Getting Started


Starting with NServiceBus version 8, the NServiceBus Host is no longer supported. Refer to the the host upgrade guide for further details and alternatives.
For endpoints using NServiceBus version 7 and above, it is no longer recommended to use the NServiceBus Host. Use alternative approaches such as Generic Host, NServiceBus Windows Service or NServiceBus Docker Container instead.

When running an endpoint within the context of the Visual Studio debugger, the required queues are created automatically on startup to facilitate development. However, when deploying this endpoint to a server, starting the endpoint from the command prompt will not create the necessary queues. Creation of queues is a one-time cost that should happen during installation.

To retrieve the list of available options for the host, run the following at the command line:

NServiceBus.Host.exe /?

Installing a Windows service

It is not advised to use sc.exe to register the host process as a Windows Service.

To install the process as a Windows service, include /install as a command line argument to the host. Using /install also causes the host to invoke the installers.

NServiceBus.Host.exe /install

Here is an example of the /install command line:

NServiceBus.Host.exe /install 
/displayName:"My Publisher Service"
/description:"Service for publishing event messages"
/endpointConfigurationType:"QualifiedNameSpace.EndpointConfigType, AssemblyName"


To set the name of the Windows service in the registry, specify /serviceName:ServiceName. By default, the name of the service is the name of the endpoint and the endpoint name is the namespace of the endpoint configuration class.

The Windows service name is different from what is displayed in the Windows Service Manager. The Windows Service Manager shows the DisplayName.


To set the name of the Windows service as it is displayed in the Windows Service Manager, specify /displayName:ServiceDisplayName.

If the /displayName is not specified, then the default ServiceName will be used as the display name and not the provided service name as specified in the /serviceName parameter.


To set the description shown in the Windows Service Manager, specify /description:DescriptionOfService.


Specify the type implementing IConfigureThisEndpoint that should be used by using the /endpointConfigurationType parameter. The provided value must be the assembly qualified type name.


Configures the name of the endpoint. By default, the endpoint name is the namespace of the endpoint configuration class.


Configures NServiceBus to scan only the specified assemblies. The scannedAssemblies parameter must be provided for each assembly to include. E.g.:

NServiceBus.Host.exe /install

The host loads the assemblies by invoking the Assembly.Load method. This approach ensures that the specified assembly and its dependent assemblies will also be loaded.

When using the /scannedAssemblies parameter, be sure to include at least NServiceBus.Host as well as any other referenced NServiceBus plugins. There is no need to include NServiceBus.Corein the list since it is referenced by NServiceBus.Host.


Specifies the names of services or groups which must start before this service, e.g. /dependsOn:"MSMQ". Multiple services or groups are separated by a comma.


By using the /sideBySide argument, the endpoint version will be appended to the service name. This setting enables side-by-side operations by allowing multiple endpoints with different versions to run at the same time.


By default, Windows services start automatically when the operating system starts. To change this setting, add /startManually to the /install command.


To specify the account the service runs under, pass in the username of that account.

When installing the host using a custom user account, the user account is added to the Performance Monitor Users and is granted run as a service privileges. If the user needs to be changed at a later time, uninstall the host and re-install it in order to guarantee that the new user is correctly setup. The created privileges and Performance Monitor Users are not removed by the host when uninstalling and must be managed by the administrator.

NServiceBus version 7 and above supports Group Managed Service Accounts (GMSA). When specifying a GMSA, the /username command line switch should include the trailing dollar sign e.g. /username:"corp\gmsaaccount$" and the /password command line switch should be omitted.


If the specified account which runs the Windows service requires a password, set it using the /password:"<password>" parameter.

This parameter should be omitted when specifying a Group Managed Service Account (GMSA) for the /username.


A host profile can be specified as the last parameter, e.g. NServiceBus.Host.exe /install NServiceBus.Lite. By default, the NServiceBus.Production profile is applied.

Uninstalling a Windows service

To uninstall an endpoint service, call

NServiceBus.Host.exe /uninstall

If a service name is specified when installing a service, be sure to pass it to the uninstall command:

NServiceBus.Host.exe /uninstall  [/serviceName]

For example:

NServiceBus.Host.exe /uninstall /serviceName:"MyPublisher"

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