🏷 Minimalistic versioning using Git tags.
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A minimalistic .NET package for versioning .NET SDK-style projects using Git tags.

Platform support: all platforms supported by .NET SDK-style projects.

Also available as a command line tool for use in any Git repository.


Quick start

  • Install MinVer.
  • Build your project.

Your project will be versioned according to the latest tag found in the commit history.


When you want to release a version of your software, whether it's a pre-release, RTM, patch, or anything else, simply create a tag with a name which is a valid SemVer 2.0 version and build your projects. MinVer will apply the version to the assemblies and packages. (If you like to prefix your tag names, see the FAQ.)

NOTE: The MinVer package reference should normally include PrivateAssets="All". See NuGet docs for more info. If you install MinVer using an IDE or tool, this should be done for you automatically.

How it works

When the current commit is tagged with a version, the tag is used as-is.

When the current commit is not tagged, MinVer searches the commit history for the latest tag. If the latest tag found is a pre-release, MinVer will use it as-is. If the latest tag found is RTM (not pre-release), MinVer will increase the patch number and add default pre-release identifiers, e.g. 1.0.0 becomes 1.0.1-alpha.0. If no tag is found, the default version 0.0.0-alpha.0 is used.

You will notice that MinVer adds another number to the pre-release identifiers when the current commit is not tagged. This is the number of commits since the latest tag, or if no tag was found, since the root commit. This is known as "height". For example, if the latest tag found is 1.0.0-beta.1, at a height of 42 commits, the calculated version is 1.0.0-beta.1.42.

Version numbers

MinVer sets the following custom properties:

  • MinVerVersion
  • MinVerMajor
  • MinVerMinor
  • MinVerPatch
  • MinVerPreRelease
  • MinVerBuildMetadata

Those properties are used to set the following .NET SDK properties, satisfying the official open-source library guidance for version numbers:

Property Value
AssemblyVersion {MinVerMajor}.0.0.0
FileVersion {MinVerMajor}.{MinVerMinor}.{MinVerPatch}.0
PackageVersion {MinVerVersion}
Version {MinVerVersion}

This behaviour can be customised.


Options can be specified as either MSBuild properties or environment variables.

Note that the option names are case-insensitive.


(With TL;DR answers inline.)

Can I bump the major or minor version?

Yes! You probably want to do this because at a point in time, on a given branch, you are working on a MAJOR.MINOR range, e.g. 1.0, 1.1, or 2.0. The branch could be master, develop, a special release branch, a support branch, or anything else.

Before you create the first tag on that branch, interim builds will use the latest tag found in the commit history, which may not match the MAJOR.MINOR range which the current branch represents. Or if no tag is found in the commit history, interim builds will have the default version 0.0.0-alpha.0. If you prefer those interim builds to have a version within the current range, specify the range with MinVerMinimumMajorMinor. For example:


MinVer will now use a default version of 1.0.0-alpha.0.

If you begin to release versions in the 1.0 range from another branch (e.g. a special release branch), update this value to 1.1, 2.0, or whatever MAJOR.MINOR range the current branch now represents.

Note that MinVerMinimumMajorMinor will be redundant after you create the first tag with same MAJOR.MINOR. If you don't care that the versions of interim builds before that first tag will have a lower MAJOR.MINOR, then simply don't specify MinVerMinimumMajorMinor.

Also note that if the latest tag found in the commit history has a higher MAJOR.MINOR than MinVerMinimumMajorMinor, then MinVerMinimumMajorMinor will be ignored.

Can I use my own pre-release versioning scheme?

Yes! MinVer doesn't care what your pre-release versioning scheme is. The default pre-release identifiers are alpha.0, but you can use whatever you like in your tags. If your versioning scheme is valid SemVer 2.0, it will work with MinVer.

For example, all these versions work with MinVer:

  • 1.0.0-beta.1
  • 1.0.0-pre.1
  • 1.0.0-preview-20181104
  • 1.0.0-rc.1

Can I prefix my tag names?

