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Installing an Assembly into the Global Assembly Cache

There are two ways to install an assembly into the global assembly cache:

  • Using Microsoft Windows Installer 2.0.

    This is the recommended and most common way to add assemblies to the global assembly cache. The installer provides reference counting of assemblies in the global assembly cache, plus other benefits.

  • Using the Global Assembly Cache tool (Gacutil.exe).

    You can use Gacutil.exe to add strong-named assemblies to the global assembly cache and to view the contents of the global assembly cache.

    Note   Gacutil.exe is only for development purposes and should not be used to install production assemblies into the global assembly cache.

To install a strong-named assembly into the global assembly cache

  • At the command prompt, type the following command:

    gacutil –I <assembly name>

    In this command, assembly name is the name of the assembly to install in the global assembly cache.

The following example installs an assembly with the file name hello.dll into the global assembly cache.

gacutil -i hello.dll

The .NET Framework SDK also provides a Windows shell extension called the Assembly Cache Viewer (Shfusion.dll), which you can use to drag assemblies into the global assembly cache.

See Also

Working with Assemblies and the Global Assembly Cache | Global Assembly Cache Tool (Gacutil.exe) | Assembly Cache Viewer (Shfusion.dll)

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