Flutter allows you to bundle assets (graphics, sounds, config files...) along with your flutter application however dart cli applications do not have this ability.

DCli provides a set of asset management tools and an api to work around this limitation.

DCli refers to assets as 'resources' to differentiate them from flutter assets.

If you use resources in a package that will be publish to, remember there is a 10MB limit on the entire dart package.

DCli does this by packaging a resource into a .dart library and then providing an api that allows you to unpack the resources at runtime.

The dcli pack command, base64 encodes each file and writes them as a multi-line string into a dart library under src/dcli/resource. The name of the dart library is randomly generated.

The pack command also creates a register of the packed libraries in src/dcli/resource/generated/resource_registry.g.dart.

DCli expects all resources to located within your dart project under:

<project root>/resource

You can also pack external resources by creating a pack.yaml file.

Packing resources

To pack your resources run:

dcli pack

The 'pack' command will scan the '<project root>/resource' directory and all subdirectories. Each file that it finds will be converted to a dart library under:

<project root>/lib/src/dcli/resource/generated

Each library name is generated using a md5 hash prefixed with the letter 'A' to make a valid class name. The library name is of the form A<md5hash>.g.dart

So the following resources:

<project root>/resource

Will result in to:

<project root>/lib/src/dcli/resource/generated

The contents of each resource is base64 encoded into a multi-line string. So the photo.png.dart file will something look like:

class A21302b1b380201578fc8ce748f5d9ac8 extends PackedResource {
  /// PackedResource - local_batman.yaml
  const A21302b1b380201578fc8ce748f5d9ac8();

  /// A hash of the resource (pre packed) calculated by
  /// [calculateHash].
  /// This hash can be used to check if the resource needs to
  /// be updated on the target system.
  /// Use :
  /// ```dart
  ///   calculateHash(pathToResource).hexEncode() == packResource.checksum
  /// ```
  /// to compare the checksum of the local file with
  /// this checksum
  String get checksum =>

  /// <package>/resource relative path to the original resource.
  String get originalPath => 'lphoto.png';

  String get content => '''

Resource Registry

As part of the packing process DCli also creates a registry of the packed resources. This is done by creating a dart library called:

<project root>/lib/src/dcli/resource/generated/resource_registry.g.dart

Each of the packed resources is listed in the register as a map with the 'mount point' as the key.

The mount point is the path of the packed resource relative to the <project root>/resource directory.

For external resources, you specify a mount point to the project's resource directory that must not collide with any actual resource names under the <project root>/resource directory.

The contents of the 'resource_registry.dart' are of the form.

// ignore: prefer_relative_imports
import 'package:dcli/dcli.dart';
import 'Bbbcdcbeeff.g.dart';
import 'Bfbbcabcfec.g.dart';

/// This script is generated via [Resource.pack()].

class ResourceRegistry {
  /// Map of the packed files.
  /// Use the path of a packed file (relative to the resource directory)
  /// to access the packed resource and then call [PackedResource].unpack()
  /// to unpack the file.
  /// ```dart
  /// ResourceRegistry.resources['batman.yaml']
  ///     .unpack(join(HOME, '.mysettings', 'batman.yaml'));
  /// ```
  static const resources = <String, PackedResource>{
    'local_batman.yaml': A21302b1b380201578fc8ce748f5d9ac8(),
    'docker_batman.yaml': A49bc9b7e40a7f3042a5bbb3e476b4dc4(),

Unpacking resources

DCli provides an API that allows your script to unpack its resources at run time.

ResourceRegistry().resources['<relative filename>'].unpack(String localPath)

The resources field is a map and the key to the map is the original path to the packed file 'relative' to the resources directory.


  const filename = 'PXL_20211104_224740653.jpg';
  final jpegResource = ResourceRegistry.resources[filename];
  final pathToConfigs = join(HOME, '.myapp');
  if (!exists(pathToConfigs)
  jpegResource!.unpack(join(pathToConfigs, filename);

To unpack the resources on the target system use the ResourceRegistry class.

The ResourceRegistory.resources field is a map of the packed resources. The key is the path of the original resource file relative to the resource directory.

Use the .unpack method to unpack your resource to a local path on the target system.

    .unpack(join(HOME, '.mysettings', 'rules.yaml'));

The values in the resources map is a PackedResources. The PackedResource includes a checksum field. The checksum can be used to see if the expanded resource is the same as the packed resource. You can use this to determine if you need to upgrade the unpacked resource with the latest packed one.

if (calculateHash(pathToResource).hexEncode() != packResource.checksum)
    /// unpack the latest version of the resource.

Unpack all resources

You can unpack all resources by interating over the resource values:

import 'package:path/path.dart';

 final localTargetDir = join('some', 'local', 'folder');
 for (final resource in ResourceRegistry.resources.values) {
    final localPathTo = join(localTargetDir, resource.originalPath);
    createDir(dirname(localPathTo), recursive: true);


External Resources

You can also pack resources that are external to your project by creating a pack.yaml file under your project's tool/dcli directory.

The pack.yaml file allows you to specify a number of files and/or directories.

  - external:
    path: ../template/basic
    mount: template/basic
  - external:
    path: ../template/cmd_args
    mount: template/cmd_args
  - external:
    path: ../template/find
    mount: template/find
  - external:
    path: ../template/hello_world
    mount: template/hello_world


The path is a path to an resource which lives outside the projects 'resource' folder.

This is normally used for resources that live outside the projects directory structure but can also specifiy a file/directory that lives within the project but outside the 'resource' folder.

The path may be relative to the project root or an absolute path.

The path can be a file or a directory.

If path is a directory then the directory is included recursively.


When the above path key specifies a directory, you may want to selectively excludes some files under the specified directory.

To exclude paths under the path key add an exclude section:

  - external:
    mount: template
    path: ../template
      - project/full/settings.yaml
      - project/full/pubspec_overrides.yaml

The list of excluded paths may be a path relative to the root of the path directory or an absolute path.

An excluded path may be a file or a directory.


When a file is packed an entry is added to the resource registry.

To unpack a file you need a key to the file in the registry.

The mount is the key into the resource registry.

For files under the <project root>/resource directory the mount is their relative path to the resource directory.

So for:

<project root>/resource/myfile.dart

The mount is myfile.dart.

For files and directories specified in the pack.yaml you must specify a mount .

The mount is a virtual path and can be any path you wish provided that it does NOT collide with any other mount specified in pack.yaml or used by any file physically under the <project root>/resource directory.

A mount is always a relative path.

To unpack external resources you use the mount as the key into the ResourceRegistry.


If you plan on publishing your project to be aware that has a maximum package size of 10MB.

The base64 encoding process increases the file size by about 33%.

For apps that you deploy locally the limits are not documented but are probably constrained by your systems memory - so fairly large.

Automating packing of resources

If you use pub_release to publish to then you can create a pre-release hook to have pub_release package your resources.

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