pack command (NuGet CLI)

Applies to: package creation • Supported versions: 2.7+

Creates a NuGet package based on the specified .nuspec or project file. The dotnet pack command (see dotnet Commands) and msbuild /t:pack (see MSBuild targets) may be used as alternates.


Under Mono, creating a package from a project file is not supported. You also need to adjust non-local paths in the .nuspec file to Unix-style paths, as nuget.exe doesn't convert Windows pathnames itself.


nuget pack <nuspecPath | projectPath> [options]

where <nuspecPath> and <projectPath> specify the .nuspec or project file, respectively.


Option Description
BasePath Sets the base path of the files defined in the .nuspec file.
Build Specifies that the project should be built before building the package.
Exclude Specifies one or more wildcard patterns to exclude when creating a package. To specify more than one pattern, repeat the -Exclude flag. See example below.
ExcludeEmptyDirectories Prevents inclusion of empty directories when building the package.
ForceEnglishOutput (3.5+) Forces nuget.exe to run using an invariant, English-based culture.
Help Displays help information for the command.
IncludeReferencedProjects Indicates that the built package should include referenced projects either as dependencies or as part of the package. If a referenced project has a corresponding .nuspec file that has the same name as the project, then that referenced project is added as a dependency. Otherwise, the referenced project is added as part of the package.
MinClientVersion Set the minClientVersion attribute for the created package. This value will override the value of the existing minClientVersion attribute (if any) in the .nuspec file.
MSBuildPath (4.0+) Specifies the path of MSBuild to use with the command, taking precedence over -MSBuildVersion.
MSBuildVersion (3.2+) Specifies the version of MSBuild to be used with this command. Supported values are 4, 12, 14, 15. By default the MSBuild in your path is picked, otherwise it defaults to the highest installed version of MSBuild.
NoDefaultExcludes Prevents default exclusion of NuGet package files and files and folders starting with a dot, such as .svn and .gitignore.
NoPackageAnalysis Specifies that pack should not run package analysis after building the package.
OutputDirectory Specifies the folder in which the created package is stored. If no folder is specified, the current folder is used.
Properties Specifies a list of properties that override values in the project file; see Common MSBuild Project Properties for property names. The Properties argument here is a list of token=value pairs, separated by semicolons, where each occurrence of $token$ in the .nuspec file will be replaced with the given value. Values can be strings in quotation marks. Note that for the "Configuration" property, the default is "Debug". To change to a Release configuration, use -Properties Configuration=Release.
Suffix (3.4.4+) Appends a suffix to the internally generated version number, typically used for appending build or other pre-release identifiers. For example, using -suffix nightly will create a package with a version number like 1.2.3-nightly. Suffixes must start with a letter to avoid warnings, errors, and potential incompatibilities with different versions of NuGet and the NuGet Package Manager.
Symbols Specifies that the package contains sources and symbols. When used with a .nuspec file, this creates a regular NuGet package file and the corresponding symbols package.
Tool Specifies that the output files of the project should be placed in the tool folder.
Verbosity Specifies the amount of detail displayed in the output: normal, quiet, detailed (2.5+).
Version Overrides the version number from the .nuspec file.

Also see Environment variables

Excluding development dependencies

Some NuGet packages are useful as development dependencies, which help you author your own library, but aren't necessarily needed as actual package dependencies.

The pack command will ignore package entries in packages.config that have the developmentDependency attribute set to true. These entries will not be include as a dependencies in the created package.

For example, consider the following packages.config file in the source project:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <package id="jQuery" version="1.5.2" />
    <package id="netfx-Guard" version="" developmentDependency="true" />
    <package id="microsoft-web-helpers" version="1.15" />

For this project, the package created by nuget pack will have a dependency on jQuery and microsoft-web-helpers but not netfx-Guard.


nuget pack

nuget pack foo.nuspec

nuget pack foo.csproj

nuget pack foo.csproj -Properties Configuration=Release

nuget pack foo.csproj -Build -Symbols -Properties owners=janedoe,xiaop;version="1.0.5"

# create a package from project foo.csproj, using MSBuild version 12 to build the project
nuget pack foo.csproj -Build -Symbols -Properties owners=janedoe,xiaop;version="1.0.5" -MSBuildVersion 12

nuget pack foo.nuspec -Version 2.1.0

nuget pack foo.nuspec -Version 1.0.0 -MinClientVersion 2.5

nuget pack Package.nuspec -exclude "*.exe" -exclude "*.bat"