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Deploying a Runtime Application Using .cab Files 

Using the Win32 Software Development Kit compression tool or the Visual Studio 2005 deployment tool, you can compress a file or a directory of files. The resulting cabinet (.cab) file can then be deployed or downloaded. A compressed file can be downloaded significantly faster than an uncompressed file.

Creating a .cab file for deploying a .NET Framework application is very similar to creating such files for traditional Windows-based applications. For this release, the following restrictions apply:

  • Only one assembly can be put in a single .cab file.

  • The .cab file must have the same name, minus the extension, as the file in the assembly that contains the manifest. For example, if the file containing the manifest is called MyClasses.dll, the cabinet file must be named

Once you have created cabinet files, you can reference them by specifying their location using the <codeBase> tag in a configuration file.


The class loader does not automatically expand .cab files, so the common language runtime does not search .cab files for referenced assemblies.

See Also