I was writing a small tool recently and wanted to give it to some people in the office to use, but I wanted it to be simple. I was going to put it out on a network share, but I didn't like how I needed a folder with all the dependencies, which inevitably raises questions of which file to run. I thought it would be nice to just bundle it all up into a single executable.

I remembered from years ago that a coworker had done that once before using ILMerge, but I had no idea how he did it. I figured it couldn't be that hard, so I went to searching for the answer. It didn't take long before I figured out that I didn't want to go that route. The command line arguments are a pain when you have a ton of dependencies, and it sounded like it was going to be more trouble that it was worth.

Fortunately, while browsing around, I found mention of a Nuget package called Costura.Fody that claimed to be able to achieve the same thing automatically! You can read the details on their GitHub project page but just rest assured that it really is as easy as they say it is.

I added the Nuget package, built my project, and opened my bin folder. I found everything looking the same as before apart from the main executable being much larger. I copied the executable to a folder by itself, and to my delight it ran without a hitch.

I think this is a great way to go for distributing small utilities and making things easy for users when you are not creating a formal installer for an application. I love finding Nuget packages that help so much with so little fuss.