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Your .NET solution must be compiled if you want to use the following plugins:

  • FxCop
  • Gendarme
  • Gallio
  • NDeps


titleWarning: This documentation concerns the outdated .NET ecosystem plugins version 2.1

New users as well as users of the recent versions of the C# plugins should consult this page.








titleTable of Contents

Table of Contents


  • "Project" means one project of a solution defined by a ".csproj" file.
  • "Assembly" means a compiled project of a solution (dll or executable).


Your .NET solution must be compiled prior to the SonarQube analysis. The SonarQube analysis must be run in the same directory where the solution was compiled.

By default, the C# plugin triggers the execution of some external tools. To deactivate some of them, you can set the below properties:

Code Block

Best Practices



Running an Analysis with the SonarQube Runner

  1. Compile your solution. SonarQube's primary goal is to


  1. analyze source code, so everything has been made to work seamlessly


  1. after the compilation of a solution


  1. . In other words, if you have a build


  1. process that


  1. moves the assemblies and packages your application, it is definitely best to run


  1. SonarQube before


  1. (or in a separate process)


Running a Sonar Analysis with the Sonar Runner (Recommended Way)

  1. .


  1. Create a 'sonar-project.propeties' properties file and place it in the same folder as the Solution solution file (".sln").
    Here is the simplest '' file that you can write to be able to run a Sonar analysis on your project:

    # Project identification
    Code Block
    sonar.projectName=My C#CSHARP Application
    # InfoTo requiredprevent forany Sonar
    issues while analyzing multiple solutions containing projects with similar keys
    # Will be set by default to safe starting at version 2.2:
    # This property is set because it is required by the SonarQube Runner.
    # But it is not taken into account because the location of the source
    # code is retrieved from the .sln and .csproj files.

  2. Run the following command from your Solution folderthe directory containing the file (= the directory containing the solution):

    Code Block


titleFile location

The Sonar configuration file should be placed at the root of your Solution. This way, Sonar will automatically discover the '.sln' file located in this folder.
If the SLN file is elsewhere, then you can add the 'sonar.dotnet.visualstudio.solution.file' property to specify its relative path, but we do recommend you to follow our best-practices.

Running a Sonar Analysis with Maven

As it used to be the case for the .NET Plugins, Maven can be used to launch Sonar analyses on your C# code base.
If you are familiar with maven, you can also use the maven-dotnet-plugin in order to compile and package dotnet projects. If you already use CI tools such as Jenkins or Hudson on java maven projects, you can use the maven-dotnet-plugin to handle dotnet projects the same way

The POM file

Simplest "pom.xml" file for Maven

Code Block
  <name>My C# Application</name>


Above, a very simple pom.xml file that can be used instead of the of the Sonar Runner. If you want to use maven compile and run the tests of your visual studio solution, you also need to declare the maven-dotnet-plugin. Please take a look at the examples provided on the maven-dotnet-plugin site.

The settings file

You need to configure somewhere the location of the external tools used by Sonar such as FxCop, Gendarme or StyleCop. The C# plugins options pages describes the properties needed in the settings.xml. Below an xml fragment describing a maven profile you could add in your settings.xml file :

Code Block
        <!-- Optional activation by default -->
        <sonar.gallio.installDirectory>C:/Program Files/Gallio</sonar.gallio.installDirectory>
        <!-- Location of FxCop installation-->
        <sonar.fxcop.installDirectory>C:/Program Files/Microsoft FxCop 10.0</sonar.fxcop.installDirectory>

        <!-- Location of PartCover installation-->
        <sonar.partcover.installDirectory>C:/Program Files/PartCover/PartCover .NET 4.0</sonar.partcover.installDirectory>

        <!-- Location of Gendarme installation
        <sonar.gendarme.installDirectory>C:/Program Files/gendarme-2.6-bin</sonar.gendarme.installDirectory>
        <!-- Location of StyleCop installation
        <sonar.stylecop.installDirectory>C:/Program Files/Microsoft StyleCop</sonar.stylecop.installDirectory>

You can also use property keys used by the maven dotnet plugin. Feel free to take a look at the examples on the maven dotnet plugins.

