Configuring dotnet CLI for use with GitHub Packages

You can configure the dotnet command-line interface (CLI) to publish NuGet packages to GitHub Packages and to use packages stored on GitHub Packages as dependencies in a .NET project.

GitHub Packages is available with GitHub Free, GitHub Pro, GitHub Team, GitHub Enterprise Cloud, and GitHub One. GitHub Packages is not available for private repositories owned by accounts using legacy per-repository plans. For more information, see "GitHub's products."

In this article

Authenticating to GitHub Packages

You need an access token to publish, install, and delete packages in GitHub Packages. You can use a personal access token to authenticate with your username directly to GitHub Packages or the GitHub API. You can use a GITHUB_TOKEN to authenticate using a GitHub Actions workflow.

Authenticating with a personal access token

You must use a personal access token with the appropriate scopes to publish and install packages in GitHub Packages. For more information, see "About GitHub Packages."

To authenticate to GitHub Packages with the dotnet command-line interface (CLI), create a nuget.config file in your project directory specifying GitHub Packages as a source under packageSources for the dotnet CLI client.

You must replace:

  • USERNAME with the name of your user account on GitHub.
  • TOKEN with your personal access token.
  • OWNER with the name of the user or organization account that owns the repository containing your project. Because upper case letters aren't supported, you must use lowercase letters for the repository owner even if the GitHub user or organization name contains uppercase letters.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<configuration>
    <packageSources>
        <clear />
        <add key="github" value="https://nuget.pkg.github.com/OWNER/index.json" />
    </packageSources>
    <packageSourceCredentials>
        <github>
            <add key="Username" value="USERNAME" />
            <add key="ClearTextPassword" value="TOKEN" />
        </github>
    </packageSourceCredentials>
</configuration>

Authenticating with the GITHUB_TOKEN

If you are using a GitHub Actions workflow, you can use a GITHUB_TOKEN to publish and consume packages in GitHub Packages without needing to store and manage a personal access token. For more information, see "Authenticating with the GITHUB_TOKEN."

Publishing a package

You can publish a package to GitHub Packages by authenticating with a nuget.config file. When publishing, you need to use the same value for OWNER in your csproj file that you use in your nuget.config authentication file. Specify or increment the version number in your .csproj file, then use the dotnet pack command to create a .nuspec file for that version. For more information on creating your package, see "Create and publish a package" in the Microsoft documentation.

After you publish a package, you can view the package on GitHub. For more information, see "Viewing packages."

  1. Authenticate to GitHub Packages. For more information, see "Authenticating to GitHub Packages."

  2. Create a new project.

    dotnet new console --name OctocatApp
  3. Add your project's specific information to your project's file, which ends in .csproj. You must replace:

    • OWNER with the name of the user or organization account that owns the repository containing your project.
    • REPOSITORY with the name of the repository containing the package you want to publish.
    • 1.0.0 with the version number of the package.
    <Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk">
    
      <PropertyGroup>
        <OutputType>Exe</OutputType>
        <TargetFramework>netcoreapp3.0</TargetFramework>
        <PackageId>OctocatApp</PackageId>
        <Version>1.0.0</Version>
        <Authors>Octocat</Authors>
        <Company>GitHub</Company>
        <PackageDescription>This package adds an Octocat!</PackageDescription>
        <RepositoryUrl>https://github.com/OWNER/REPOSITORY</RepositoryUrl>
      </PropertyGroup>
    
    </Project>
  4. Package the project.

    dotnet pack --configuration Release
  5. Publish the package using the key you specified in the nuget.config file.

    dotnet nuget push "bin/Release/OctocatApp.1.0.0.nupkg" --source "github"

Publishing multiple packages to the same repository

To publish multiple packages to the same repository, you can include the same GitHub repository URL in the RepositoryURL fields in all .csproj project files. GitHub matches the repository based on that field.

For example, the OctodogApp and OctocatApp projects will publish to the same repository:

<Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk">

  <PropertyGroup>
    <OutputType>Exe</OutputType>
    <TargetFramework>netcoreapp3.0</TargetFramework>
    <PackageId>OctodogApp</PackageId>
    <Version>1.0.0</Version>
    <Authors>Octodog</Authors>
    <Company>GitHub</Company>
    <PackageDescription>This package adds an Octodog!</PackageDescription>
    <RepositoryUrl>https://github.com/octo-org/octo-cats-and-dogs</RepositoryUrl>
  </PropertyGroup>

</Project>
<Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk">

  <PropertyGroup>
    <OutputType>Exe</OutputType>
    <TargetFramework>netcoreapp3.0</TargetFramework>
    <PackageId>OctocatApp</PackageId>
    <Version>1.0.0</Version>
    <Authors>Octocat</Authors>
    <Company>GitHub</Company>
    <PackageDescription>This package adds an Octocat!</PackageDescription>
    <RepositoryUrl>https://github.com/octo-org/octo-cats-and-dogs</RepositoryUrl>
  </PropertyGroup>

</Project>

Installing a package

Using packages from GitHub in your project is similar to using packages from nuget.org. Add your package dependencies to your .csproj file, specifying the package name and version. For more information on using a .csproj file in your project, see "Working with NuGet packages" in the Microsoft documentation.

  1. Authenticate to GitHub Packages. For more information, see "Authenticating to GitHub Packages."

  2. To use a package, add ItemGroup and configure the PackageReference field in the .csproj project file, replacing the OctokittenApp package with your package dependency and 1.0.0 with the version you want to use:

    <Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk">
    
      <PropertyGroup>
        <OutputType>Exe</OutputType>
        <TargetFramework>netcoreapp3.0</TargetFramework>
        <PackageId>OctocatApp</PackageId>
        <Version>1.0.0</Version>
        <Authors>Octocat</Authors>
        <Company>GitHub</Company>
        <PackageDescription>This package adds an Octocat!</PackageDescription>
        <RepositoryUrl>https://github.com/OWNER/REPOSITORY</RepositoryUrl>
      </PropertyGroup>
    
      <ItemGroup>
        <PackageReference Include="OctokittenApp" Version="12.0.2" />
      </ItemGroup>
    
    </Project>
  3. Install the packages with the restore command.

    dotnet restore

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