Thursday, October 23, 2014

Howto: version your nuget pack

There are several ways to set a version on your nuget pack:

  1. using project file information
  2. hardcoded version number in your .nuspec file
  3. sending -version parameter to "nuget pack" command
  4. mixture of above

At a very simple scenario we do nuget pack MyProject.csproj and it all works - nuget pack gets the same version as an assembly produced by building the project. There is no need in .nuspec file whatsoever.
In a real life nuget pack consists of more then one dll, sometimes some context files, sometimes some dependencies. So - we need a .nuspec file. And we make one by running nuget spec MyProject.csproj

The default generated .nuspec file already contains $version$ parameter. Now we can modify that nuspec file as we want, add description, extra dlls. Here we can hardcode version number and just call nuget pack MyProject.nuspec or send version in as a parameter like this: nuget pack MyProject.nuspec -Version 1.0.0.0
Mmmkey, but I want it to pick version from the project...

In that case we just call nuget pack MyProject.csproj again! Having MyProject.nuspec file next to project file nuget will be able to locate it and use it. The $version$ parameter gets populated based on the assembly information of the MyProject. And the rest gets picked up from .nuspec.

Now let's say we need an X.X.X-beta nuget pack - and assembly version does not allow any "beta" syntax. So - we use AssemblyInformationalVersion attribute in your AssemblyInfo.cs file.

[assembly: AssemblyVersion("1.0.0.0")]
[assembly: AssemblyInformationalVersion("1.0.0.0-beta")]
[assembly: AssemblyFileVersion("1.0.0.0")]

The assembly version will still be 1.0.0.0, but the nuget pack gets version 1.0.0.0-beta. Perfect!

Here is a very good link explaining what is the actual difference between those attributes.

PS: some auto-magic happens when we do nuget pack for project file, - like auto-generating dependencies, auto-add content files, etc. I will tell about it in my next post.

Happy nuget-ing!

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