FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions
I do not understand why I need Paket to manage my packages. Why can't I just use NuGet.exe and packages.config?
NuGet does not separate out the concept of
transitive dependencies; if you install a package into
your project and that package has further dependencies then all transitive
packages are included in the
packages.config. There is no way to tell which
packages are only transitive dependencies.
Even more importantly: If two packages reference conflicting versions of a package, NuGet will silently take the latest version (read more). You have no control over this process.
Paket on the other hand maintains this information on a consistent and stable
basis within the
paket.lock file in the solution root. This
file, together with the
enables you to determine exactly what's happening with your dependencies.
paket outdated command lists packages that have new
Paket also enables one to reference files directly from GitHub repositories, Gists and HTTP.
NuGet puts the package version into the path. Is Paket doing the same?
No, since Paket provides a global view of your dependencies it usually installs only one version of a package and therefore the version number is not needed in the path. This makes it much easier to reference files in the package and you don't have to edit these references when you update a package.
If you really need to have the version in the path for certain packages (like
can still do that.
version_in_path flag, your unit tests will disappear from the Visual Studio Test Explorer.
NuGet allows to use multiple versions of the same package. Can I do that with Paket?
Usually you don't want that to happen. Most solutions that have multiple
versions of the same package installed did this by accident. Since NuGet has no
global lock file and stores version information in packages.config (per
project), it's hard to keep all projects consolidated. Paket on the other gives
you a global/consolidated view of all your dependencies in the
In the very rare cases when you really need to maintain different versions of
the same package you can use the
dependency groups feature. Every dependency group gets resolved
independently so it also deals with the conflict resolution of indirect
dependencies, but the most important difference is that using groups is a
deliberate action. You need to explicitly name the group in
paket.references files, so it won't happen by accident.
Why does Paket add references to the libraries associated with each supported framework version within a NuGet package to my projects?
A NuGet package installation adds references only for the currently selected target .NET framework version of your project at the time of installation. Whenever you switch the framework version of your project, there's a potential need to reinstall all of the packages.
However the Visual Studio tooling does not address this — it's up to you to remember to reinstall. In the best case, this leads to compiler errors about missing methods/types etc. In the worst case, it's a variance that's either deeply buried within the code (meaning it might be difficult to trap in a test cycle) or a more difficult to detect 'silent' problem.
Paket adds references to all of them, but with
Condition attributes filtering
them based on the currently selected
TargetFramework and other relevant
If you only want to use a subset of the target frameworks you can use framework restrictions.
Why does Paket use a different package resolution strategy than NuGet?
Paket tries to embrace semantic versioning while NuGet
uses a pessimistic version resolution strategy. You can prefix your
version constraints with
! if you need to
stay compatible to NuGet.
Read about more about Paket's resolver algorithm.
Does Paket run install.ps1 scripts?
No, Paket does not run any script or program from NuGet packages and we have no
plans to do this in the future. We know that this might cause you some manual
work for some of the currently available NuGet packages, but we think these
install scripts cause more harm than good. In fact our current model would not
be able to work consistently alongside an
install.ps1 script like the
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The reason is simply that even if we would support PowerShell on Windows we can't access the Visual Studio project system. Paket is a command line tool and doesn't run inside of Visual Studio. There is no reasonable way to make this work – and even NuGet.exe can't do it in command line mode.
Instead we encourage the .NET community to use a declarative install process and we will help to fix this in the affected packages.
What files should I commit?
There are two main ways to incorporate paket in your repository which are outlined in the get started section. .NET Core 3.0+ or the legacy "magic mode" approach. The first has the least files to commit, but to be clear here are first what you should always commit to source control no matter the approach:
paket.dependenciesspecifies your application's dependencies, and how they should be fulfilled.
paket.lockrecords the actual versions used during resolution. If it exists, Paket will ensure that the same versions are used when restoring packages. It is not strictly necessary to commit this file, but strongly recommended. See this question for details.
paket.referencesfiles. Each project will have a
paket.referencesfile that specifies which of the dependencies are installed in the project. Each of these files should be committed to source control.
paket.template. If a project is supposed to be deployed as a NuGet project it will have a
paket.templatefile that specifies package metadata. Each of these files should be committed to source control.
