Slim, lightweight, Docker-friendly implementation of a NuGet and symbol server, using ASP.NET Core
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Mateusz Brawański d909c9c40c
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README.MD

SlimGet

SlimGet is a lightweight implementation of a NuGet and symbol server, powered by ASP.NET Core 2.2, designed to be ran in Docker. It's the software powering my NuGet feed at nuget.emzi0767.com.

Unlike alternative implementations, SlimGet is designed to host a single, local feed, with no upstream mirrors or similar functionality. It's designed only with .NET packages (and debug symbols) in mind, and is therefore not guaranteed to work with anything else (e.g. COM interop, native libraries, etc.).

The project was born out of need for a NuGet feed for CI artifacts of my projects, after my usual go-to provider ceased responding to all my support emails, and broke my builds in the process.

The web interface provides a simple, readonly view of the feed, which allows for browsing and downloading hosted packages, as well as viewing various metadata about them.

Provided are tools, which allow for issuing and revoking API tokens, allowing users to upload packages, as well as manage packages in a limited fashion.

In the future, I might provide more integrated means of managing users and packages.

Requirements

In order to run a SlimGet server, you need the following components installed and available on your system:

  • .NET Core 2.2 runtime with ASP.NET Core installed
  • PostgreSQL server 10 or better, with pg_trgm extension available
  • Redis server

Usage

The application is very easy and straightforward to set up, and complete guide is below. Before you begin, rename slimget.example.json to slimget.json and open it in your favourite text editor.

PostgreSQL Database

The application requires pre-made database with pg_trgm extension created, and a user to connect as. This is all fairly easy to set up.

  1. Connect to your PostgreSQL instance as the superuser (usually postgres) user. If you're unsure how to do it on your machine, consult PostgreSQL documentation for your operating system or distribution.
  2. Create a user for the application: create user slimget with nocreatedb nocreaterole encrypted password 'hunter2';. Of course, replace hunter2 with your desired password. Do not remove the quotes. You can also optionally replace slimget with your desired username. If you don't have an idea for a password, you can generate one on Linux using dd if=/dev/random bs=1024 count=1 2>/dev/null | sha256sum - | cut -d' ' -f1.
  3. Create a database for the user: create database slimget with owner='slimget';. Again, you can replace slimget (the database name) with anything your heart desires, so long as it's a valid database name. If you changed the username in step 2, make sure to replace the owner name (slimget, the one in quotes) with the username you chose.
  4. Connect to the newly-created database: \c slimget. If you changed the database name in step 3, replace slimget accordingly.
  5. Create the pg_trgm extension: create extension pg_trgm.
  6. Disconnect: \q.

At this point, you should switch to the editor with your SlimGet configuration, and edit the values in Storage.PostgreSQL section accordingly. Below are the explanations of the various configuration options:

  • Hostname: The hostname of your PostgreSQL server. If you're running locally, use "localhost". Bear in mind that this requires the server to be listening over TCP/IP sockets. If you're unsure how to enable TCP/IP listening, check out these documentation pages:
    • 19.3.1. Connection Settings - this page describes the configuration options in postgresql.conf (main configuration file) related to TCP/IP connections.
    • 20.1. pg_hba.conf file - this page describes configuring authentication and connection options for users and clients.
  • Port: The TCP port, on which the PostgreSQL server is listening.
  • Database: The name of the database to connect to. If you did change the database name in step 3, replace "slimget" with the name you chose (remember about quotation marks).
  • Username: The username you chose in step 2. If you did change the username, replace "slimget" with the name you chose (again, remember the quotation marks).
  • Password: The password you chose in step 2, wrapped in quotation marks.
  • UseSsl: If your server encrypts connections using SSL/TLS, set this to true, if you're unsure, or server does not offer encryption, set this to false. If you want to enable SSL/TLS on your server, check out the documentation on the subject:
  • AlwaysTrustServerCertificate: Whether the client should trust the server certificate unconditionally. This disables SSL certificate verification when connecting to your PostgreSQL server. If you're using a self-signed certificate, set this to true, otherwise it's strongly recommended you set this to false. This option has no effect if SSL is disabled.

Redis

Redis does not require any setup on the server itself. Simply edit the values in Storage.Redis accordingly. Below are explanations of the various options:

  • Hostname: The hostname of your Redis server. If you're running locally, use "localhost".
  • Port: The TCP port your Redis server is listening on.
  • Index: Database index to use for SlimGet. You can change this so that SlimGet does not interfere with other services that use Redis.
  • Password: The password for your Redis server. If your server does not require a password, set this to null (without quotation marks). For more information, consult Redis documentation:
  • UseSsl: If your Redis server encrypts connections using SSL/TLS, set this to true. Otherwise, set this to false.

