Does `paket` update the project file (`.fsproj`) once a package has been installed?

Just getting into F#, finally figured out how to add .NET packages to projects, but the way I managed to get it to work doesn’t make sense. Once the package is installed (either with nuget or paket), I have to manually add a reference to the project file (either by editing it directly or with dotnet add package ( This extra step is usually automated with other languages, so I presume that I’m doing something wrong.

These are the steps I did on a Mac M1:

  1. “Install” F#

    nix-shell -p dotnet-sdk_7
  2. Follow all the steps in Get started with F# with command-line tools - .NET | Microsoft Learn. (No errors.)

  3. Install paket following the install guide (

  4. Follow the walkthrough ( on adding dependencies.


    1. added nuget FSharpPlus to paket.dependencies
    2. created the src/App/paket.references with the the line FSharpPlus
    3. ran dotnet paket install

    Once done, simply added open FSharpPlus to src/App/Program.fs, and ran dotnet restore followed by dotnet build, which blew up with

    error FS0039: The namespace or module 'FSharpPlus' is not defined.

The fix was simple enough,

dotnet add src/App/App.fsproj package "FSharpPlus" --version "1.5.0"

but it’s hard for me to believe that one has to add these references manually for each package.

After all this, just out of curiosity, I added open Giraffe.Htmx to src/App/Program.fs, then ran

dotnet add src/App/App.fsproj package "Giraffe.Htmx" --version "1.9.6"
dotnet build

and everything worked… So what is the point of using paket or nuget then?

(The thread What benefits do FAKE and PAKET provide over traditional ways? explains the benefits quite well, and I guess that my woes are stemming from doing this on a Mac and/or using Nix.)