Installing NuGet

There are two primary tools available to help you build, publish and consume NuGet packages:

  1. The NuGet CLI is the command-line utility for Windows that provides all NuGet capabilities; it can also be run on Mac OSX and Linux through either the .NET Core CLI or with Mono.
  2. The NuGet Package Manager in Visual Studio is a GUI tool for managing packages and includes a console through which you can use certain NuGet commands directly within Visual Studio. It's included with Visual Studio 2012 and later and can be installed manually for earlier versions.

Both support the following operations:

  • Search packages
  • Install packages
  • Update packages
  • Uninstall packages
  • Restore packages (UI only in the Package Manager)
  • Manage NuGet sources

The following capabilities are supported only in the NuGet CLI:

  • Manage packages ( or private feed)
  • Create packages
  • Publish packages
  • Manage Nuget.Config
  • Manage the NuGet cache
  • Replication a package

You might also be interested in the NuGet Package Explorer, an open-source, stand-alone tool to visually explore and create NuGet packages. Also, the cross-platform .NET Core CLI toolchain for developing .NET Core applications also supports a dotnet restore command that performs a nuget restore. No other nuget commands are available in the .NET Core CLI at present, however.


The NuGet command-line interface provides access to all NuGet capabilities, and can be run on Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux as described in the following sections.


On Windows, the NuGet CLI can be installed using any of the following methods:

  1. Download the latest version of the nuget.exe file from and save it to an appropriate location on your machine. If desired, add that location to your PATH environment variable so you can NuGet from anywhere. (Note that the download is a single .exe file, so save it rather than running it from the browser.)

With NuGet 1.4+, you can use nuget update -self to update your existing nuget.exe to the latest version.

  1. Chocolatey: Install the NuGet.CommandLine Chocolatey package using the Chocolatey client.

    choco install nuget.commandline
  2. Visual Studio: Install the NuGet.CommandLine package from the Package Manager Console in Visual Studio.

NuGet 2.x users

Because there are a few breaking changes introduced in NuGet 3.2, points to the latest stable NuGet 2.x release to prevent CI systems from potentially breaking at this time.

Mac OSX and Linux

On Mac OSX and Linux, there are two ways to run NuGet:

  1. Install the .NET Core SDK, which includes NuGet capabilities. Downloads are also listed on

  2. Install Mono and then use the nuget.exe command-line executable for Windows (version 3.2 and later) from Running NuGet on Mono is subject to the following limitations:

    • Commands tested to work:

      • Config
      • Delete
      • Help
      • Install
      • List
      • Push
      • SetApiKey
      • Sources
      • Spec
    • Partially-working commands:

      • Pack: works with .nuspec files but not with project files.
      • Restore: works with packages.config and project.json files but not with solution (.sln) files.
    • Commands that do not work:

      • Update

NuGet Package Manager in Visual Studio

The NuGet Package Manager is included in every edition of Visual Studio 2012 and later. It includes the Package Manager UI (reference) and the Package Manager Console, through which you can access tools that come with certain packages (reference).


The console requires PowerShell 2.0, which will already be installed on Windows 7 or higher and Windows Server 2008 R2 or higher.

Package Manager Console commands also work only within Visual Studio. Use the NuGet CLI outside of that environment.

Package Manager installation for Visual Studio 2010 and earlier

  1. In Visual Studio, click Tools > Extension and Updates.
  2. Navigate to Online, search for "NuGet Package Manager for Visual Studio," and click Download.
  3. In the Installer dialog box, click Install.
  4. When installation is complete, restart Visual Studio.

If you're unable to use the Extensions and Updates dialog in Visual Studio (for example, its blocked by a proxy), you can download extensions for Visual Studio 2013 and 2015 directly at

Updating the Package Manager

For Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 and later, the Package Manager is automatically updated to the latest stable release.

For earlier versions of Visual Studio, select the Tools > Extensions and Updates command and click on the Updates tab to see if a new version of the Package Manager is available.

NuGet beta channel

The NuGet Beta Channel for the NuGet Package Manager in Visual Studio 2015 gives you access to high-quality builds that are close to completion. We use this channel to gather feedback on our near-final builds, and it's recommended for developers who want to try out new features and those who are experiencing blocking issues and need early access to updated builds before RTM.

Accessing the beta channel is simple:

  1. In Visual Studio, navigate to Tools > Options > Environment > Extensions and Updates, then add the feed to the Additional Extension Galleries list:

    Adding the NuGet beta channel feed to Visual Studio

  2. Navigate to Tools > Extensions and Updates and select Online, which should show the NuGet-Beta Feed from which you can install a beta NuGet Package Manager:

    Checking NuGet beta channel updates

To report problems with the Beta builds or to share ideas, open an issue on the NuGet GitHub repository.