You can package full framework .NET applications from your continuous integration/automated build process is to use OctoPack. OctoPack adds a custom MSBuild target that hooks into the build process of your solution. When enabled, OctoPack will package your Windows Service and ASP.NET applications when MSBuild runs. This makes it easy to integrate OctoPack with your build server. As long as you can pass properties to MSBuild, you can use OctoPack.
OctoPack works by calling
nuget.exe pack to build the NuGet package, and
nuget.exe push to publish the package (if so desired). OctoPack understands .NET applications and uses that knowledge to build the right kind of package for each kind of .NET application.
OctoPack is not compatible with ASP.NET Core applications. If you want to package APS.NET Core applications see creating packages with Octo.exe.
This three minute video (with captions) will walk you through the process of installing and using OctoPack.
OctoPack is, itself, a NuGet package. You can install it using the NuGet package installer, or any of the other ways you prefer to install NuGet packages:
OctoPack should only be installed on projects that you are going to deploy, that means the console application projects, Windows Service projects, and ASP.NET web applications. OctoPack should not be installed on unit tests, class libraries, and other supporting projects.
To have OctoPack create a NuGet package from your build, set the RunOctoPack MSBuild property to true. For example, if you are compiling from the command line, you might use:
msbuild MySolution.sln /t:Build /p:RunOctoPack=true
After the build completes, in the output directory you will find a NuGet package. This package is ready to be deployed using your Octopus Deploy Server.
Adding a NuSpec
.nuspec file describes the contents of your NuGet package. If you don;'t provide one, OctoPack will automatically create one by guessing some of the settings from your project. But you may wish to provide your own simple
.nuspec file to your project. The file name should match the name of your C# project, for example,
Sample.Web.nuspec if your ASP.NET project is named Sample.Web. The
.nuspec file needs to be in the same directory as your
Here is an example of the
.nuspec file contents:
Sample NuSpec File
<?xml version="1.0"?> <package xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/packaging/2010/07/nuspec.xsd"> <metadata> <id>Sample.Web</id> <title>Your Web Application</title> <version>1.0.0</version> <authors>Your name</authors> <owners>Your name</owners> <licenseUrl>http://yourcompany.com</licenseUrl> <projectUrl>http://yourcompany.com</projectUrl> <requireLicenseAcceptance>false</requireLicenseAcceptance> <description>A sample project</description> <releaseNotes>This release contains the following changes...</releaseNotes> </metadata> </package>
Learn more about the NuSpec file format.
What is Packaged?
OctoPack only packages the files in your .Net applications that are required to deploy the application.
If you are packaging a .NET application, OctoPack will automatically package all of the files in the build output directory for the project. In most cases this will be the
bin\Release folder, depending on the build configuration and whether you have changed the build output directory for your project in Visual Studio.
If you have customized the output directory and you have added a custom
<files> element to your custom nuspec file, all paths you specify must be relative to the nuspec file's location. This means that for the binaries files that are being built by the project you will have to use some combination of
..\ style prefix to refer to the assemblies.
For Windows Service or Console applications, and many Windows Forms or WPF applications, the build output directory contains everything you need to deploy your application.
The example below shows a Windows Service called
OctoFX.RateService.exe and all of the files required to run the application, including libraries and configuration files.
Including Web Application Content Files
When packaging a web application, OctoPack will automatically include the
bin folder and any files configured with Build Action: Content. You can see Build Action in the Solution Explorer properties window for the currently selected file in Visual Studio:
The example below shows a web application called OctoFX.TradingWebsite and you can see that all the files required to host the web application have been packaged, including the contents of the
bin folder and any files with Build Action: Content.
Config Transformation is Part of the Deployment Process
OctoPack won't run web.config transformation files, because these will be run as part of the deployment instead. Make sure you set Build Action: Content for your config transform files (like
web.Release.config) to ensure these files are packaged and used as part of your deployment.
