Installing an Assembly: Part II Using the Global Cache


We have seen in a previous article  how one can install a given assembly using the .Net Framework management console the Mscorcfg.msc. Now, we proceed to achieve the same goal but using another tool witch is the Global assembly cache tool cagutil.exe provided by the .Net framework.

To do that, follow those steps:

First of all, let us develop a simple assembly. To do that, follow those steps

  • 1. Create a new class library project and name it myAssembly


Figure 1

  • Add this code to the editor

using System;

using System.Collections.Generic;

using System.Text;

using System.Windows.Forms;


namespace myAssembly


    public class Class1


        public Class1()


            MessageBox.Show("You are using myAssembly!!!");



  • Save the project.

    The GAC accepts only assemblies with strong names ; there fore it is imperatively recommended to sign the assembly before adding it into GAC, otherwise when adding a none strongly assembly, a message indicates that the new assembly can not be added to the GAC appears and finally the action is failed. So, to sign myAssembly, go to myAssembly properties as shown bellow.


Figure 2

  • Select the signing tab and then check sign the assembly checkbox


Figure 3

  • Select New in the combo box as shown above. This dialog box appears


Figure 4

  • Enter the key file name with twelve characters, then enter a password with more than six characters and confirm it, then click Ok.

    A file looks like this small.gif is added to the application directory with *.snk as an extension witch is a Strong Name Key abbreviation. This file contains a random pair keys and it is provided to sign the assembly. This file can be generated also using the Strong name tool sn.exe  provided by .NET framework.
  • Build the solution, save the project and close it.
  • Open the console, Start--> Accessories--> Console
  • Browse to your .Net framework directory using the change directory cd command.
  • Tape cagutil -I  myAssembly and the press enter and the windows shell will tell you that the assembly is installed in the assembly cache.

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