NuGet packages in the Package Registry

Version history
  • Introduced in GitLab Premium 12.8.
  • Moved to GitLab Free in 13.3.
  • Symbol package support added in GitLab 14.1.

Publish NuGet packages in your project’s Package Registry. Then, install the packages whenever you need to use them as a dependency.

The Package Registry works with:

For documentation of the specific API endpoints that these clients use, see the NuGet API documentation.

Install NuGet

The required minimum versions are:

Verify that the NuGet CLI is installed by running:

nuget help

The output should be similar to:

NuGet Version: 5.1.0.6013
usage: NuGet <command> [args] [options]
Type 'NuGet help <command>' for help on a specific command.

Available commands:

[output truncated]

Install NuGet on macOS

For macOS, you can use Mono to run the NuGet CLI.

  1. If you use Homebrew, to install Mono, run brew install mono.
  2. Download the Windows C# binary nuget.exe from the NuGet CLI page.
  3. Run this command:

    mono nuget.exe
    

Use the GitLab endpoint for NuGet Packages

Introduced group-level endpoint in GitLab 13.8.

To use the GitLab endpoint for NuGet Packages, choose an option:

  • Project-level: Use when you have few NuGet packages and they are not in the same GitLab group.
  • Group-level: Use when you have many NuGet packages in different projects within the same GitLab group.

Some features such as publishing a package are only available on the project-level endpoint.

caution
Because of how NuGet handles credentials, the Package Registry rejects anonymous requests on the group-level endpoint. To work around this limitation, set up authentication.

Add the Package Registry as a source for NuGet packages

To publish and install packages to the Package Registry, you must add the Package Registry as a source for your packages.

Prerequisites:

  • Your GitLab username.
  • A personal access token or deploy token. For repository authentication:
    • You can generate a personal access token with the scope set to api.
    • You can generate a deploy token with the scope set to read_package_registry, write_package_registry, or both.
  • A name for your source.
  • Depending on the endpoint level you use, either:
    • Your project ID, which is found on your project’s home page.
    • Your group ID, which is found on your group’s home page.

You can now add a new source to NuGet with:

Add a source with the NuGet CLI

Project-level endpoint

A project-level endpoint is required to publish NuGet packages to the Package Registry. A project-level endpoint is also required to install NuGet packages from a project.

To use the project-level NuGet endpoint, add the Package Registry as a source with nuget:

nuget source Add -Name <source_name> -Source "https://gitlab.example.com/api/v4/projects/<your_project_id>/packages/nuget/index.json" -UserName <gitlab_username or deploy_token_username> -Password <gitlab_personal_access_token or deploy_token>
  • <source_name> is the desired source name.

For example:

nuget source Add -Name "GitLab" -Source "https://gitlab.example.com/api/v4/projects/10/packages/nuget/index.json" -UserName carol -Password 12345678asdf

Group-level endpoint

To install a NuGet package from a group, use a group-level endpoint.

To use the group-level NuGet endpoint, add the Package Registry as a source with nuget:

nuget source Add -Name <source_name> -Source "https://gitlab.example.com/api/v4/groups/<your_group_id>/-/packages/nuget/index.json" -UserName <gitlab_username or deploy_token_username> -Password <gitlab_personal_access_token or deploy_token>
  • <source_name> is the desired source name.

For example:

nuget source Add -Name "GitLab" -Source "https://gitlab.example.com/api/v4/groups/23/-/packages/nuget/index.json" -UserName carol -Password 12345678asdf

Add a source with Visual Studio

Project-level endpoint

A project-level endpoint is required to publish NuGet packages to the Package Registry. A project-level endpoint is also required to install NuGet packages from a project.

To use the project-level NuGet endpoint, add the Package Registry as a source with Visual Studio:

  1. Open Visual Studio.
  2. In Windows, select File > Options. On macOS, select Visual Studio > Preferences.
  3. In the NuGet section, select Sources to view a list of all your NuGet sources.
  4. Select Add.
  5. Complete the following fields:
    • Name: Name for the source.
    • Location: https://gitlab.example.com/api/v4/projects/<your_project_id>/packages/nuget/index.json, where <your_project_id> is your project ID, and gitlab.example.com is your domain name.
    • Username: Your GitLab username or deploy token username.
    • Password: Your personal access token or deploy token.

    Visual Studio Adding a NuGet source

  6. Click Save.

The source is displayed in your list.

Visual Studio NuGet source added

If you get a warning, ensure that the Location, Username, and Password are correct.

Group-level endpoint

To install a package from a group, use a group-level endpoint.

To use the group-level NuGet endpoint, add the Package Registry as a source with Visual Studio:

  1. Open Visual Studio.
  2. In Windows, select File > Options. On macOS, select Visual Studio > Preferences.
  3. In the NuGet section, select Sources to view a list of all your NuGet sources.
  4. Select Add.
  5. Complete the following fields:
    • Name: Name for the source.
    • Location: https://gitlab.example.com/api/v4/groups/<your_group_id>/-/packages/nuget/index.json, where <your_group_id> is your group ID, and gitlab.example.com is your domain name.
    • Username: Your GitLab username or deploy token username.
    • Password: Your personal access token or deploy token.

    Visual Studio Adding a NuGet source

  6. Click Save.

The source is displayed in your list.

Visual Studio NuGet source added

If you get a warning, ensure that the Location, Username, and Password are correct.

Add a source with the .NET CLI

Project-level endpoint

A project-level endpoint is required to publish NuGet packages to the Package Registry. A project-level endpoint is also required to install NuGet packages from a project.