Including Additional Files Using Copy to Output Directory
If you need to include other files in your package for deployment, use the Visual Studio properties panel to set the Copy to Output Directory attribute to Copy if newer or Copy always. These files will be copied to the build output directory when the project builds, and subsequently packaged by OctoPack.
XML Configuration Transforms
You can use XML Config Transforms on any XML files including the
app.config file for Windows Service, Console, Windows Forms or WPF applications. Make sure the transform files are copied to the build output directory as part of your build, and the will be packaged by OctoPack so you can use them as part of the deployment.
Including Additional Files Using a NuSpec File (.nuspec)
If you need to go beyond this and include additional files, or you want to control explicitly which files are included in the package, you can do so using the
<files> element in your custom
<files> section exists, by default OctoPack won't attempt to automatically add any extra files to your package, so you'll need to be explicit about which files you want to include. You can override this behavior with
/p:OctoPackEnforceAddingFiles=true which will instruct OctoPack to package a combination of files using its conventions, and those defined by your
<files> <file src="bin\*.dll" target="bin" /> <file src="Content\*.css" target="Content" /> <file src="Files\**\*.*" target="Files" exclude="Files\SuperSecret.cert" /> </files>
See the NuSpec documentation for more examples on how the
<files> section of the
.nuspec file is interpreted by
NuGet packages have version numbers. When you use OctoPack, the NuGet package version number will come from (in order of priority):
- The command line, if you pass
/p:OctoPackPackageVersion=<version>as an MSBuild parameter when building your project.
- If the assembly contains a
GitVersionInformationtype, the field
- If you pass
/p:OctoPackUseProductVersion=trueas an MSBuild parameter,
[assembly: AssemblyInformationalVersion](AKA Assembly's product version) is used.
- If you pass
/p:OctoPackUseFileVersion=trueas an MSBuild parameter,
[assembly: AssemblyFileVersion](AKA Assembly's file version) is used.
- If the
[assembly: AssemblyInformationalVersion]value is not valid, the
[assembly: AssemblyFileVersion]is used.
- If the
[assembly: AssemblyFileVersion]is the same as the
[assembly: AssemblyInformationalVersion](AKA ProductVersion), then we'll use the
[assembly: AssemblyVersion]attribute in your
- Otherwise we take the
During the build messages are output at the
Normal msbuild logging level which may help diagnose version retrieval problems.
Version Numbers are Preserved as-is
NuGet 3 started removing leading zeros and the fourth digit if it is zero. These are affectionately known as "NuGet zero quirks" and can be surprising when working with tooling outside the NuGet ecosystem. We have made a choice to preserve the version as-is when working with Octopus tooling to create packages of any kind. Learn more about versioning in Octopus Deploy.
To make this work for NuGet packages we have forked NuGet.
The fork of NuGet 3 available here: https://github.com/OctopusDeploy/NuGet.Client
The packages are available here: https://octopus.myget.org/feed/octopus-dependencies/package/nuget/NuGet.CommandLine
Adding Release Notes
NuSpec files can contain release notes, which show up on the Octopus Deploy release page. OctoPack can add these notes to your NuGet package if you pass a path to a file containing the notes. For example:
msbuild MySolution.sln /t:Build /p:RunOctoPack=true /p:OctoPackReleaseNotesFile=..\ReleaseNotes.txt
Note that the file path should always be relative to the C#/VB project file (not the solution file).
You can make use of NuGet replacement tokens inside your NuSpec file:
Sample NuSpec File
<?xml version="1.0"?> <package xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/packaging/2010/07/nuspec.xsd"> <metadata> <id>Sample.$suffix$</id> <title>$title$</title> <version>$version$</version> <authors>$myname$</authors> <owners>Your name</owners> <licenseUrl>http://yourcompany.com</licenseUrl> <projectUrl>http://yourcompany.com</projectUrl> <requireLicenseAcceptance>false</requireLicenseAcceptance> <description>A sample project</description> <releaseNotes>This release contains the following changes...</releaseNotes> </metadata> </package>
To set a value for these parameters, use the MSBuild property OctoPackNuGetProperties:
msbuild MySolution.sln /t:Build /p:RunOctoPack=true "/p:OctoPackNuGetProperties=suffix=release;title=My Title;version=1.0.0;myname=Paul"
To publish your package to a NuGet feed, you can optionally use some extra MSBuild properties:
/p:OctoPackPublishPackageToFileShare=C:\MyPackages: copies the package to the path given.