File system and package storage

These settings control various aspects of the actual package for your feed. Explanations for the various options are below:

  • FileSystem: Contains options pertaining to physical storage.
    • StoragePath: The path where pushed packages, symbols, and manifests will be stored. This should be an absolute path.
  • Packages: Controls various aspects of the packages hosted in the feed.
    • EnablePruning: If enabled (set to true), your server will limit how many distinct versions of each package will be hosted at any given time. This is useful for restricting storage space.
    • LatestVersionRetainCount: Number of distinct package versions to retain. If pruning is enabled, this must be set to a positive number, which will define how many most recent package versions to retain. Any package versions over this limit will be deleted, starting with the oldest versions.
    • MaxPackageSizeBytes: Maximum size of an individual package upload, in bytes. Any packages that exceed this size will be rejected.
    • DeleteEndpointUnlists: Controls the behaviour of the package delete (DELETE /api/v2/package/{id}/{version}) endpoint. If this option is set to false, calling this endpoint with a valid ID, version, and token will delete the requested package version completely. If set to true, the package version will simply become unlisted.
    • ReadOnlyFeed: Controls whether the feed is read-only. Setting this to true will disable package push, delete, relist, as well as debug symbol push endpoints.
    • SymbolsEnabled: Controls whether this feed should support hosting and pushing debug symbols. Setting this to false will disable debug symbol push and download endpoints.

Server

Server section contains various options pertaining to the HTTP stack of SlimGet. These options are explained below:

  • SslCertificate: Configures the location and password for the certificate. The certificate needs to be in PKCS12 (usually .pfx or .p12) format, and needs to be protected with a non-empty password. See the certificate subsection for more details and information on how to generate a self-signed certificate for use with SlimGet.
    • Location: Full path to the certificate file. If set to null, HTTPS will be disabled, and SlimGet will only work over plain, unencrypted HTTP.
    • PasswordFile: Full path to the file containing the password to the certificate. Bear in mind that this file will be read verbatim, including all whitespace characters.
  • Listen: List of endpoints which SlimGet will bind to, in order to listen for HTTP(S) connections.
    • IpAddress: IP address to listen on. Use "0.0.0.0" to listen on all available interfaces and addresses.
    • Port: TCP port number to listen on.
    • UseSsl: Whether this endpoint uses HTTPS. Setting this to true will enable HTTPS for this endpoint.
  • MaxRequestSizeBytes: Maximum HTTP request size, in bytes. This should be greater than or equal to the value of Storage.Packages.MaxPackageSizeBytes.
  • TokenHmacKey: Password to use for generating all API tokens. This value should be kept secret. If you're unsure about a good password, you can use dd if=/dev/random bs=1024 count=1 2>/dev/null | sha256sum - | cut -d' ' -f1 on a Linux system to generate one.

SSL certificates

SlimGet can use any certificate for SSL, be it self-signed or proper CA-issued one. If you need to generate a self-signed certificate, you can use the following commands to do so:

echo -n "/C=US/ST=DC/L=Washington, D.C./O=White House/OU=NuGet Hosting/CN=nuget.example.com" > subject.txt
echo -n "hunter2" > certificate.pfx.pwd # replace hunter2 with your password, or...
# if you have no idea for a password, you can also do this
echo -n $(dd if=/dev/random bs=1024 count=1 2>/dev/null | sha256sum - | cut -d' ' -f1) > certificate.pfx.pwd

openssl req -x509 -days 3650 -subj "$(cat subject.txt)" -newkey rsa:4096 -keyout certificate-key.pem -out certificate.pem -nodes
openssl pkcs12 -export -in certificate.pem -inkey certificate-key.pem -out certificate.pfx -password "pass:$(cat certificate.pfx.pwd)"
rm certificate-key.pem certificate.pem subject.txt

Your certificate will be saved as certificate.pfx, and its password as certificate.pfx.pwd. Copy them somewhere your server can access (perferably a secure medium, such as an encrypted filesystem).

Docker

You can run SlimGet as a Docker container. For this purpose, a prebuilt image is provided, allowing you to easily set up and deploy a SlimGet server. The image is emzi0767/slimget:latest. It requires that you bind mount a directory for the packages, as well as the config file, and point the file via SLIMGET_CONFIGURATION_FILE environment variable.

