The easiest way to package your applications from your continuous integration/automated build process is to use OctoPack. OctoPack adds a custom MSBuild target that hooks into the build process of your solution. When enabled, OctoPack will package your Windows Service and ASP.NET applications when MSBuild runs. This makes it easy to integrate OctoPack with your build server - as long as you can pass properties to MSBuild, you can use OctoPack.
This three minute video (with captions) will walk you through the process of installing and using OctoPack.
OctoPack is, itself, a NuGet package. You can install it using the NuGet package installer:
OctoPack should only be installed on projects that you are going to deploy - that means the console application projects, Windows Service projects, and ASP.NET web applications. Unit tests, class libraries, and other supporting projects wouldn't be selected.
To have OctoPack create a NuGet package from your build, set the RunOctoPack MSBuild property to true. For example, if you are compiling from the command line, you might use:
After the build completes, in the output directory you will find a NuGet package. This package is ready to be deployed using your Octopus Deploy server.
Adding a NuSpec
A .nuspec file describes the contents of your NuGet package. OctoPack automatically creates one if you haven't provided one, by guessing some of the settings from your project. But you may wish to provide your own simple .nuspec file to your project. The file name should match the name of your C# project - for example, Sample.Web.nuspec if your ASP.NET project is named Sample.Web. The nuspec file needs to be in the same directory as your csproj file.
Here is an example of the .nuspec file contents:
What is packaged?
OctoPack is smart enough to only package files required for deployment. If you are packaging a Windows Service or Console application, then it will package all of the output files in the bin\Release folder (assuming you have done a release build).
If you need to include other files in your package for deployment, use the Visual Studio properties panel to set the Copy to Output Directory attribute to Copy always.
When web applications are packaged, only binaries and the content files are included:
OctoPack determines whether a project is a web application or not based on whether it finds a web.config file.
If you need to go beyond this and include additional files, you can do so using the <files> element in your custom NuSpec file. For example:
If the <files> section exists, OctoPack by default won't attempt to automatically add any extra files to your package, so you'll need to be explicit about which files you want to include. You can override this behavior with
NuGet packages have version numbers. When you use OctoPack, the NuGet package version number will come from (in order of priority):
- The command line, if you pass
/p:OctoPackPackageVersion=<version>as an MSBuild parameter when building your project.
- If the
[assembly: FileVersion]is the same as the
[assembly: AssemblyInformationalVersion](AKA ProductVersion), then we'll use the
[assembly: AssemblyVersion]attribute in your
- Otherwise we take the
Adding release notes
NuSpec files can contain release notes, which show up on the Octopus Deploy release page. OctoPack can add these notes to your NuGet package if you pass a path to a file containing the notes. For example:
Note that the file path should always be relative to the C#/VB project file (not the solution file).
You can make use of NuGet replacement tokens inside your NuSpec file:
To set a value for these parameters, use the MSBuild property OctoPackNuGetProperties:
To publish your package to a NuGet feed, you can optionally use some extra MSBuild properties:
/p:OctoPackPublishPackageToFileShare=C:\MyPackages- copies the package to the path given
/p:OctoPackPublishPackageToHttp=http://my-nuget-server/api/v2/package- pushes the package to the NuGet server
/p:OctoPackPublishApiKey=ABCDEFGMYAPIKEY- API key to use when publishing
All supported parameters
In addition to the common arguments above, OctoPack has a number of other parameters. The full list is documented in the table below.
|Set to |
|Version number of the NuGet package. By default, OctoPack gets the version from your assembly version attributes. Set this parameter to use an explicit version number.|
|When packaging a project called YourApp, containing a file named |
|A fragment that will be appended to the NuGet package ID, allowing you to create different NuGet packages depending on the build configuration. E.g., if the ID element in the NuSpec is set to "|
|Define a pre-release tag to be appended to the end of your package version.|
|By default, when your NuSpec file has a |
|Octopus Deploy only calls |
|If your project has TypeScript files, OctoPack will usually package the corresponding |
|Use this parameter to specify additional command line parameters that will be passed to |
|OctoPack comes with a bundled version of |
|If you use replacement tokens in your NuSpec file (e.g., |
|Additional arguments that will be passed to |
|The NuSpec file to use. Defaults to |
|Your API key to use when publishing to a HTTP/HTTPS based NuGet repository|
|By default, if OctoPack detects that the build is running under TeamCity, the NuGet package that is produced is registered as an artifact in TeamCity. Use this parameter to suppress this behavior.|
|OctoPack can publish packages to a file share or local directory after packaging|
|OctoPack can publish packages to a HTTP/HTTPS NuGet repository (or the Octopus server) after packaging.|
|Use this parameter to have the package release notes read from a file.|
|Use this parameter to override the name of your package so its not necessarily identical to your Visual Studio Project. This will only work when building a single Project/Package. For multiple projects you do not use this parameter and instead set the below property on your project's csproj file|