/p:OctoPackPublishPackageToHttp=http://my-nuget-server/api/v2/package: pushes the package to the NuGet server.
/p:OctoPackPublishApiKey=ABCDEFGMYAPIKEY: API key to use when publishing.
/p:OctoPackAppendProjectToFeed=true: Append the project name onto the feed so you can nest packages under folders on publish.
/p:OctoPackAppendToPackageId=foo: Append the extra name to the package ID (e.g. for feature branch packages). MyApp.Foo.1.2.3.nupkg.
The Octopus Built-in Repository
Octopus provides a built-in package repository for your deployment packages. The Octopus built-in repository is generally the best choice for deployment packages because it offers better performance and most suitable retention policies.
To push your packages to the Octopus built-in repository use the following settings:
/p:OctoPackPublishPackageToHttp=http://your.octopusserver.com/nuget/packages: this is the URL to your Octopus Server noting the
/p:OctoPackPublishApiKey=API-ABCDEFGMYAPIKEY: the Octopus API key you want to use for pushing packages noting these security considerations.
Read more about pushing packages to the Octopus built-in repository.
Push a NuGet Package That Already Exists
If a package with the same version already exists, the server will usually reject it with a 400 error. This is because each time you change an application, you should produce a new version of each NuGet package. Usually, customers set up their CI builds to automatically increment the package version number (e.g., 1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.1.3, and so on).
Sometimes the package version number don't always change. This can happen if you are building a solution containing many projects, and only one project has changed. If this is the case, and only one project has changed, you can modify the URL to include a
?replace=true parameter like this:
This will force the Octopus Server to replace the existing NuGet package with the new version you have pushed. It works exactly the same as the checkbox on the package upload pane:
All Supported Parameters
In addition to the common arguments above, OctoPack has a number of other parameters. The full list is documented in the table below.
||Version number of the NuGet package. By default, OctoPack gets the version from your assembly version attributes. Set this parameter to use an explicit version number.|
||When packaging a project called YourApp, containing a file named
||A fragment that will be appended to the NuGet package ID, allowing you to create different NuGet packages depending on the build configuration. E.g., if the ID element in the NuSpec is set to "
||Define a pre-release tag to be appended to the end of your package version.|
||By default, when your NuSpec file has a
||Octopus Deploy only calls
||If your project has TypeScript files, OctoPack will usually package the corresponding
||Use this parameter to specify additional command line parameters that will be passed to
||OctoPack comes with a bundled version of
||If you use replacement tokens in your NuSpec file (e.g.,
||Additional arguments that will be passed to
||The NuSpec file to use. Defaults to
||Your API key to use when publishing to a HTTP/HTTPS based NuGet repository|
||By default, if OctoPack detects that the build is running under TeamCity, the NuGet package that is produced is registered as an artifact in TeamCity. Use this parameter to suppress this behavior.|
||OctoPack can publish packages to a file share or local directory after packaging|
||OctoPack can publish packages to a HTTP/HTTPS NuGet repository (or the Octopus built-in repository) after packaging.|
||Use this parameter to have the package release notes read from a file.|
||Use this parameter to override the name of your package so its not necessarily identical to your Visual Studio Project. This will only work when building a single Project/Package. For multiple projects you do not use this parameter and instead set the below property on your project's csproj file
||Use this parameter to use
||Use this parameter to use
||Append the project name onto the feed so you can nest packages under folders on publish|