For example, to run SlimGet as a regular container, using /app/feed as the package storage location, and /app/slimget.json mounted from /mnt/slimget as the config location, and certificate located in /app/certificates mounted from /mnt/slimget/certificates:

docker run \
    --detach \
    --name slimget \
    --hostname slimget \
    --mount type=bind,src=/mnt/slimget/feed,dst=/app/feed \
    --mount type=bind,src=/mnt/slimget/certificates,dst=/app/certificates,readonly \
    --mount type=bind,src=/mnt/slimget/slimget.json,dst=/app/slimget.json,readonly \
    --env SLIMGET_CONFIGURATION_FILE=/app/slimget.json \
    --expose 443:5000 \
    --restart=always \
    emzi0767/slimget:latest

Above requires Server.SslCertificate.Location set to "/app/certificates/certificate.pfx" and Server.SslCertificate.PasswordFile set to "/app/certificates/certificate.pfx.pwd" (assuming the corresponding files are named like that), as well as Storage.FileSystem.StoragePath set to "/app/feed".

You can also run SlimGet as a docker service, for example, using similar settings as above, except we use a docker secret called slimget-config to host configuration, slimget-certificate to host the certificate, and slimget-certificate-password to host certificate password, and attach the service to a network called service-overlay:

docker service create \
    --replicas 1 \
    --name slimget \
    --mount type=bind,src=/mnt/slimget/feed,dst=/app/feed \
    --secret slimget-certificate \
    --secret slimget-certificate-password \
    --secret slimget-config \
    --env SLIMGET_CONFIGURATION_FILE=/run/secrets/slimget-config \
    --network service-overlay \
    --publish 443:5000 \
    emzi0767/slimget:latest

In this case, Server.SslCertificate.Location must be set to "/run/secrets/slimget-certificate", Server.SslCertificate.PasswordFile must be set to "/run/secrets/slimget-certificate-password", and Storage.FileSystem.StoragePath must be set to "/app/feed".

It is possible to use Docker volumes instead of bind mounts for the feed storage. To use a volume called slimget-feed, simply replace --mount type=bind,src=/mnt/slimget/feed,dst=/app/feed with --mount type=volume,src=slimget-feed,dst=/app/feed.

For more information about these subjects, refer to Docker documentation:

Building Docker image

If you wish to build a SlimGet Docker image yourself, you can do so by doing docker build . --tag=emzi0767/slimget:latest from the repository's root.

Issuing tokens

At this point, your SlimGet instance is already up and running. However, you will find that you cannot push any packages or symbols to the feed, because you have no credentials to do so.

SlimGet comes with a simple CLI utility to manage users and tokens. It's pretty self-explanatory, and straightforward to use. To view full usage instructions, invoke dotnet SlimGet.TokenManager.dll, and it will print out all the options available, with explanations.

To start using the feed, you need to first create a user, and issue a token for them. The CLI is located in the same directory as SlimGet itself. To get started, create a new user:

dotnet SlimGet.TokenManager.dll user create slimget-user [email protected]

Replace slimget-user with your desired username, and [email protected] with your email address. Currently, email addresses are not used for communication, but only identification. The email needs to be a valid address, but does not necessarily need to exist.

Now that you have a user, you need to issue an API token for said user. This is done like so:

dotnet SlimGet.TokenManager.dll token issue slimget-user

Replace slimget-user with your chosen username from the previous step. The command will create a token, and return it. It will look like this: 3a337a10785745259adc34c534a0eea81fd00bc21cdd1d3e20044ea20a59bac1a2905786670307720e0d8203bbd7d967.

Now you should note this token down somewhere, because you will be using it with your feed. You can also save it using NuGet CLI, by performing the following command:

nuget setApiKey -Source https://nuget.example.com/api/v3/index.json YourApiKey
# if using debug symbol hosting
nuget setApiKey -Source https://nuget.example.com/api/v2/symbolpackage YourApiKey

Replace https://nuget.example.com with your server's URL, and YourApiKey with your API key obtained above. Performing this will remove the necessity to supply the API key to the push command via -apiKey switch.

