Using NuGet 2.5 to deliver unmanaged dlls

A little while ago I looked at a way to deliver unmamaged dlls via NuGet 2.0. Well now there’s NuGet 2.5 and they’ve only gone and fixed all the problems.

The two problems unsolved from before were

  • How to package the set of dlls
  • How to inject our new build target into msbuild so that it copies over our dlls

Introducing native dlls

The first new feature in 2.5 is Supporting Native projects. Its quite simple, underneath you lib folder you can now add a new type native. The first thing you will notice when you try this out, is that you can’t just ship a set of lib\native files, you need something else.

Could not install package ‘MyPackage 1.0.1’. You are trying to install this package into a project that targets ‘.NETFramework,Version=v4.5’, but the package does not contain any assembly references or content files that are compatible with that framework. For more information, contact the package author.

You can simply add a content folder with a readMe.txt or similar, to get around this issue.

Installing a package built like this reveals that although the files end up copied into the packages\myPackage.vx.x.x\lib\native folder, nothing happens to them when you run a build.

Automatically including .props and .targets

The 2nd new feature is Automatic import of msbuild targets and props files. In short if you add a .props file in the Build folder of your package, it gets added to the start your .csproj, and if you add a .targets it gets added to the end. This is where I refer back to my earlier post and we can now copy over that little script.


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> 
<Project ToolsVersion="4.0" xmlns=""> 
  <Target Name="AfterBuild"> 
      <MyPackageSourceFiles Include="$(MSBuildProjectDirectory)\..\Packages\FakePackage\*.*"/> 
    <Copy SourceFiles="@(MyPackageSourceFiles)" 
DestinationFolder="$(OutputPath)" >