Using ILMerge to merge assemblies

This document describes the ILMerge utility which merges multiple .NET assemblies into a single assembly. However, some .NET assemblies may not be able to be merged because they may contain features such as unmanaged code. I would highly recommend using peverify (the .NET Framework SDK tool) on the output of ILMerge to guarantee that the output is verifiable and will load in the .NET runtime.

ILMerge is packaged as a console application. But all of its functionality is also accessible programmatically. Note that Visual Studio does allow one to add an executable as a reference, so you can write a client that uses ILMerge as a library.

ILMerge takes a set of input assemblies and merges them into one target assembly. The first assembly in the list of input assemblies is the primary assembly. When the primary assembly is an executable, then the target assembly is created as an executable with the same entry point as the primary assembly. Also, if the primary assembly has a strong name, and a .snk file is provided, then the target assembly is re-signed with the specified key so that it also has a strong name.

Note that anything that depended upon any of the names of the input assemblies, e.g., configuration files, must be updated to refer instead to the name of the target assembly.

Any Win32 Resources in the primary assembly are copied over into the target assembly.

There are many options that control the behavior of ILMerge. These are described in the next section

ILMerge Commands

Command Line Usage

The full command line for ILMerge is:
ilmerge [/lib:directory]* [/log[:filename]] [/keyfile:filename [/delaysign]] [/internalize[:filename]]
[/t[arget]:(library|exe|winexe)] [/closed] [/ndebug] [/ver:version] [/copyattrs [/allowMultiple]]
[/xmldocs] [/attr:filename] ([/targetplatform:<version>[,<platformdir>]]|v1|v1.1|v2|v4)
[/useFullPublicKeyForReferences] [/zeroPeKind] [/wildcards] [/allowDup[:typename]]*
[/allowDuplicateResources] [/union] [/align:n]
/out:filename <primary assembly> [<other assemblies>...]
All options that take arguments can use either : or = as a separator. Options can be in any order, but all of the options must precede the list of input assemblies.
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