Hosting Your Own NuGet Feeds

Some companies restrict which third-party libraries their developers may use. Therefore, they might not want developers to have access to everything in the official NuGet feed, or they might have a set of proprietary libraries they want to make available in addition to the official feed.

In these scenarios, you can set up a custom NuGet feed, and you can configure Visual Studio to offer that feed instead of or in addition to the official feed. A feed can be local (a folder on the local machine or a network folder), or remote (an intranet or internet URL).

There are several third-party NuGet Servers available that make remote private feeds easy to configure and set-up, including MyGet, Inedo's ProGet, JFrog's Artifactory, and Sonatype's Nexus. See An Overview of the NuGet Ecosystem to learn more about these options.

Otherwise, you can create a local feed on disk or build your own remote feed using NuGet's server components by following the instructions below.

Creating Local Feeds

Begin by creating or getting the packages you want to include in the custom feed and then putting them all into a folder. In the following example, a folder has been created in the local c: drive. The folder contains a single package (.nupkg file).

LocalNuGetFeed-folder.png

Next, specify that folder as the location of a NuGet feed. In Visual Studio, from the Tools menu select Library Package Manager and then click Package Manager Settings.

Package Manager Settings in menu

The Options dialog box is displayed.

Options dialog box

In the Name box, enter a name for your feed. In the Source box enter the path of your packages folder.

Available Package Sources dialog box without new feed

Click Add. Your local folder is now another NuGet feed source.

Available Package Sources dialog box with new feed

To install a package using the new feed, in the Package Manager Console window, select the new feed in the Package source list.

Selecting local feed in Package Manager Console

You can also select the new feed in the Online tab of the Manage NuGet Packages dialog box.

Selecting local feed in the Manage NuGet Packages dialog

Creating Remote Feeds

You can also host a remote (or internal) feed on a server that runs IIS.

Make sure you're running NuGet 1.4 or higher!

Step 1: Create a new Empty Web Application in Visual Studio

Go to the File | New | Project menu option (or just hit CTRL + SHIFT + N) which will bring up the new project dialog and select ASP.NET Empty Web Application as in the following screenshot. Please note that the steps here including NuGet.Server package are intended for use with C# project only.

New Project dialog box

This results in a very empty project template.

New project in Solution Explorer

Step 2: Install the NuGet.Server Package

Now right click on the References node and select Manage NuGet Packages to launch the NuGet dialog (alternatively, you can use the Package Manager Console instead and type Install-Package NuGet.Server).

Click the Online tab and then type NuGet.Server in the top right search box. Click Install on the NuGet.Server package as shown in the following image.

NuGet.Server package

Step 3: Configure the Packages folder

Starting with NuGet.Server 1.5, you can configure the folder which contains your packages. The web.config file contains a new appSetting, named packagesPath. When the key is omitted or left blank, the packages folder is the default ~/Packages. You can specify an absolute path, or a virtual path.

<appSettings>
    <!-- Set the value here to specify your custom packages folder. -->
    <add key="packagesPath" value="C:\MyPackages" />
</appSettings>

Step 4: Add Packages to the Packages folder

That's it! The NuGet.Server package just converted your empty website into a site that's ready to serve up the OData package feed. Just add packages into the Packages folder and they'll show up.

In the following screenshot, you can see that I've manually added a few packages to the default Packages folder.

Adding packages to the packages folder

If you want these packages to be published (such as when selecting Build -> Publish from the application menu) you'll also need to select the .nupkg files in Solution Explorer and change the Build Action property to "Content".

Starting with NuGet.Server 1.4, you can also add and delete packages to the lightweight feed using NuGet.exe. After installing the package, the web.config file will contain a new appSetting, named apiKey. When the key is omitted or left blank, pushing packages to the feed is disabled. Setting the apiKey to a value (ideally a strong password) enables pushing packages using NuGet.exe.

<appSettings>
     <!--
        Determines if an Api Key is required to push\delete packages from the server. 
    -->
    <add key="requireApiKey" value="true" />

    <!-- Set the value here to allow people to push/delete packages from the server.
         NOTE: This is a shared key (password) for all users. -->
    <add key="apiKey" value="" />
</appSettings>

If however your server is already secured and \ or you do not require an api key to perform this operation, set the requireApiKey value to false.

Step 5: Deploy and run your brand new Package Feed!

I can hit CTRL + F5 to run the site and it'll provide some instructions on what to do next.

Package feed home page

Clicking on "here" shows the OData over ATOM feed of packages.

OData over ATOM package feed

Now all I need to do is deploy this website as I would any other site and then I can click the Settings button and add this feed to my set of package sources as in the following screenshot.

Adding new feed to package sources

Note that the URL you need to put in is http://yourdomain/nuget/ depending on how you deploy the site.

Yes, it's that easy! An alternative way of publishing packages to this server is by simply placing the nupkg under the the Packages folder and they are automatically syndicated.