To use the project-level Package Registry as a source for .NET:

  1. In the root of your project, create a file named nuget.config.
  2. Add this content:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <configuration>
     <packageSources>
         <clear />
         <add key="gitlab" value="https://gitlab.example.com/api/v4/projects/<your_project_id>/packages/nuget/index.json" />
     </packageSources>
     <packageSourceCredentials>
         <gitlab>
             <add key="Username" value="<gitlab_username or deploy_token_username>" />
             <add key="ClearTextPassword" value="<gitlab_personal_access_token or deploy_token>" />
         </gitlab>
     </packageSourceCredentials>
    </configuration>
    

Group-level endpoint

To install a package from a group, use a group-level endpoint.

To use the group-level Package Registry as a source for .NET:

  1. In the root of your project, create a file named nuget.config.
  2. Add this content:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <configuration>
     <packageSources>
         <clear />
         <add key="gitlab" value="https://gitlab.example.com/api/v4/groups/<your_group_id>/-/packages/nuget/index.json" />
     </packageSources>
     <packageSourceCredentials>
         <gitlab>
             <add key="Username" value="<gitlab_username or deploy_token_username>" />
             <add key="ClearTextPassword" value="<gitlab_personal_access_token or deploy_token>" />
         </gitlab>
     </packageSourceCredentials>
    </configuration>
    

Publish a NuGet package

Prerequisite:

When publishing packages:

  • The Package Registry on GitLab.com can store up to 5 GB of content. This limit is configurable for self-managed GitLab instances.
  • If you publish the same package with the same version multiple times, each consecutive upload is saved as a separate file. When installing a package, GitLab serves the most recent file.
  • When publishing packages to GitLab, they aren’t displayed in the packages user interface of your project immediately. It can take up to 10 minutes to process a package.

Publish a package with the NuGet CLI

Prerequisites:

Publish a package by running this command:

nuget push <package_file> -Source <source_name>

Publish a package with the .NET CLI

Prerequisites:

Publish a package by running this command:

dotnet nuget push <package_file> --source <source_name>

For example:

dotnet nuget push MyPackage.1.0.0.nupkg --source gitlab

Publish a NuGet package by using CI/CD

Introduced in GitLab 13.3.

If you’re using NuGet with GitLab CI/CD, a CI job token can be used instead of a personal access token or deploy token. The token inherits the permissions of the user that generates the pipeline.

This example shows how to create a new package each time the main branch is updated:

  1. Add a deploy job to your .gitlab-ci.yml file:

    image: mcr.microsoft.com/dotnet/core/sdk:3.1
    
    stages:
      - deploy
    
    deploy:
      stage: deploy
      script:
        - dotnet pack -c Release
        - dotnet nuget add source "${CI_API_V4_URL}/projects/${CI_PROJECT_ID}/packages/nuget/index.json" --name gitlab --username gitlab-ci-token --password $CI_JOB_TOKEN --store-password-in-clear-text
        - dotnet nuget push "bin/Release/*.nupkg" --source gitlab
      only:
        - main
    
  2. Commit the changes and push it to your GitLab repository to trigger a new CI/CD build.

Publishing a package with the same name or version

When you publish a package with the same name or version as an existing package, the existing package is overwritten.

Install packages

To install a NuGet package from the Package Registry, you must first add a project-level or group-level endpoint.

If multiple packages have the same name and version, when you install a package, the most recently-published package is retrieved.

Install a package with the NuGet CLI

caution
By default, nuget checks the official source at nuget.org first. If you have a NuGet package in the Package Registry with the same name as a package at nuget.org, you must specify the source name to install the correct package.

Install the latest version of a package by running this command:

nuget install <package_id> -OutputDirectory <output_directory> \
  -Version <package_version> \
  -Source <source_name>
  • <package_id> is the package ID.
  • <output_directory> is the output directory, where the package is installed.
  • <package_version> The package version. Optional.
  • <source_name> The source name. Optional.

Install a package with the .NET CLI

caution
If you have a package in the Package Registry with the same name as a package at a different source, verify the order in which dotnet checks sources during install. This is defined in the nuget.config file.

Install the latest version of a package by running this command:

dotnet add package <package_id> \
       -v <package_version>
  • <package_id> is the package ID.
  • <package_version> is the package version. Optional.

Symbol packages

Introduced in GitLab 14.1.

If you push a .nupkg, symbol package files in the .snupkg format are uploaded automatically. You can also push them manually:

nuget push My.Package.snupkg -Source <source_name>

Consuming symbol packages is not yet guaranteed using clients such as Visual Studio or dotnet-symbol. The .snupkg files are available for download through the UI or the API.

Follow the NuGet symbol package issue for further updates.

Supported CLI commands

The GitLab NuGet repository supports the following commands for the NuGet CLI (nuget) and the .NET CLI (dotnet):

  • nuget push: Upload a package to the registry.
  • dotnet nuget push: Upload a package to the registry.
  • nuget install: Install a package from the registry.
  • dotnet add: Install a package from the registry.

Example project

For an example, see the Guided Exploration project Utterly Automated Software and Artifact Versioning with GitVersion. This project:

  • Generates NuGet packages by the msbuild method.
  • Generates NuGet packages by the nuget.exe method.
  • Uses GitLab releases and release-cli in connection with NuGet packaging.
  • Uses a tool called GitVersion to automatically determine and increment versions for the NuGet package in complex repositories.

You can copy this example project to your own group or instance for testing. See the project page for more details on what other GitLab CI patterns are demonstrated.

Troubleshooting

To improve performance, NuGet caches files related to a package. If you encounter issues, clear the cache with this command:

nuget locals all -clear