Run the Sonar analysis

Code Block
mvn sonar:sonar

Paths and File Patterns

Each time you need to define the location of a file or a set of files, use '/' instead of '\' (even if that looks weird on a Windows box)
If you need to specify a path, this path may be absolute or relative. Relative paths may start from the location of the sln file or the csproj files, depending of the property specified. Relative paths may use "../" to climb in the folder hierarchy.
When several files need to be specified, for example for properties such as "sonar.dotnet.assemblies", "Ant style" wildcard patterns can be used. "*" means any file or any directory. "**" means any directory and subdirectory :

Code Block

Above pattern will select any dll files prefixed by "Foo" anywhere in a project.
You can combine an absolute path prefix with wildcards :

Code Block

This will select any dll files in any subfolder of the "lib" folder of the drive "T:".

If you need to reference assembly files outside your solution folder, you can use absolute paths or "../". For example :

Code Block

Above pattern can be used to specify all the dll files of a lib folder located at the same level as the root folder of your visual studio solution.

As of version 1.4, $(SolutionDir) is not the only special expression that can be used in file patterns. Below the exhaustive list of supported expressions:

$(SolutionDir)Root directory of the solution, this is the directory where the sln file used by sonar is located
$(ProjectName)Name of the currently analysed project of the solution.
$(AssemblyName)Name of the assembly generated by the currently analysed solution. Works only for non asp projects.
$(AssemblyVersion)Version of the assembly generated by the currently analysed solution.
$(OutputType)Type of the generated assembly. Can be "dll" or "exe"
$(RootNamespace)Root namespace of the currently analysed project.

So if the solution you need to analyze use a "post compilation" msbuild/nant task that copies the generated assemblies somewhere into a "BUILD" directory, you can set the property "sonar.dotnet.assemblies" with this pattern:

Code Block

Tools such as Gendarme and FxCop will be executed once for each project of the solution. For each project, the expressions "AssemblyName" and "OutputType" will be evaluated in order to locate the project assembly.A sample project is available on GitHub that can be browsed or downloaded: /projects/languages/csharp.

Path Patterns

Always use "/" instead of "\" (even if it looks weird on a Windows box).

When noted, Ant style wildcard patterns can be used. * means any file or directory. ** means any directories and subdirectories:

Code Block
# Relative path that refers to any dll files prefixed by Foo in the solution

# Absolute path that refers to any dll files in any sub-directories of the lib directory of the drive T


In some advanced use cases (which should not occur too often if you follow our best practices), the following placeholders can be used in path patterns:

$(SolutionDir)Root directory of the solution, this is the directory where the ".sln" file is located.
$(ProjectName)Name of the currently analyzed project of the solution.
$(AssemblyName)Name of the assembly generated by the currently analyzed solution. Works only for non-ASP projects.
$(AssemblyVersion)Version of the assembly generated by the currently analyzed solution.
$(OutputType)Type of the assembly. Can be "dll" or "exe".
$(RootNamespace)Root namespace of the currently analyzed project.

For example:

Code Block
titleAvoid too much complex configuration of paths

If you start using absolute paths or placeholders in path patterns, this means that your configuration becomes more complex and you are likely to face issues sooner or later. Everything has been done to make sure you need to write as few configuration lines as possible.

Advanced Usage

Setting the .NET SDK to use

To set the default version of the .NET SDK to be used, log in as a System administrator and go to Settings > Configuration > General Settings > .NET and set the sonar.dotnet.version property. Note that you can override this default value in your analysis configuration file.

The same parametrization is available for the Silverlight Framework: sonar.silverlight.version property.

Setting exclusions

By default, generated code is excluded from the analysis (Reference.cs or *.designer.cs files): sonar.dotnet.excludeGeneratedCode is set to true.

To exclude projects, use the sonar.skippedModules property. It is a comma-separated list of project names. The names that must be used are the identifiers in the solution file: the first string right after the equals sign on a project definition.
Known limitation: this property does not currently work while the "sonar.dotnet.key.generation.strategy" is set to "safe". See SONARDOTNT-10.

Code Block
# To exclude "FooProject":

# ...
# Project("{E24C65DC-7377-472B-9ABA-BC803B73C61A}") = "FooProject", "FooProject", "{59BECB8B-A7E3-4823-9CE6-584D0D1755EE}"
# ...


To exclude files, see Project Administration.

