.NET Core class library solution from scratch

This post documents using the dotnet command to create a class library solution from scratch. The solution builds a class library project, and a MS unit test project that tests the class library.

To create an empty solution called MySolution.sln

dotnet new sln [--force] -n MySolution

sln is just one of several templates supported by the command. To see a list, try dotnet new -l. Additional templates can be installed using dotnet new --install e.g. AvaloniaUI.

To create a new class library project

dotnet new classlib [--force] -n MyLibrary

This creates a folder called MyLibrary and a MyLibrary.csproj file in it. Any C# files in the MyLibrary folder will be compiled during build.

If MyLibrary exists, use --force to replace the exiting project file.

If your project has an AssemblyInfo.cs that contains assembly attributes, you can edit project file to exclude autogeneration of assembly attributes

<Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk">


    <PackageReference Include="Microsoft.CSharp" Version="4.4.0" />


Otherwise, you’ll get errors such as

obj/Debug/netcoreapp2.0/MyLibrary.AssemblyInfo.cs(10,12): error CS0579: Duplicate 'System.Reflection.AssemblyCompanyAttribute' attribute ...

Also, note the use of Microsoft.CSharp package in the project file. That is required to use C# language features such as dynamic. Without it, you’ll get an error such as

MyClass.cs(177,50): error CS0656: Missing compiler required member 'Microsoft.CSharp.RuntimeBinder.CSharpArgumentInfo.Create'

To add package reference, head into the MyLibrary project folder and run

dotnet add MyLibrary.csproj package Microsoft.CSharp

Then, run the following to restore package(s) from nuget

dotnet restore

Head over to the solution folder. To add the class library project to the solution, and build the solution

dotnet sln [MySolution.sln] add MyLibrary/MyLibrary.csproj
dotnet build

Specifying solution name is optional if you’ve got just one solution file in a folder.

To add a new MS unit test project

dotnet new mstest [--force] -n MyLibraryTest

Head into MyLibraryTest and add a reference to MyLibrary and package references

dotnet add MyLibraryTest.csproj reference ../MyLibrary/MyLibrary.csproj
dotnet add MyLibraryTest.csproj package Microsoft.CSharp
dotnet restore

Head over to the solution folder, build, and run unit tests

dotnet build
dotnet test MyLibraryTest

That wraps up the basic usage of dotnet to create and maintain a simple .NET Core class library project.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s