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Source link support allows source code to be downloaded on demand while debugging. SourceLink is a set of build tools to help create and test for source link support. Source link support is a developer productivity feature that allows unique information about an assembly's original source code to be embedded in its PDB during compilation.


.NET Foundation

SourceLink is now a .NET Foundation project at It joined in 2017-11. Announced for .NET Core 2.1, much of the SourceLink support has been integrated into the SDK.

New tools from are in beta. They are shipped in the NuGet Gallery as Microsoft.SourceLink.* 1.0.0-beta*. They currently work on Windows and Ubuntu, but will soon support the rest.

Most of the SourceLink 2 tools from this repository are made obsolete by the .NET SDK 2.1 and Microsoft.SourceLink tools. This repository will still continue to fill in gaps in tooling. SourceLink 3 tools from this repository will be tools that build on top of the .NET SDK 2.1. The first and only tool for 3.0 is a sourcelink command-line tool for testing for source link support.


For SourceLink version 3, sourcelink is a .NET Core global tool.

dotnet tool install --global sourcelink

sourcelink is a tool to test that the source link enabled nupkg or pdb file work. It tests all source files listed in the pdb. You can also print diagnostic information for a pdb. Run sourcelink without any options for a list of diagnostic commands and help:

SourceLink 3.0.0
Source Code On Demand

Usage:  [options] [command]

  -h|--help  Show help information

  print-documents  print the documents stored in the pdb or dll
  print-json       print the Source Link JSON stored in the pdb or dll
  print-urls       print the URLs for each document based on the Source Link JSON
  test             test each URL and verify that the checksums match

Use " [command] --help" for more information about a command.

For SourceLink 2, it is just a dotnet cli tool, run as dotnet sourcelink and installed by adding:

<DotNetCliToolReference Include="dotnet-sourcelink" Version="2.8.3" />

Quick Start

Please use the Microsoft.SourceLink.* tools if you are able to.

SourceLink.Create.CommandLine is the most successful SourceLink 2 tool. It contains a MSBuild targets file that runs git commands by default to figure out the source repository to link to. Add this PackageReference to each project that you wish to enable source link support for. See the wiki if you are using Paket. A common way to add this for multiple projects is to use a Directory.Build.props:

    <PackageReference Include="SourceLink.Create.CommandLine" Version="2.8.3" PrivateAssets="All" /> 

Without any additional configuration SourceLink.Create.CommandLine will work with GitHub and Bitbucket cloned repositories. See the wiki for additional options.

You can control when it runs by setting the MSBuild property /p:SourceLinkCreate=true.

If you have a dotnet project, you can test locally with:

dotnet restore
dotnet build /p:SourceLinkCreate=true /v:n

With an full framework project, you can test locally with:

msbuild /t:restore
msbuild /t:rebuild /p:SourceLinkCreate=true /v:n

Package PDB in nupkg

Please package the pdb files in the nupkg files. It is strongly encouraged by Microsoft to do so. This obsoletes the MSBuild properties /p:IncludeSymbols=true and /p:IncludeSource=true. You do not need the obsolete SymbolSource.

The new project system does not copy PDBs from packages when targeting .NET Framework #313. The simplest workaround until .NET SDK 2.1.400 ships in VS 15.8 timeframe is to add this reference:

    <PackageReference Include="SourceLink.Copy.PdbFiles" Version="2.8.3" PrivateAssets="All" /> 

Embedding Source Files

For source files are not committed to the repository, it is helpful to embed them, so that they are available while debugging. Source files are not committed often when generated or downloaded from elsewhere. The .NET SDK allows you to set EmbedUntrackedSources.

All Source Files

If you just want to embed all of the source files in the pdb and not use source link support, the .NET SDK allows you to set EmbedAllSources.

Known Issues

  • Visual Studio 2017 15.8 is expected to have additional private repository support
  • Visual Studio 2017 15.7 added support for source link to authenticated and VSTS repositories
  • Visual Studio 2017 15.5 added support for debugging into embedded source files


SourceLink is licensed under the MIT license.


Additional documentation is on the wiki.


This project has adopted the code of conduct defined by the Contributor Covenant to clarify expected behavior in our community. For more information, see the .NET Foundation Code of Conduct.