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NuPack - a quick walkthrough


NuPack is a free, open source, developer-focused package manager for .NET. It looks absolutely awesome, so I downloaded it and gave it a try. Let’s have a look at how to use it.

To get started with NuPack, just do the following:

  • Visit the NuPack web site.
  • Click the download button to download the latest release.
  • Double click on the downloaded file to install NuPack.
  • Open any .NET solution or create a new one.
  • Right-click “references”.
  • Voilá! A new “Add Package Reference” context menu item exists!

I hope that you see the subtle irony. Getting NuPack up and running is a walk in the park. After completing the steps above, this is what you should see:

Reference context menu

When you click “Add Package Reference”, a new window opens, where you can search for packages:

Package Reference Window

In the image above, I search for log4net, which is a nice logging tool for .NET. If I click the Install button, the package is downloaded and added to my project:

Added reference

If we now look in the solution folder structure, NuPack has created a “packages” folder, which contains the downloaded package:

Packages folder

That’s it! If you need log4net in another project or solution, just repeat these steps. Simple, huh?

Something to pay attention to, is that I noticed that the added log4net reference points to the GAC:

GAC Reference

Since I’d rather have a reference to a physical .dll file instead of a package reference, I just add the NuPack fetched .dll file to version control, then remove the package reference and refer to the .dll file.

Conclusion? NuPack rocks!