Find below instructions to install/update/uninstall the VSoil software suite for Microsoft Windows operating systems family.

1 - Install/update the VSoil software suite

There are two possibilities to install/update the VSoil software suite:

  • download and install the Windows installer version (.exe file);
  • download and extract the portable Zip archive (.zip file).

The latest versions of .exe and .zip files are available here.

You should prefer the first choice to install/update the VSoil software suite. It uses the classical Windows installer. This means, you have to get the system administrator rights to do it. First download the .exe file (download link above), then double-click on it and follow the install instructions. The VSoil software suite will be installed by default in "C:\Program Files\vsoil" directory and shortcuts in the "Start" menu, as usual. To update the VSoil software suite, just install the new version on the previous one. The installer will do the upgrade automatically.

The second choice does not need the system administrator rights to install the VSoil software suite. It is a Zip archive, ready to extract at any place you want on your disk. First download the .zip file (download link above), then right-click on it, select "Extract all..." and extract files in the desired location on your computer. The executables of the different softwares of the VSoil software suite (mainly vsoil_processes.exe, vsoil_modules.exe, vsoil_models.exe and vsoil_player.exe) are located in the "bin" subdirectory of the extraction directory. Simply double-click on a software's executable to launch it. To update the VSoil software suite, you should unzip a new version to a new directory, or remove the previous one before.

Notice: regardless the choice you made when updating VSoil (see above), your VSoil data will remain intact on update. The same applies when removing the VSoil software suite (uninstall instructions are described below in "Uninstall the VSoil software suite" section). This is because VSoil user data are stored in your user profile directory, typically under "C:\Users\%USERNAME%\vsoil", where %USERNAME% is the Windows user login name.

Now VSoil software suite is installed, you should consider to install a compiler environment. It is mandatory, only once after VSoil installation, if you plan to use VSoil models locally, on your computer. It is not used when the "Remote run" feature of VSoil is activated. See "Install the compiler for VSoil" section below to know how to install the compiler for VSoil.

2 - Install the compiler for VSoil

VSoil can be used without any compiler environment installed locally. In this case, you will need to use the "Remote run" feature to run VSoil models.

On Microsoft operating system, VSoil software installer does not install any compiler environment. It is also the case when using a portable (Zip archive) version of VSoil. To install one, in a simple way, the VSoil graphical interface provides an automatic mechanism. Follow the steps below to proceed.

2.1 - The preferences dialog box 

Launch any VSoil software, register if not already done. You should now see an introducing dialog box, with a big VSoil logo on the upper-left side. Go to the "Preferences" dialog box. It is accessible via an orange background button, with a spanner and a screwdriver crossing each other, located at the bottom.

2.2 - Automatic installation

The automatic installation from the VSoil graphical interface is the simplest way to install a compiler environment. In the "Preferences" dialog box, go to the "External software installation" section. You have three choices, each with its advantages and disadvantages:

  • Choice "MSYS2 compiler (user datapath)" is the default to prefer. It is the most recent version of MSYS2. It does not need system administrator rights. Notice, it should give very little different numerical results compared to other versions of GCC compilers. This is becauce MSYS2 uses a quite old MSCVRT library version.
  • Choose "VSoil fixed version of MSYS2 (user datapath)" in case you have a problem with the previous choice. It is less recent but is more tested by the VSoil team. It also does not need system administrator rights.
  • The last choice uses the WSL feature of Windows. This significates it uses a Linux system inside Windows. It is completely transparent to the user. This choice should have the advantage to be (a little bit) faster than MSYS2 choice. To use WSL, you have to first activate WSL feature on your system by clicking on "Enable" button attached to the line "WSL feature". It needs system administrator rights. After a possible reboot, go back to the same location in VSoil and choose "GNU compiler on Ubuntu with WSL" option.

Notice: a compiler environment is something quite heavy. As an exemple, the actual size of the VSoil MSYS2 Zip archive is more than 500 Mo. This leads to a significative amount of time to download the file, extract it and install files on the disk. Consider 10 minutes as a good estimation.

In general, in case of problems, you can contact the VSoil support team by sending a mail to: If it concerns the automatic installation of the compiler environment for VSoil, you can see the next section. It describes how to do a manual installation. This is useful if you encounter problems with your internet connection, if a SSL certificate error occurs or if automatic installation process seems to hang.

2.3 - Manual installation

In case of a problem during the automatic installation, as described above, there is a bypass. It consists in installing the "VSoil fixed version of MSYS" compiler manually. It does not use the automatic download mechanism in the VSoil graphical interface. Follow the instructions below.

Download this Zip archive and uncompress it in the VSoil user directory. Usually, it is in the "C:\users\%USERNAME%\vsoil" directory, where %USERNAME% is the Windows user login name. Notice: this directory should already exists, if any VSoil software has already been launched once.

Go to the "Preferences" dialog box. To know how to reach it, see the dedicated "The preferences dialog box" subsection above. Go to the "External software selection" section and see the line "Local compiler path". At its right, select the "portable VSoil MSYS64 (in user data path) (aside exec)" entry in the list. Close the dialog box by cliking the "Ok" button at the bottom right. You can now use the compiler on your computer.

3 - Uninstall the VSoil software suite

To uninstall the VSoil software suite:

  • if you installed the VSoil software suite from the Windows installer (.exe file, see "Install/update the VSoil software suite" section above): simply enter the install directory ("C:\Program Files\vsoil" by default), launch the Uninstall.exe file by double-clicking on it and follow the uninstall instructions;
  • if you extracted the portable Zip archive (.zip file, see "Install/update the VSoil software suite" section above): simply remove the extraction directory.

Modification date : 19 February 2024 | Publication date : 01 September 2015 | Redactor : the VSoil team