PowerShell Build Tools for managing script projects
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UnsignedBytes BuildTools

PowerShell Build Tools for managing script projects

The UnsignedBytes BuildTools provides a way to manage your PS Modules using a consistant structure and allows testing, dynamically generated manifest files, and packages your scripts into a convenient zip file for transport. The entire configuration of the project is controlled by a single psproj.json file that guides the tool through your project allowing the build to remain flexible.

Using the build tools is as simple as running psbuild from the module project root. This will result in a nice little .zip package that includes your module, any about_* documentation as well as an auto-generated manifest file.

Install Module

In order to use the Build Tools you must install them to the powershell modules directory. Grab the latest UnsignedBytes.BuildTools-x.x.x.zip file from the dist folder of the latest release tag and unzip the contents to:


Note that the folder inside Modules that contains the artifacts MUST have the same name as the module or it will not load.

Create a project file and configure your module

Initialize with the Wizard

There is a built-in project generator to flesh out the project structure that can be run by using the psinit command. The command will run a wizard to setup some of the parameters and generates the project.json, and the src, dist, and tests folders.

Create Project Manually

Create a new folder for your project, and create folders within it to store your module source, tests, and the distributable zipped artifacts.

mkdir MyProject
cd MyProject
mkdir src
mkdir dist
mkdir tests

Create a new psproj.json file in the new project directory and add the following to the file.
Update to use your information

	"projectName": "My Fancy New Project",
	"rootModule": "MyOrganization.MyFancyProject",
	"uniqueId": "9cb01216-d85b-49e7-a501-bb22d3a94046",
	"companyName": "My Company, Inc.",
	"version": "3.1.1",
	"description": "My summary description of the project",
	"authors": [
		"Timmy Developer <timmy@testdeveloper.com>"
	"dotNetVersion": "4.5",
	"powerShellVersion": "4.0",
	"src": "src",
	"dist": "dist",
	"tests": "tests"
  • The src, dist, and tests properties represent the three project directories created earlier and can be overridden to point to any relative path e.g. "dist": "Bin" would indicate that the Bin directory should be used to hold your distributable artifacts after a build.
  • The uniqueId field is a unique identifier that will be used in the psd1 manifest file.
  • The rootModule must be the name of your main .psm1 module file

Add Your Module and about_* files

Add your .psm1 module file and about_* help files into the src directory.

Add Tests

Add any powershell tests with the format *.Test.ps1 to the tests directory. See the tests for this project if you'd like an example.

Build Your Module

Run the psbuild or Invoke-PSBuild command to build the zip package for your module. The .zip will be found in the dist directory. See Get-Help Invoke-PSBuild for more details.


If you would like to install the module to the default modules directory you can run...




...from the project root. It will overwrite the module if it is already installed. optionally you may pass the location you want the module installed via the ModulesDirectory parameter.


Contributions to the project are very welcome, so feel free to send me a pull request. This is a very new project and I have many ideas I'm tossing around for it and I would also like to hear some from anyone else who finds this useful.

Dependencies: None

Dev Setup

git clone https://github.com/unsignedbytes/UBBuildTools/
cd ./UBBuildTools/
ipmo ./src/UnsignedBytes.BuildTools.psm1 
Invoke-PSBuild -ProjectRoot ./ -ModuleName UnsignedBytes.BuildTools


For more information about the module see:

Get-Help about_UnsignedBytes.BuildTools

Each of the build stages are exposed through the modules as well as the main Invoke-PSBuild Cmdlet. Use the following to see all available Cmdlets:

Get-Command -Module UnsignedBytes.BuildTools

Use Get-Help to view the help file for any specific Cmdlet.