I create new projects all the time to test out ideas. I wish I could have a default solution template that was closer to reality than what the default templates offer. Let’s build one.

.NET Templates

The .NET SDK provides numerous templates that can be used via the dotnet command line tool:

# List installed templates
C:\templates> dotnet new list

# Create a new console project
C:\templates> dotnet new console

What I want is something more advanced, a combination of these templates to create a more complete solution:

  • separate folders for source files and test files (src and test)
  • separate “UI” and “Domain” projects
  • initialize the same user secret id for the “UI” and “Domain” projects
  • a test project for each source project
  • a solution file
  • an .editorconfig file
  • a .gitignore file
  • a globaljson file

I have been using a PowerShell script for this purpose. Here is a sample:


But what I would like to try is creating a custom template I can use via the dotnet command line tool.

Create a Custom Template

There’s a set of instructions for creating custom templates, so I’m going to follow them:


I used my PowerShell script to create a template solution:

C:\templates> create-webapi.ps1 mytemplate

I added a .template.config folder and created a template.json file:

  "$schema": "http://json.schemastore.org/template",
  "author": "Matt Edgar",
  "classifications": [ "Web API" ],
  "identity": "Edgamat.WebApiTemplate.CSharp",
  "name": "Web API Application",
  "shortName": "edgamat-webapi"

According to the documentation, once the package is installed, the shortName can be used with the dotnet new command:

C:\templates> dotnet new edgamat-webapi

Create a NuGet Package

Next we need to create a NuGet package which is what we will use to install the template. In the template folder, I created a mytemplate.csproj file with the following contents:

<Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk">

    <Title>Edgamat WebApi Solution Template</Title>
    <Authors>Matt Edgar</Authors>
    <Description>Template for .NET WebApi projects.</Description>


    <Content Include="**\*" Exclude="**\bin\**;**\obj\**" />
    <Compile Remove="**\*" />


I then created the package:

C:\templates> dotnet pack mytemplate.csproj

It generated the package here:


One thing of note, when the package was built, there were 2 warning messages indicating the .editorconfig and .gitignore files were excluded. If I want to include these, I’ll need to install and use the nuget.exe rather than the dotnet command line tool to create the package.

Installing the Package

To install the package, use the following command

C:\templates> dotnet new install C:\templates\mytemplate\bin\Release\Edgamat.MyTemplate.1.0.0.nupkg

You can uninstall it using the following command:

C:\templates> dotnet new uninstall Edgamat.MyTemplate

The Results

I went to the command line and ran the following command:

C:\templates> dotnet new edgamat-webapi -n test1

Here’s what was created:

C:\templates\test1> ls

    Directory: C:\templates\test1

Mode                 LastWriteTime         Length Name
----                 -------------         ------ ----
d----            3/4/2024  4:35 AM                src
d----            3/4/2024  4:35 AM                test
-a---            3/4/2024  4:35 AM             76 global.json
-a---            3/4/2024  4:35 AM            768 mytemplate.csproj
-a---            3/4/2024  4:35 AM           3235 mytemplate.sln

Not exactly what I was expecting. I wanted the files to have mytemplate replaced with the name (e.g. test1). Turns out I just missed a setting in the mytemplate.csproj file. I added this:

  "sourceName": "mytemplate",

And now it produces the desired result:

C:\templates\test2> ls

    Directory: C:\templates\test2

Mode                 LastWriteTime         Length Name
----                 -------------         ------ ----
d----            3/4/2024  4:41 AM                src
d----            3/4/2024  4:41 AM                test
-a---            3/4/2024  4:41 AM             76 global.json
-a---            3/4/2024  4:41 AM            768 test2.csproj
-a---            3/4/2024  4:41 AM           3235 test2.sln

There was a much better tutorial on the custom templates here:



The process of creating a custom template is straightforward and I hope to make use of this moving forward.