Why Host your own NuGet Gallery?
NuGet.org already exists as a public repository for NuGet packages, so you might question the point of hosting a gallery. That’s understandable, but what about leveraging that ecosystem infrastructure within the walls of your own dev environment? Why not set up your own private gallery not only to facilitate your product’s development ecosystem but, better yet, to tie it directly to your build and deployment processes? Moreover, anything you see at NuGet.org is available to you free.
Fastest and Simplest
The easiest way to host your own NuGet gallery is to expose a file share. This might sound a bit rudimentary, but if you need something fast and simple, this method works extremely well. The share can be structured as you see fit, placing your packages—that is, your *.nupkg files—anywhere on the share. You can refer to the share as a package source.
With the package source created, let’s add it to the development environment. You can have as many package sources as desired and easily move between each. To edit your package sources in Visual Studio, navigate to Tools | Options | Package Manager | Package Sources. Note that as of this writing, version 1.5 was current. You should expect slight differences across NuGet versions.
Here you can add, remove and change the default package source. If you prefer, you can do the same in WebMatrix, a free development environment. Just click on the NuGet Gallery icon on the main menu and select Add Source
As you can see, both figures list two package sources. You can choose to use just one or all at any given time.
Introducing NuGet Gallery
While the file system package source is very easy to set up and start using, it breaks down pretty quickly when you start scaling out. Luckily, NuGet.orgwas built with exactly this in mind, to provide an open platform for people to take, extend and build on for their own needs. You can find the NuGet Gallery project at github.com/NuGet/NuGetGallery. The NuGet Gallery is an ASP.NET MVC 3 project built on top of Razor, OData, SQL Server and Windows Azure.
The best way to understand the features and functionality the NuGet Gallery has to offer your development ecosystem is to simply explore NuGet.org.
Before you can create and publish a package, you need to be a registered user. Once you’ve registered, you have full rights to upload and manage your packages and edit your profile. You can also generate the unique API key that lets you automate publishing packages to the Gallery (see Figure 3). For more information about publishing a package, please see the previous article in this series, “Becoming a NuGet Author.”
When you upload a package to the NuGet Gallery, it automatically receives its own place in the Gallery
This is where you can view all of the important information about a package. For each package, the NuGet Gallery tracks the version downloads, total downloads, dates, licenses and so on. Of course, a package on the NuGet.orgsite will most likely yield considerably larger download numbers given its ecosystem, but these statistics are vital to any package author, regardless of project size.
The package feed is clearly the most important feature in the overall stack. It’s an OData feed you’ll find at http://YourGallery/api/v2. This is the same URL you’ll use as your package source. Without this feed, all of the power of NuGet is lost.