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How To Make Your DLL Into A NuGet Package for a Private NuGet Feed


This is my reinterpretation of the documentation on, modified to remove the public publishing steps, and to add local publishing steps and a source control reminder.  This guide is intended to help enable the benefits of NuGet for proprietary code such as business-specific DLLs that are not fit for public distribution.  There are plenty of details, options, features, and gotchas with NuGet that are not covered here, but this should hopefully be enough to help you get started.

Step 1 is to set up a private NuGet feed.  You only need to do this once for your organization.

  • You can find out how to do that using the official documentation here: Creating a private NuGet feed
  • You should create a file share that you have at least "Change" rights on that points to the NuGet packages folder on the server where you configure the feed.

Step 2 is to write a cool or useful library (such as a DLL) in Visual Studio.

  • Be sure to fill-in the project properties under Assembly Information, including the version number if you haven't.

Step 3 is to get the NuGet.exe file which is not included by default even if you have NuGet Package Explorer working in Visual Studio.

  • Download NuGet.exe bootstrapper here: .  This is a "bootstrapper only" which means that the first time you run it, it will download the real NuGet.exe program and overwrite itself.  Run it once from a command-line (just NuGet.exe) and you'll have the latest version (should be 600 KB or more).

Step 4 is to set up NuGet in your solution.

  • Create a folder under your solution called "NuGet" and copy NuGet.exe there.
  • Open the Package Manager Console window inside Visual Studio (under View... Other Windows... if you don't see it).
  • At the PM> prompt, type dir and hit Enter.  You should see the files and folders in your solution as well as the new NuGet folder that you just created.
  • At the PM> prompt, type .\NuGet\NuGet.exe   You should see the help for NuGet.exe printed in the console.  If so, PowerShell is working and NuGet is in the correct place in the subfolder under your solution.
  • At the PM> prompt, type .\NuGet\nuget.exe spec MyProjectFolderName\MyProjectName.csproj  This assumes that there is a C# project called MyProjectName in a subfolder under MyProjectFolderName under the current directory.  If so, NuGet will create a .nuspec file under the project subfolder.  If you click the Show All Files Show All Files button in Visual Studio, you should see it in the Solution Explorer.
  • Right-click the file and choose "Include in Project".  With the file selected in the Solution Explorer, hit F4 and ensure the Build Action is "None" and the Copy to Output Directory is set to "Do not copy".
  • Open the file and update all fields that you feel are relevant.  In particular, you should change the package ID field to be the name that you want the project to show as in the NuGet Package Explorer and get rid of any backslashes in the name.  You can remove the children of the dependencies attribute if the package stands alone.
  • Check-in your changes to Source Control!  This should include the .nuspec file, and ideally the path and binary to NuGet.exe (if your organization permits keeping binaries in Source Control).

Step 5 is to package up your project.

  • At the PM> prompt, type .\NuGet\nuget.exe pack MyProjectFolderName\MyProjectName.csproj  This will run NuGet to package up the built project to a .nupkg file.  This is the command that you will run every time you wish to update your NuGet package for publication.
  • You can confirm that this file was successfully created by unzipping it and checking to see if your DLL is inside.

Step 6 is to copy your .nupkg file to the shared folder that you set up in step 1.

  • You can do this with PowerShell in the Package Manager Console via COPY *.nupkg \\MyNuGetServerName\MyNuGetPathName$

Step 7 is to begin using your freshly created NuGet package in your team's other projects!


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