Why do you need to increase the version of the nuget package? When you push a new nuget package to nuget.org, you need to increase the version of the package. Otherwise, you will get an error. I will show you how to do it automatically with Github Actions. As an example, I will use my nuget package MaximGorbatyuk.DatabaseSqlEndpoints.



Usually, I use the following workflow:

  1. Work on a feature in a separate branch. For example, feature/1234-add-new-feature.
  2. Create a pull request to the dev branch.
  3. Code in the pull request is tested by Github Actions CI.
  4. If the tests are successful, the pull request is merged to the dev branch by me.
  5. If I decide to deply new version of nuget, I merge the dev branch to the main branch.
  6. New code in the main branch is used for building nuget package.
  7. the nuget package is deployed to nuget.org.

For automatic version increase, I use a little hack. Github has run_number variable that represents the order number of the pipeline run. I use this number as last version number of the nuget package.

The main problem is how to put this number into the csproj file. Here I use a sed command to replace the version number in the csproj file inside <Version>1.0.0</Version>. The sed command looks like this:

sed -i "s/\(<Version>\([0-9]\+\.\)\{2\}\)\([0-9]\+\)/\1${{github.run_number}}/" ${{env.PROJECT_FILE}}

For example, the version is 1.0.0 and the github.run_number is 5. The result will be 1.0.5. That’s what I need. Let’s see how to use it in Github Actions.

How to setup repository

First of all, you need to add two yml files to your repository:

  • test.yml
  • release.yml

The first one test.yml will be responsible for testing the code. The second one release.yml will be responsible for building the nuget package and deploying it to nuget.org.

The test.yml is very simple. It looks like this:

name: Build and test

    branches: [dev] # run tests on push to dev branch
    branches: [dev] # OR run tests on pull requests to dev branch

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      solution-file: MaximGorbatyuk.DatabaseSqlEndpoints.sln
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - name: Backend build and test
        uses: actions/setup-dotnet@v1
          dotnet-version: "6.0.x" # SDK Version to use.

      - name: Install dependencies # installing dependencies for all projects in the solution
        run: dotnet restore ${{env.solution-file}}

      - name: Test # running tests for all projects in the solution
        run: dotnet test ${{env.solution-file}} --no-restore --verbosity normal

The release.yml is a bit more complicated. It looks like this:

name: Publish nuget

    branches: [main] # run deployment on push to main branch
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    timeout-minutes: 15
      project: MaximGorbatyuk.DatabaseSqlEndpoints
      PROJECT_FOLDER: ./MaximGorbatyuk.DatabaseSqlEndpoints
      PROJECT_FILE: MaximGorbatyuk.DatabaseSqlEndpoints/MaximGorbatyuk.DatabaseSqlEndpoints.csproj
    - name: Checkout
      uses: actions/checkout@v2

    - name: Setup .NET Core
      uses: actions/setup-dotnet@v1
        dotnet-version: "6.0.x" # .NET SDK version to use.

    # github.run_number is a number of the pipeline run. It is increased automatically.
    # That's why we can use it to increase the version of the nuget package.
    # Here we replace the last number in the version with github.run_number.
    - name: Set version
      run: |
       echo "Buid version is ${{github.run_number}}"
       sed -i "s/\(<Version>\([0-9]\+\.\)\{2\}\)\([0-9]\+\)/\1${{github.run_number}}/" ${{env.PROJECT_FILE}}       

    - name: Build
      working-directory: ${{env.PROJECT_FOLDER}}
      run: dotnet build --configuration Release

    - name: Pack
      working-directory: ${{env.PROJECT_FOLDER}}
      run: dotnet pack --configuration Release --no-build --output .

    # Here we use external public config file to publish nuget package.
    # The script needs to know the path to the csproj file and the nuget API key.
    - name: Publish nuget package
      uses: brandedoutcast/publish-nuget@v2.5.2
          NUGET_KEY: ${{secrets.NUGET_API_KEY}}

The NUGET_API_KEY is a Github secret variable that contains the API key for nuget.org. Here you can learn how to get it. Here is a screenshot of the secret variable in my repository:

Nuget API key as secret

That’s all. Now you can push your code to the dev branch and it will be tested by Github Actions. When you are ready to deploy new version of nuget package, you need to merge the dev branch to the main branch. After that, the release.yml will be triggered and the new version of the nuget package will be deployed to nuget.org.

If you want to use the same approach in Gitlab CI, you may use CI_PIPELINE_IID variable instead of github.run_number. It represents the project-level IID (internal ID) of the current pipeline as well as github.run_number in Github Actions.

I hope this tutorial will be useful for you. If you have any questions, you may find my contacts here.