Triplet files

Triplet is a standard term used in cross compiling as a way to completely capture the target environment (cpu, os, compiler, runtime, etc) in a single convenient name.

In Vcpkg, we use triplets to describe an imaginary “target configuration set” for every library. Within a triplet, libraries are generally built with the same configuration, but it is not a requirement. For example, you could have one triplet that builds openssl statically and zlib dynamically, one that builds them both statically, and one that builds them both dynamically (all for the same target OS and architecture). A single build will consume files from a single triplet.

We currently provide many triplets by default (run vcpkg help triplet). However, you can easily add your own by creating a new file in the triplets\ directory. The new triplet will immediately be available for use in commands, such as vcpkg install boost:x86-windows-custom.

To change the triplet used by your project, such as to enable static linking, see our Integration Document.

Community triplets

Triplets contained in the triplets\community folder are not tested by continuous integration, but are commonly requested by the community.

Because we do not have continuous coverage, port updates may break compatibility with community triplets. Because of this, community involvement is paramount!

We will gladly accept and review contributions that aim to solve issues with these triplets.


Community Triplets are enabled by default, when using a community triplet a message like the following one will be printed during a package install:

-- Using community triplet x86-uwp. This triplet configuration is not guaranteed to succeed.
-- [COMMUNITY] Loading triplet configuration from: D:\src\viromer\vcpkg\triplets\community\x86-uwp.cmake



Specifies the target machine architecture.

Valid options are x86, x64, arm, and arm64.


Specifies the desired CRT linkage (for MSVC).

Valid options are dynamic and static.


Specifies the preferred library linkage.

Valid options are dynamic and static. Note that libraries can ignore this setting if they do not support the preferred linkage type.


Specifies the target platform.

Valid options include any CMake system name, such as:


Specifies the target platform system version.

This field is optional and, if present, will be passed into the build as CMAKE_SYSTEM_VERSION.

See also the CMake documentation for CMAKE_SYSTEM_VERSION:


Specifies an alternate CMake Toolchain file to use.

This (if set) will override all other compiler detection logic. By default, a toolchain file is selected from scripts/toolchains/ appropriate to the platform.

See also the CMake documentation for toolchain files:


Sets additional compiler flags to be used when not using VCPKG_CHAINLOAD_TOOLCHAIN_FILE.

This option also has forms for configuration-specific and C flags:


Replaces the default computed list of triplet “Supports” terms.

This option (if set) will override the default set of terms used for qualified dependency resolution and “Supports” field evaluation.

See the Supports control file field documentation for more details.

Implementers’ Note: this list is extracted via the vcpkg_get_dep_info mechanism.

Windows Variables


Instructs vcpkg to allow additional environment variables into the build process.

On Windows, vcpkg builds packages in a special clean environment that is isolated from the current command prompt to ensure build reliability and consistency.

This triplet option can be set to a list of additional environment variables that will be added to the clean environment.

See also the vcpkg env command for how you can inspect the precise environment that will be used.

Implementers’ Note: this list is extracted via the vcpkg_get_tags mechanism.


Specifies the Visual Studio installation to use.

To select the precise combination of Visual Studio instance and toolset version, we walk through the following algorithm:

  1. Determine the setting for VCPKG_VISUAL_STUDIO_PATH from the triplet, or the environment variable VCPKG_VISUAL_STUDIO_PATH, or consider it unset
  2. Determine the setting for VCPKG_PLATFORM_TOOLSET from the triplet or consider it unset
  3. Gather a list of all pairs of Visual Studio Instances with all toolsets available in those instances
    1. This is ordered first by instance type (Stable, Prerelease, Legacy) and then by toolset version (v142, v141, v140)
  4. Filter the list based on the settings for VCPKG_VISUAL_STUDIO_PATH and VCPKG_PLATFORM_TOOLSET.
  5. Select the best remaining option

The path should be absolute, formatted with backslashes, and have no trailing slash:

set(VCPKG_VISUAL_STUDIO_PATH "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Microsoft Visual Studio\\Preview\\Community")


Specifies the VS-based C/C++ compiler toolchain to use.

See VCPKG_VISUAL_STUDIO_PATH for the full selection algorithm.

Valid settings:


If VCPKG_CHAINLOAD_TOOLCHAIN_FILE is used, VCPKG will not setup the Visual Studio environment. Setting VCPKG_LOAD_VCVARS_ENV to (true|1|on) changes this behavior so that the Visual Studio environment is setup following the same rules as if VCPKG_CHAINLOAD_TOOLCHAIN_FILE was not set.

MacOS Variables


Sets the install name used when building macOS dynamic libraries. Default value is @rpath. See the CMake documentation for CMAKE_INSTALL_NAME_DIR for more information.


Sets the minimum macOS version for compiled binaries. This also changes what versions of the macOS platform SDK that CMake will search for. See the CMake documentation for CMAKE_OSX_DEPLOYMENT_TARGET for more information.


Set the name or path of the macOS platform SDK that will be used by CMake. See the CMake documentation for CMAKE_OSX_SYSROOT for more information.


Set the macOS / iOS target architecture which will be used by CMake. See the CMake documentation for CMAKE_OSX_ARCHITECTURES for more information.

Per-port customization

The CMake Macro PORT will be set when interpreting the triplet file and can be used to change settings (such as VCPKG_LIBRARY_LINKAGE) on a per-port basis.


if(PORT MATCHES "qt5-")
    set(VCPKG_LIBRARY_LINKAGE dynamic)

This will build all the qt5-* libraries as DLLs, but every other library as a static library.

For an example in a real project, see

Additional Remarks

The default triplet when running any vcpkg command is %VCPKG_DEFAULT_TRIPLET% or a platform-specific choice if that environment variable is undefined.

We recommend using a systematic naming scheme when creating new triplets. The Android toolchain naming scheme is a good source of inspiration: