An easy service hosting framework for building Windows services using .NET
C# Ruby Python
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Topshelf - An easy service hosting framework for building Windows services using .NET



Apache 2.0 - see LICENSE


Getting started with TopShelf

Get started in four simple steps!

Step 1 (get the bits):

The easiest way to get Topshelf in your project is to use NuGet.

If you aren't using NuGet, you can always download the code.

Mailing List

Topshelf Discuss


  1. git config --global core.autoclrf false
  2. Make a pull request


  1. Clone the source down to your machine. git clone git://
  2. Download git, ruby and gems. Install – a tutorial is here
  3. gem install rake albacore
  4. Important: Run rake global_version in order to generate the SolutionVersion.cs file which is otherwise missing.
    • You must have git on the path in order to do this. (Right click on Computer > Advanced System Settings, Advanced (tab) > Environment Variables... > Append the git executable's directory at the end of the PATH environment variable.
  5. Edit with Visual Studio 2010 or alternatively edit and run rake. rake help displays all possible tasks that you can run. The package task, is what the build server does.
  6. The default is .Net 4.0. At the moment, editing the solution file for .Net 3.5 requires the "fix" below.

Editing in Visual Studio

  1. Run rake global_version in the root folder.
  2. Set Visual Studio Tools -> Options -> Text Editor -> All Languages -> Tabs to use "Tab Size" = 4, "Indent Size" = 4, and "Insert Spaces"
  3. Double-click/open the .sln file.

You can alternatively edit and build for .Net 3.5 instead of .Net 4.0 with this step:

  • Edit all TopShelf/src/**/*.csproj files at the top of the files, where it says: <TargetFrameworkVersion Condition=" '$(TargetFrameworkVersion)' == '' ">v4.0</TargetFrameworkVersion>

    Change v4.0 to v3.5. The build script itself won't be affected by this change, but it'll help Visual Studio know what version we're building for.

  1. Edit Topshelf.Host/app.config and uncomment the supportedRuntime- and runtime-elements.

Editing the rake script

  • Getting an overview: rake help
  • Getting descriptions of the tasks: rake -P
  • Read some articles; currently we need help with environments configuration and reducing the noise in tasks by making the files FileTask-s themselves. Some of this stuff is discussed here.

In general you should define your tasks to have the least number of dependencies to function. Paths should be placed in the props dictionary at the start of the rake file.


To run the build, rake, .NET 3.5, and .NET 4.0 are required. To open the solution, you must have Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1.


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