When using legacy "magic mode" approach the following files should also be committed:
.paket/paket.targetsallows you to enable automatic package restore in Visual Studio.
.paket/paket.exeshould really be the renamed paket.bootstrapper.exe which will automatically download the latest version of
paket.exeand redirect the calls to that file instead.
The following files should not be committed to your version control system, and should be added to any ignore files:
paket installwill restore this.
- Same applies to the
.paket/paket.bootstrapper.exe, if you have this in your repo, you have not yet updated to the recommended "magic mode" approach, when running legacy (pre .NET Core 3.0) applications.
Why should I commit the lock file?
paket.lock file to your version control
system guarantees that other developers and/or build servers will always end up
with a reliable and consistent set of packages regardless of where or when
paket restore is run.
If your project is an application you should always commit the
If your project is a library then you probably want to commit it as well.
There are rare cases where you always want to test your lib against the latest
version of your dependencies, but we recommend to set up a second CI build
instead. This new build should be run regularly (maybe once a day) and execute
paket update at the beginning. This will ensure that you
get notified whenever a dependency update breaks your library.
I'm already using NuGet. How can I convert to Paket?
The process can be automated with
paket convert-from-nuget command.
In case of the command's failure, you can fallback to manual approach:
packages.configfiles and extract the referenced packages into a
packages.configfile to a
paket.referencesfile. This is very easy — you just have to remove all the XML and keep the package names.
paket install. This will analyze the dependencies, generate a
paket.lockfile, remove all the old package references from your project files and replace them with equivalent
References in a syntax that can be managed automatically by Paket.
- We encourage you to raise a corresponding issue so that we can make the command even better.
How do I convert a new project to Paket when my solution is already using Paket
In this case it's okay to use the
--force flag for the
convert-from-nuget command as described in
partial NuGet conversion. Paket
will then go through your solution and convert all new NuGet projects to Paket.
paket.lock files in the root of a repository. How can I change that?
Very old Paket versions allowed to specify the location. We disabled that
because we have very strong opinions about the location of the
paket.dependencies file. We believe dependency
management is so important that these files belong in the root of the
repository. People should know about the project's dependencies.
That said: if you don't agree with that (but please take some time and think about it) you can use batch file to change the working directory.
Can I use a NuGet package stored as a local file?
Yes, either from a local directory, a UNC share or relative to the location of the
Can I use Paket to manage npm/bower/whatever dependencies?
No. We don't believe in reinventing the wheel.
On top of that, such a "meta package manager" abstraction is likely to be less flexible and behind on what native tools have to offer. Paket serves a specific need, that is SemVer-compatible NuGet.
What does "transitive dependencies" mean?
If you install NuGet packages into your project then these packages can have dependencies on other NuGet packages. Paket calls these dependencies "transitive". They will be automatically uninstalled if none of your "direct dependencies" (the packages that you actually installed) still depend on them.
I am behind a proxy. Can I use Paket?
If your proxy uses default (Active Directory) credentials, you have nothing to do, Paket will handle it automatically.
If your proxy uses custom credentials, you need to set the following environment variables:
HTTP_PROXY: HTTP proxy to use for all connections
HTTPS_PROXY: HTTPS proxy to use for all connections
NO_PROXY: hosts that should bypass the proxy
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I want to use Paket with .NET Core — is that possible?
Short answer: Yes. For information about Paket with .NET SDK, .NET Core and the
dotnet CLI see the
"Paket and the .NET SDK / .NET Core CLI tools" guide.
The download of packages times out, is there a way to prevent this?
Since version 5.190.0 there are three environment variables you can set to try to prevent this:
PAKET_REQUEST_TIMEOUT: Timeout for the request
PAKET_RESPONSE_STREAM_TIMEOUT: Timeout for the response of the request
PAKET_STREAMREADWRITE_TIMEOUT: Timeout for streaming the read and write operations
Note that values should be specified in milliseconds.
The default timeout value for all three settings is 3 minutes (180 seconds).
The following example will set all three values to 10 minutes (600 seconds) on Windows
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Use 'export' instead of 'set' for bash and similar shells
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If set to -1 the timeout is infinite.
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