nuget package restore behavior on build machines

Topics: General
Feb 15, 2013 at 1:56 AM
I've been using the cloud SaaS tfs [ // ] for alm and an azure IaaS vm operated build controller + agents for some work and the tfs SaaS provided build controller + agent pool services for other release work.

On my build agents I configured the system environment variable EnableNuGetPackageRestore = true so that when automated builds execute the enable nuget package restore settings used in our release work, to keep $(SolutionDir)packages binaries out of our version control repository, can do its thing. This is because automated build runs using the NetworkService machine account setting where no vs12 | tools | library package manager | settings | allow nuget to download missing packages during build setting applies.

It would seem that nuget package restore retrieves package specific versions using $(ProjectDir)packages.config contained settings.

q1 - does that mean nuget package restore should be expected to work when packages in question are unlisted // packages that require the version switch to be specified when using package manager console to retrieve them?

q2 - what will nuget package manager do in these automated build machine cases when one of the packages that needs to be restored comes from a package source other than //, e.g. can you specify global package source settings that builds running under the NetworkService machine account will see and use to do package restores during automated build?
Feb 15, 2013 at 12:34 PM

1: yes, package restore will continue to work with unlisted packages.

2: if you open the nuget.targets file under your $(SolutionDir).nuget folder, you will see this element:

 <ItemGroup Condition=" '$(PackageSources)' == '' ">
        <!-- Package sources used to restore packages. By default, registered sources under %APPDATA%\NuGet\NuGet.Config will be used -->
        <!-- The official NuGet package source ( will be excluded if package sources are specified and it does not appear in the list -->
            <PackageSource Include="" />
            <PackageSource Include="https://my-nuget-source/nuget/" />
The comment tells you exactly how to register additional package sources.
Feb 15, 2013 at 6:57 PM
Perfect. Looks like we are covered when it comes to automated build restore packages behavior especially when cloud tfs hosted build controller & agent processed builds are executing.