On some specific components, you can also prevent issues from being raised against a set of coding rules: see the Switch Off Violations plugin.

Detecting issues with external tools

See FxCop, Gendarme and StyleCop.

Unit tests, integration tests and code coverage

See Unit Tests, Integration Tests and Code Coverage.

Architecture check

See NDeps plugin.


Analysis succeeds but too few issues are found

Some tools like FxCop or Gendarme require assemblies. Having too few issues most often comes from the following reasons:

  • The solution has not been compiled prior to the SonarQube analysis
  • The solution has been compiled but the corresponding assemblies have been moved somewhere else (because of a specific build process) and SonarQube cannot find them
  • The solution has been compiled (and the assemblies have not been moved). But the whole solution folder has been moved to another location (and therefore the debug PDB files no longer point to the original source locations)

I cannot place the analysis configuration file in the directory containing my solution

Before following this workaround, make sure that you've got strong reasons not to put the analysis configuration file into the folder containing the solution. Note that this workaround may lead to further tricky configuration and issues.

Code Block
# Relative path from the analysis configuration file to the folder containing the solution

SonarQube cannot retrieve the assemblies

The configuration defined to build the solution will be used to locate the assemblies during the SonarQube analysis. Two properties are taken into account:

  • sonar.dotnet.buildConfiguration property (default value is Debug)
  • sonar.dotnet.buildPlatform property (default value is AnyCPU)

Let's take the folowing example:

Code Block
title".csproj" file
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Project ToolsVersion="3.5" DefaultTargets="Build" xmlns="">
  <PropertyGroup Condition=" '$(Configuration)|$(Platform)' == 'Debug|AnyCPU' ">
    <OutputPath>bin\Debug\</OutputPath>  <!-- SonarQube will try to retrieve the assembly from this folder -->
  <PropertyGroup Condition=" '$(Configuration)|$(Platform)' == 'Release|AnyCPU' ">
    <OutputPath>bin\Release\</OutputPath>  <!-- SonarQube will try to retrieve the assembly from this folder -->

If you use the default configuration (Debug|AnyCPU), SonarQube will try to retrieve the assembly of this project in <project_directory>/bin/Debug.

If you set the properties to:

Code Block

SonarQube will try to retrieve the assembly of this project in <project_directory>/bin/Release.

Depending on when you run SonarQube in your continuous integration process, it is very important to properly set those properties. A proper configuration will allow SonarQube to automatically retrieve the assemblies and smoothly perform the analysis. It is highly recommend that you run SonarQube right after the compilation phase.

For example, if you run SonarQube after the packaging phase that moves all the assemblies into a single directory, you will face over-complicated configuration because you will have to tell SonarQube where to find the assembly for each project. To do so, set the sonar.dotnet.assemblies property. It is a path pattern that will be used to find the assembly of the analyzed project. The path pattern can be absolute or relative to the directory containing the ".csproj" file.

Code Block
# If, for each project, the assembly is moved to a "bin/package" directory inside the project directory
# If all the assemblies are copied into a "package" directory located in the solution directory

SonarQube C# parser known limitations

How can I integrate SonarQube in my existing TFS Build environment processes?

Most people want to add SonarQube as an additional step in existing processes, which usually brings a lot of troubles because those processes manipulate assemblies - whereas the SonarQube C# plugins rely best on information found in the source files (mostly "csproj" files).

Generally speaking, it's better / easier to set up a separate Continuous Inspection process that only:

  1. Compiles the solution
  2. Runs a SonarQube analysis

in order to keep the SonarQube-related configuration as simple as possible.

You can read this thread to see how this has been achieved by C# plugin users.

Why do I get MSBuild error such as "error MSB4126: The specified solution configuration "Debug|HPD" is invalid"?

You are using a 64-bit windows OS. There is an environment variable "Platform=HPD" that makes msbuild fail. Try to run:

Code Block
set platform=[enter]

On Windows 7 I get "The Silverlight 3/4 SDK is not installed" error message

64-bit msbuild cannot be used with Silverlight. Check that you are not using a 64-bit msbuild by taking a look at properties. "Framework64" should not be present in the path.

The analysis fails with an OutOfMemory exception

The Java process performing the analysis might need more memory. Use the "-Xmx" option to specify the amount of memory that can be used. See the SonarQube Runner documentation for more details