Yes! Specify the prefix with MinVerTagPrefix.

For example, if you prefix your tag names with "v", e.g. v1.2.3:


Can I use my own branching strategy?

Yes! MinVer doesn't care about branches. It's all about the tags!

That means MinVer is compatible with Git Flow, GitHub Flow, Release Flow, and any other exotic flow.

Can I include build metadata in the version?

Yes! Specify build metadata with MinVerBuildMetadata.

For example, in appveyor.yml:


You can also specify build metadata in a version tag. If the tag is on the current commit, its build metadata will be used. If the tag is on an older commit, its build metadata will be ignored. Build metadata in MinVerBuildMetadata will be appended to build metadata in the tag.

Can I use the version calculated by MinVer for other purposes?

Yes! You can use any of the properties set by MinVer, or override their values, in a target which runs after MinVer.

For example, for pull requests, you may want to inject the pull request number into the version. E.g. using Appveyor:

<Target Name="MyTarget" AfterTargets="MinVer" Condition="'$(APPVEYOR_PULL_REQUEST_NUMBER)' != ''" >
    <PackageVersion Condition="'$(MinVerBuildMetadata)' != ''">$(PackageVersion)+$(MinVerBuildMetadata)</PackageVersion>

Or for projects which do not create NuGet packages, you may want to populate all four parts of AssemblyVersion. E.g. using Appveyor:

<Target Name="MyTarget" AfterTargets="MinVer">

Or for projects which do create NuGet packages, you may want to adjust the assembly file version to include the build number, as recommended in the official guidance. E.g. when using Appveyor:

<Target Name="MyTarget" AfterTargets="MinVer">

Can I get log output to see how MinVer calculates the version?

Yes! MinVerVerbosity can be set to quiet, minimal (default), normal, detailed, or diagnostic. These verbosity levels match those in MSBuild and therefore dotnet build, dotnet pack, etc. The default is minimal, which matches the default in MSBuild. At the quiet and minimal levels, you will see only warnings and errors. At the normal level you will see which commit is being used to calculate the version, and the calculated version. At the detailed level you will see how many commits were examined, which version tags were found but ignored, which version was calculated, etc. At the diagnostic level you will see how MinVer walks the commit history, in excruciating detail.

In a future version of MinVer, the verbosity level may be inherited from MSBuild, in which case MinVerVerbosity will be deprecated. Currently this is not possible due to technical restrictions related to libgit2.

Can I use MinVer to version software which is not built using a .NET SDK style project?

Yes! MinVer is also available as a command line tool. Run minver --help for usage. The calculated version is printed to standard output (stdout).

Sometimes you may want to version both .NET projects and other outputs, such as non-.NET projects, or a container image, in the same build. In those scenarios, you should use both the command line tool and the regular MinVer package. Before building any .NET projects, your build script should run the command line tool and set the MINVERVERSIONOVERRIDE environment variable to the calculated version. The MinVer package will then use that value rather than calculating the version a second time. This ensures that the command line tool and the MinVer package produce the same version.

What if the history diverges, and more than one tag is found?

The tag with the higher version is used.

What if the history diverges, and then converges again, before the latest tag (or root commit) is found?

MinVer will use the height on the first path followed where the history diverges. The paths are followed in the same order that the parents of the commit are stored in git. The first parent is the commit on the branch that was the current branch when the merge was performed. The remaining parents are stored in the order that their branches were specified in the merge command.

Why does MinVer fail with LibGit2Sharp.NotFoundException?

You may see an exception of this form:

Unhandled Exception: LibGit2Sharp.NotFoundException: object not found - no match for id (...)

This is because you are using a shallow clone. MinVer uses libgit2 to interrogate the repo and libgit2 does not support shallow clones. To resolve this problem, use a regular (deep) clone.

Important: By default, Travis CI uses shallow clones with a depth of 50 commits. To build on Travis CI, remove the --depth flag.

Tag by Ananth from the Noun Project.