Rhino Package Manager update - July 2018

Once again it’s been a while since I’ve posted here so I wanted to give an update on the Rhino Package Manager. Thanks to those of you who came to hear about the project (amongst many other awesome things) at the Rhino New Developments Day in London back in April! Here’s what I’ve been working on over the last 2-3 months…

Yak Yank

You can now un-list (“yank”) package versions if you want to hide specific versions from users. Yanked versions will not appear in the Package Manager UI (see below) or when searching via the Yak CLI. If you yank all versions of a package then the package itself will be hidden.

Automation and CI

A while ago we introduced NuGet packages for Rhino .NET SDK references. This was the first step in making it easier to build and test Rhino/Grasshopper plug-in projects using freely available CI services, like AppVeyor.

Automation is an important aspect of the Yak packaging and publishing process. Pull request #2 of @stevebaer’s GhCanvasViewport project demonstrates how you can deploy pre-release versions of a plug-in for each CI build.

To begin with, the project’s appveyor.yml defines a couple of new environment variables, assembly_version and yak_package_version, where the former is a three-digit version number (i.e. 1.0.0) and the latter appends a SemVer-compatible “pre-release” suffix which contains the build number (i.e. 1.0.0-dev.236).

AppVeyor patches the AssemblyVersion and AssemblyInformationalVersion attributes using the using the assembly_version and yak_package_version env vars. The AssemblyInformationalVersion is the important one here because it allows us to inject a SemVer-compatible version string into the plug-in which is important for Grasshopper Package Restore.

Finally the packaging and publishing is handled by a deployment script. The script uses the yak_package_version env var to set the version field in the manifest.yml file (which has been added to the repo). Because the packaging process is so simple, we can use simply PowerShell’s built-in zip archive functionality to create the package. For publishing however, we need the Yak CLI. I compiled a special standalone version of yak.exe for use in deployment scripts. The script downloads the latest yak.exe and uses it to push the new package version using an API token that’s stored securely in the YAK_TOKEN env var.

Searching for versions and stable vs pre-release

Yak is now more pre-release aware. Previously yak search PATTERN would list the absolute latest versions of all packages that match PATTERN. Now, Yak considers the latest version to be the latest stable version, unless there are no stable versions. If you want the old behaviour, you can use yak search --prerelease PATTERN.

Sometimes it’s useful to see all of the available versions of a package. yak search --all PATTERN will list all of the stable versions of a package. You can also use both flags together to list all versions of a package, i.e. yak search --all --prerelease PATTERN.

The Package Manager UI is being updated to have the same distinction between pre-release and stable package versions.

Package Manager UI updates

@trav helped me prettify the UI ready for showing off at StF. We’ve also added some useful fields to the info pane, such as published date and project homepage, as well as the pre-release toggle mentioned above. The UI is still a work-in-progress and can be found via the TestPackageManager command in Rhino WIP.


  • yak uninstall no longer fails if package is not installed/doesn’t exist

With the exception of the UI, all of this is available in Rhino 6 SR 7, released last week. Please check it out and ask questions!


Hi, I just tried to install the intel denoiser on v7 and I hit the Download and Install button multiple times because there is no apparent feedback on the click.

So please add a response and a download progress bar.
Or turn the download and install button green and type Downloading… on it :slight_smile: That would make it much more user friendly.

Thanks for the feedback! I’ve already made some changes to the UI during downloads and I’m continuing to work on it. Please try the latest Rhino 7 WIP from earlier this week and let me know if it’s an improvement.

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Thanks, I will!

It would also be good to have a link to the package manager in the plugin manager page, under or in the “install” button :slight_smile:

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I see that Automation and CI support was started! And I tried to use a similar approach as stated above by downloading Yak.exe on a CI system to package and deploy my plugin.

However, I can’t download the tool using the url in the script, http://files.mcneel.com/yak/tools/latest/yak.exe

  <Message>Access Denied</Message>

GitHub: https://github.com/mcneel/GhCanvasViewport/blob/5d7797bb8f93f5d0b7726890e4483c854b40d218/script/deploy.ps1#L21

Is that a bug or am I missing something?



I’ve been meaning to update that powershell script. Instead of manually replacing the version number and zipping up the package, you can now simply run yak build --version 1.2.3.


I will be building and packaging our plugin using GitHub Actions. This was the missing piece of the puzzle. I can post more info here when I get it working.

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