Docker

If your SlimGet instance is running in Docker, using the official image, you can also use the CLI to manage users and tokens. The CLI needs to be invoked via docker exec, command, like so:

  • View CLI usage instructions:
    docker exec -it slimget dotnet SlimGet.TokenManager.dll
    
  • Create a new user
    docker exec -it slimget dotnet SlimGet.TokenManager.dll user create slimget-user [email protected]
    
  • Issue a new token
    docker exec -it slimget dotnet SlimGet.TokenManager.dll token issue slimget-user
    

If your container is not named slimget, or is running as a Docker swarm service, you can use the following command to find your container ID and name:

docker ps --filter "ancestor=emzi0767/slimget:latest" --format '{{.ID}} | {{.Names}}'

Then substitute slimget for the name you got as the output from above command.

Pushing packages and symbols

You should be ready to push packages to your feed now. The complete instructions on doing so are provided by SlimGet itself. To view them, simply navigate to https://nuget.example.com/gallery/about (substituting https://nuget.example.com for your server's URL).

Consuming packages and symbols

After publishing packages to your feed, you can consume them in Visual Studio, or any other NuGet client. To do so, add the https://nuget.example.com/api/v3/index.json (substituting https://nuget.example.com for your server's URL) to your NuGet package sources.

If you enabled debug symbol server, you can consume uploaded debug symbols as well. To do so, add https://nuget.example.com/api/v3/symbolstore (substituting https://nuget.example.com for your server's URL) to your debug symbol sources, and enable it.

Building

Building SlimGet is a very straightforward process. There's a single dependency for building, the .NET Core SDK, available from the following links:

  • Windows 64-bit
  • Linux - you will need to choose your distribution from the Linux Distribution dropdown on the page
  • OS X

Beyond that, it is advisable to have a good IDE or text editor available. For Windows, I recommend Visual Studio 2019 or newer. The Community edition is free to download and use. On other platforms, I recommend Visual Studio Code.

To start, you should clone this repository to your machine.

Building from CLI

Building from the CLI is a very straightforward procedure. Simply navigate to the directory you cloned SlimGet source to, and execute this command:

dotnet publish -c Release -f netcoreapp2.2 -o slimget-publish

After the project is done building, your SlimGet build will be available in slimget-publish directory, in the directory you cloned SlimGet source code to.

If you want to build for a specific platform (e.g. Linux, Windows), you can specify a runtime identifier during build. Some of the most common platform examples are:

  • Linux x64 (Glibc-based; most Linux distributions)
    dotnet publish -c Release -f netcoreapp2.2 -r linux-x64 -o slimget-publish
    
  • Linux x64 (musl-based; Alpine Linux, etc.)
    dotnet publish -c Release -f netcoreapp2.2 -r linux-musl-x64 -o slimget-publish
    
  • Windows x64
    dotnet publish -c Release -f netcoreapp2.2 -r win-x64 -o slimget-publish
    

This will create a standalone build, which does not require ASP.NET Core runtime to be available on the target system. Such a build will be runnable using SlimGet.exe (and SlimGet.TokenManager.exe) on Windows, ./SlimGet (and ./SlimGet.TokenManager) on Linux, etc.

To read more about available Runtime Identifiers for .NET Core, refer to Microsoft's documentation on the subject.

Building in Visual Studio on Windows

Building in Visual Studio is also possible, with a couple of clicks. Simply open SlimGet.sln in Visual Studio. from the menu bar on top, select Build -> Rebuild Solution.

But this is not a full build yet. In order to get a working application, you must publish the artifacts. In the Solution Explorer pane, find the SlimGet project (not solution), right-click it, and select Publish from the menu.

This will open a Publish tab, titled SlimGet. There's a dropdown menu on it, and next to it is a Publish button. Select Publish-Portable profile from the menu, then click Publish button.

Next, you need to repeat the procedure for the SlimGet.TokenManager project. Once you're done, your artifacts will be available in the slimget-publish directory, in the directory you cloned SlimGet source code to.

Building in Visual Studio Code

SlimGet provides build and launch configurations for Visual Studio Code. In order to build using VSCode, open the directory you cloned SlimGet source code to, then hit Ctrl+Shift+B (or your configured build keyboard shortcut), and select publish-slimget from the command palette. Then hit Ctrl+Shift+B (or proper shortcut) again, and select publish-tokenmanager.

After both builds complete, your artifacts will be available in the slimget-publish directory, in the directory you cloned SlimGet source code to.

Support me

Lots of effort went into making this, and sometimes even related software.

If you feel like I'm doing a good job, or just want to throw money at me, you can do so through any of the following:

Other questions

If you have other questions or would like to talk in general, feel free to visit my Discord server.

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