This directory contains the C# Protocol Buffers runtime library.
The easiest way how to use C# protobufs is via the
NuGet package. Just add the NuGet package to your VS project.
You will also want to install the
Google.Protobuf.Tools NuGet package, which
contains precompiled version of
protoc.exe and a copy of well known
files under the package's
To generate C# files from your
.proto files, invoke
protoc with the
The runtime library is built as a portable class library, supporting:
- .NET 4.5
- Windows 8
- Windows Phone Silverlight 8
- Windows Phone 8.1
- .NET Core
You should be able to use Protocol Buffers in Visual Studio 2012 and
all later versions. This includes all code generated by
which only uses features from C# 3 and earlier.
src/Google.Protobuf.sln solution in Visual Studio 2015 or
later. You should be able to run the NUnit test from Test Explorer
(you might need to install NUnit Visual Studio add-in).
Although users of this project are only expected to have Visual
Studio 2012 or later, developers of the library are required to
have Visual Studio 2015 or later, as the library uses C# 6 features
in its implementation. These features have no impact when using the
compiled code - they're only relevant when building the
History of C# protobufs
This subtree was originally imported from https://github.com/jskeet/protobuf-csharp-port and represents the latest development version of C# protobufs, that will now be developed and maintained by Google. All the development will be done in open, under this repository (https://github.com/google/protobuf).
The previous project differs from this project in a number of ways:
- The old code only supported proto2; the new code only supports proto3 (so no unknown fields, no required/optional distinction, no extensions)
- The old code was based on immutable message types and builders for them
- The old code did not support maps or
- The old code had its own JSON representation, whereas the new code uses the standard protobuf JSON representation
- The old code had no notion of the "well-known types" which have special support in the new code
- The old project supported some older platforms (such as older versions of Silverlight) which are not currently supported in the new project