Creating symbol packages (.snupkg)
A good debugging experience relies on the presence of debug symbols as they provide critical information like the association between the compiled and the source code, names of local variables, stack traces, and more. You can use symbol packages (.snupkg) to distribute these symbols and improve the debugging experience of your NuGet packages.
Note that symbol package isn't the only strategy to make the debug symbols available to the consumers of your library. It's also possible to
embedthem in the
exewith the following project property:
nuget.exe v4.9.0 or above or dotnet CLI v2.2.0 or above, which implement the required NuGet protocols.
Creating a symbol package
If you're using dotnet CLI or MSBuild, you need to set the
SymbolPackageFormat properties to create a .snupkg file in addition to the .nupkg file.
Either add the following properties to your .csproj file:
<PropertyGroup> <IncludeSymbols>true</IncludeSymbols> <SymbolPackageFormat>snupkg</SymbolPackageFormat> </PropertyGroup>
Or specify these properties on the command-line:
dotnet pack MyPackage.csproj -p:IncludeSymbols=true -p:SymbolPackageFormat=snupkg
msbuild MyPackage.csproj /t:pack /p:IncludeSymbols=true /p:SymbolPackageFormat=snupkg
If you're using NuGet.exe, you can use the following commands to create a .snupkg file in addition to the .nupkg file:
nuget pack MyPackage.nuspec -Symbols -SymbolPackageFormat snupkg nuget pack MyPackage.csproj -Symbols -SymbolPackageFormat snupkg
SymbolPackageFormat property can have one of two values:
symbols.nupkg (the default) or
snupkg. If this property is not specified, a legacy symbol package will be created.
The legacy format
.symbols.nupkg is still supported but only for compatibility reasons like native packages (see Legacy Symbol Packages). NuGet.org's symbol server only accepts the new symbol package format -
Publishing a symbol package
Azure Devops Artifacts does not currently support debugging via
For convenience, first save your API key with NuGet (see publish a package).
nuget SetApiKey Your-API-Key
After publishing your primary package to nuget.org, push the symbol package as follows.
nuget push MyPackage.snupkg
You can also push both primary and symbol packages at the same time using the below command. Both .nupkg and .snupkg files need to be present in the current folder.
nuget push MyPackage.nupkg
NuGet will publish both packages to nuget.org.
MyPackage.nupkg will be published first, followed by
If the symbol package isn't published, check that you've configured the NuGet.org source as
https://api.nuget.org/v3/index.json. Symbol package publishing is only supported by the NuGet V3 API.
NuGet.org symbol server
NuGet.org supports its own symbols server repository and only accepts the new symbol package format -
.snupkg. Package consumers can use the symbols published to nuget.org symbol server by adding
https://symbols.nuget.org/download/symbols to their symbol sources in Visual Studio, which allows stepping into package code in the Visual Studio debugger. See Specify symbol (.pdb) and source files in the Visual Studio debugger for details on that process.
NuGet.org symbol package constraints
NuGet.org has the following constraints for symbol packages:
- Only the following file extensions are allowed in symbol packages:
- Only managed Portable PDBs are supported on NuGet.org's symbol server.
- The PDBs and their associated .nupkg DLLs need to be built with the compiler in Visual Studio version 15.9 or above (see PDB crypto hash)
Symbol packages published to NuGet.org will fail validation if these constraints aren't met.
Native projects, such as C++ projects, produce Windows PDBs instead of Portable PDBs. These are not supported by NuGet.org's symbol server. Please use Legacy Symbol Packages instead.
Symbol package validation and indexing
Symbol packages published to NuGet.org undergo several validations, including malware scanning. If a package fails a validation check, its package details page will display an error message. In addition, the package's owners will receive an email with instructions on how to fix the identified issues.
When the symbol package has passed all validations, the symbols will be indexed by NuGet.org's symbol servers and will be available for consumption.
Package validation and indexing usually takes under 15 minutes. If the package publishing takes longer than expected, visit status.nuget.org to check if NuGet.org is experiencing any interruptions. If all systems are operational and the package hasn't been successfully published within an hour, please login to nuget.org and contact us using the Contact Support link on the package details page.
Symbol package structure
The symbol package (.snupkg) has the following characteristics:
The .snupkg has the same id and version as its corresponding NuGet package (.nupkg).
The .snupkg has the same folder structure as its corresponding .nupkg for any DLL or EXE files with the distinction that instead of DLLs/EXEs, their corresponding PDBs will be included in the same folder hierarchy. Files and folders with extensions other than PDB will be left out of the snupkg.
The symbol package's .nuspec file has the
<packageTypes> <packageType name="SymbolsPackage"/> </packageTypes>
If an author decides to use a custom nuspec to build their nupkg and snupkg, the snupkg should have the same folder hierarchy and files detailed in 2).
The following fields will be excluded from the snupkg's nuspec:
Do not use the
<license>element. A .snupkg is covered under the same license as the corresponding .nupkg.
Consider using Source Link to enable source code debugging of .NET assemblies. For more information, please refer to the Source Link guidance.
For more information on symbol packages, please refer to the NuGet Package Debugging & Symbols Improvements design spec.
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