Installing and using tools

Installing tools from NuGet

Cake provides different ways to install tool executables available as NuGet packages as part of a build.

Installation method Cake .NET Tool Cake Frosting Cake runner for .NET Framework Cake runner for .NET Core
Pre-processor directive
InstallTool
Bootstrapper

Installing tools via pre-processor directive

The #tool pre-processor directive can be used to automatically download a tool and install it in the tools folder.

Out of the box NuGet and .NET Tools (since Cake 1.1) are supported as provider. More providers are available through Modules.

The following example downloads the xunit.runner.console package as part of executing your build script:

#tool "nuget:?package=xunit.runner.console&version=2.4.1"

For more information see #tool pre-processor directive.

Installing tools with InstallTool

Cake Frosting provides a InstallTool method to download a tool and install it:

Out of the box NuGet and .NET Tools (since Cake 1.1) are supported as provider. More providers are available through Modules.

The following example downloads the xunit.runner.console package as part of executing your build script:

public class Program : IFrostingStartup
{
    public static int Main(string[] args)
    {
        // Create and run the host.
        return
            new CakeHost()
                .InstallTool(new Uri("nuget:?package=xunit.runner.console&version=2.4.1"))
                .Run(args);
    }
}

For more information about supported URI string parameters see #tool pre-processor directive.

Installing tools via bootstrapper

The default bootstrapper for Cake runner for .NET Framework supports restoring of tools which are available as NuGet packages. The tools need to be listed in the tools\packages.config file and are restored before running the Cake script.

Installing tools from other providers

Out of the box NuGet and .NET Tools (since Cake 1.1) is supported as provider for Pre-processor directive and InstallTool. More providers are available through Modules.

Using tools from disk

To use a tool that's not available via NuGet or if you prefer to store the tool locally, Cakes tool resolution conventions can be used to resolve the path to the tool and call it through a process alias:

Task("Install-XUnit")
    .Does(()=> {
    FilePath nugetPath = Context.Tools.Resolve("nuget.exe");
    StartProcess(nugetPath, new ProcessSettings {
        Arguments = new ProcessArgumentBuilder()
            .Append("install")
            .Append("xunit.runner.console")
        });
});