Add All Projects to Solution with dotnet CLI
Date Published: 15 December 2022
If you need to just create a new solution file with all projects in all subfolders in it, this should work for you.
For whatever reason, you'd like to quickly create a Visual Studio solution file that includes all of the Visual Studio (dotnet) projects in any subfolder. In my case, sometimes I've needed to do this in order to easily be able to calculate code metrics on the total of a GitHub repository or set of samples. You may just want to be able to see all of the projects in one place. It can be tedious to locate and add every csproj file in every subfolder by hand, especially in a codebase you're not familiar with.
The dotnet sln Command
It may surprise you to learn that you can create .NET solution files from the command line. The syntax is pretty straightforward:
dotnet new sln -n Everything
In the above, the
-n flag allows you to specify the name; otherwise it will use the current foldername as a default. In my case since I wanted every project in it, I just named it Everything. The result of this command is an empty solution file named Everything.sln.
Next you just need to add all of the project files. Unfortunately there's no built-in way to do that with the
dotnet sln command, but you can easily script it. This should work from Powershell or a linux shell:
dotnet sln add (ls -r **/*.csproj)
This will recursively find
.csproj files in any subfolder and will add them to the solution using the
dotnet sln add command. With just these two commands you can easily add many Visual Studio projects to a solution file without manually adding them.
If you already have a solution file in the folder where you're running this, you just need to specify your solution file's name in the command. So if your solution file is named Everything.sln you'd run this:
dotnet sln ./Everything.sln add (ls -r **/*.csproj)
Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.