Paket


The paket.references files

paket.references is used to specify which dependencies are to be installed into the MSBuild projects in your repository. Paket determines the set of dependencies that are to be referenced by each MSBuild project within a directory from its paket.references file.

It acts a lot like NuGet's packages.config files but there are some key differences:

Location

Paket looks for paket.references files underneath the directory where paket.dependencies is located.

Layout

The file whitelists any dependencies from the paket.lock file set that are to be referenced within the projects alongside it in a given directory:

1: 
2: 
3: 
4: 
5: 
6: 
7: 
Newtonsoft.Json
UnionArgParser
DotNetZip
RestSharp

group Test
  NUnit

For each MSBuild project alongside a paket.references, paket install and paket update will add references to the dependencies listed in paket.references and all their transitive dependencies (unless noted otherwise).

The references injected into the MSBuild project reflect the complete set of rules specified within the package for each lib and Content item; each reference is Conditional on an MSBuild expression predicated on the project's active framework etc. This allows you to change the target version of the MSBuild project (either within Visual Studio or e.g. as part of a multi-pass build) without reinstalling dependencies or incurring an impenetrable set of diffs.

Any Roslyn based analyzer present in the packages will also be installed in the project.

Overriding settings from paket.dependencies

You can override these options either defined globally or per package in the paket.dependencies:

A couple of examples:

1: 
2: 
3: 
4: 
5: 
6: 
Newtonsoft.Json copy_local: false
Newtonsoft.Json specific_version: false
Microsoft.Bcl.Build import_targets: false
Fody content: once
DotNetZip framework: >= net45
FSharp.Core redirects: on

Excluding libraries

This option allows you to exclude libraries from being referenced in project files:

1: 
2: 
3: 
4: 
5: 
6: 
PackageA
  exclude A1.dll
  exclude A2.dll
Dapper
NUnit
  exclude nunit.framework.dll

Library aliases

This option allows you to specify library aliases:

1: 
2: 
3: 
4: 
5: 
PackageA
  alias A1.dll Name2,Name3
  alias A2.dll MyAlias1
Dapper
NUnit

File name conventions

If Paket finds paket.references in a directory, the dependencies it specifies will be added to all MSBuild projects in that directory.

If you have multiple MSBuild projects in a directory that require a non-homogeneous set of references, you have two options:

  • Have a shared paket.references file that acts as a default for all except ones that require special treatment. For each special-case project, add a <MSBuild project>.paket.references file.
  • Add a project-specific <MSBuild project>.paket.references file for each and every project that requires any references.

Please note that Paket does not union the directory's shared reference list with the project-specific references. If a specific references file is present, it overrides the default (even if that file is empty, in which case it prevents anything being added to its sibling project file).

Global paket.references

 1: 
 2: 
 3: 
 4: 
 5: 
 6: 
 7: 
 8: 
 9: 
10: 
.
├── src
│   ├── Example.csproj
│   ├── Example.fsproj
│   ├── Example.vbproj
│   └── paket.references
├── test
│   └── Example.csproj
├── paket.dependencies
└── paket.lock

In this example,

  • the dependencies specified in /src/paket.references will be added to /src/Example.csproj, /src/Example.fsproj and /src/Example.vbproj,
  • /test/Example.csproj is left untouched.

Global paket.references with project-specific override

1: 
2: 
3: 
4: 
5: 
6: 
7: 
8: 
9: 
.
├── src
│   ├── Example.csproj
│   ├── Example.fsproj
│   ├── Example.vbproj
│   ├── Example.vbproj.paket.references
│   └── paket.references
├── paket.dependencies
└── paket.lock

In this example,

  • the dependencies specified in /src/paket.references will be added to /src/Example.csproj and /src/Example.fsproj,
  • the dependencies specified in /src/Example.vbproj.paket.references will be added to /src/Example.vbproj,
  • Paket does not merge the dependencies of /src/paket.references and /src/Example.vbproj.paket.references.

Project-specific references only

1: 
2: 
3: 
4: 
5: 
6: 
7: 
8: 
.
├── src
│   ├── Example.csproj
│   ├── Example.csproj.paket.references
│   ├── Example.fsproj
│   └── Example.fsproj.paket.references
├── paket.dependencies
└── paket.lock

In this example,

  • the dependencies specified in /src/Example.csproj.paket.references will be added to /src/Example.csproj,
  • the dependencies specified in /src/Example.fsproj.paket.references will be added to /src/Example.fsproj.
Fork me on GitHub