the .exe).

In other words... software written in Microsoft Visual C++ dont quite offer an "out of the box experience" like it's competitors.

Mutiny - Open-source C++ Unity re-implementation.
Defile of Eden 2 - FreeBSD and OpenBSD binaries of our latest game.

### #8brx  Members   -  Reputation: 720

Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:42 AM

Ehmm... under Linux you still need the gcc runtime (libstdc++) in the correct version for your program to run.

A mingw compiled program under Windows also needs the correct dll for the mingw runtime.

Also, you can ship your VC++ program with the correct version of the runtime dll as a side-by-side assembly, so no need to install it manually (yes, there are rare cases where this does not work, I know).

### #9Mike.Popoloski  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3249

Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

Or you can statically link it and not have to redistribute it at all.

Mike Popoloski | Journal | SlimDX

### #10Bacterius  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 12885

Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:30 PM

Or you can statically link it and not have to redistribute it at all.

That can make patching tedious, though.

“If I understand the standard right it is legal and safe to do this but the resulting value could be anything.”

### #11brx  Members   -  Reputation: 720

Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:43 PM

That can make patching tedious, though.
Yep, that's actually why I didn't even mention that option.

[EDIT No. 2] (continue to read the first edit ;) : In the following paragraph "You" is not directed at Bacterius, but to Karsten_, even though I just quoted Bacterius

[EDIT]
And there's one more thing, I'd like to add:

I am not trying to advocate / defend the "dll-hell" Microsoft has brought upon us (I still don't understand that stupid manifest-thing), but your points are just showing the usual "GOM M$is so evil" attitude that I cannot stand anymore. The Microsoft people I've talked to (all of them are engaged with VS or similar developments [e.g. C++ AMP]), are some of the smartest people (regarding software development) I've ever talked talked to. And... guess what... they are open for suggestions and corrections in a way that I have never experienced from any other company (or open source community). So imho, Microsoft has moved from being one of the "bad guys" to being one of the companies that I would love to work for. P.S.: Can somebody disable that editing history please... ;) Edited by brx, 23 January 2013 - 04:48 PM. ### #12Servant of the Lord Crossbones+ - Reputation: 32241 Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:00 PM Or you can statically link it and not have to redistribute it at all. That can make patching tedious, though. Statically linking against the Visual Studios runtime can make patching tedious? Or statically linking against libstdc++ can making patching tedious? It makes it tedious by the size of the Visual Studio runtimes, bloating your executable size and taking longer to download the entire binary as opposed to just the changed DLLs or executable? It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' or 'SotL' rather than copy+pasting it all the time. All glory be to the Man at the right hand... On David's throne the King will reign, and the Government will rest upon His shoulders. All the earth will see the salvation of God. Of Stranger Flames - ### #13brx Members - Reputation: 720 Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:34 PM Windows: Patching can become problematic (when using static linkage) if you switch to a newer VS version and run an incremental update. Linux: Patching can become problematic (when using static linkage) if you switch to a newer gcc version and run an incremental update. I'm starting to have the feeling that the last posts are just due to some "M$ is teh evil" (sorry, English isn't my first language) troll and we should leave it at that. So, to the OP, don't worry about those entries, it's all good!

Besides: Our company (not me!) says: We support Linux! This is about the same as for a mobile app developer to say "we support android" Too many different vendors... if nothing changes there will never be a (binary distributed) program that runs on all Linux distributions. But, I can assure you, our program runs on all PCs that run Windows 2000 (yes, really) or later.

Edited by brx, 23 January 2013 - 04:50 PM.

### #14mhagain  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 11728

Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:51 PM

I don't think this is a "M\$ is teh evil" troll but rather a cultural misunderstanding.  In a Linux environment development tools and libraries are naturally considered as part of the OS; under Windows they're normally considered as separate from the OS, so someone coming from a primarily Linux background and working off the assumption that Windows works the same (big mistake guaranteed to create all manner of hilarious - and not so hilarious - misunderstandings, and yes, it also works in the other direction) sees all of these listed as separate programs and jumps to a conclusion (possibly one influenced by the "bloatware" myth too).

In fact Linux can, and does, have the ability to have multiple versions of glibc on the same machine too.  See http://stackoverflow.com/questions/847179/multiple-glibc-libraries-on-a-single-host

The key difference is in a question asked above: "this doesn't need a user to install yet another runtime package does it?" - yes, I know the question was about Mingw on Windows, but it shows the root of this misunderstanding.  No, it doesn't, because it's already there.  If, however, you had a program that required a different version of Mingw, and if there were incompatibilities between the version, then yes, both versions would be needed.  Same applies to glibc on Linux (see the SO link I posted above).

There's also another cultural misunderstanding here, whereby on Linux the typical user is a programmer, whereas on Windows the typical user is not.  So the typical Windows user will download a program, it will come pre-packaged with the required redistributable components, and everything will install cleanly.  So no - on Windows the typical user does not have to install another runtime; the program's installer will do that for them automatically.  The typical user does not worry about these things, the typical user gets on with using their computer to be productive in other areas.

It appears that the gentleman thought C++ was extremely difficult and he was overjoyed that the machine was absorbing it; he understood that good C++ is difficult but the best C++ is well-nigh unintelligible.

### #15Matt-D  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1571

Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:55 PM

A mingw compiled program under Windows also needs the correct dll for the mingw runtime.
Not quite.

"GCC does not include a C runtime library. This is supplied by the platform. The MinGW port of GCC uses Microsoft's original (old) Visual C runtime, MSVCRT, which was targeted by Microsoft Visual Studio 6 (released in 1998)."

MSVCRT (not to be confused with, say, msvcr100.dll -- a runtime specific to Visual Studio 10.0/2010) is an OS component that ships with Windows itself (the end-users don't have to download anything extra). The users also don't have to update to anything extra (since 1998). In other words, all of Windows users since 1998 automatically have "the correct DLL" to run a C/C++ program compiled with MinGW.

That's not to say there are no downsides in this particular case: http://mingw.org/wiki/C99

Edited by Matt-D, 23 January 2013 - 07:56 PM.

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