Packages installed by copying xml file but not listed in the workspace?

I am trying to share packages by having users copy the packages to a folder on their hard drive. Then run a .bat routine that copies a new DynamoSettings.xml to the User c:\Users\first.last\AppData\Roaming\Dynamo\Dynamo Revit\version that has the path to the packages. It show the packages as installed in the manger, but when I start a new workspace in Dynamo the packages are not listed. What am I missing?

If there is a better/easier way to share packages easily and not involve IT firewalls and permissions I am open to it.

Yes. Copy the actual packages to the user’s default app data folder.

Thank you and I see how this would work. But I use the same packages for several releases or Revit/Dynamo and was hoping to place the packages in one spot and path to that directory. I also did not want to update several directories every time there was an update or added packages.

I don’t recommend this for several reasons.

  1. Revit updates have made the utopian ideal of a single package working for all supported Revit builds a non-starter. This will likely get worse with the next revit release due to the .net migration (all previous versions of Dynamo were written for a Revit application running .net 4.x, but the 2025 product line will be .net 6 or .net 8). While some packages are built to scale across builds (Bimorph), many are not (Archi-Lab) and as such you’ll need a different version for each.
  2. Loading packages off a network can cause issues with information security, as you are enabling execution of remote code; while this wouldn’t be intentionally done, it’s another gap in the defenses which your infosec team will eventually shore up breaking ALL the Dynamo work unless exceptions are made.
  3. Loading packages from a network location can cause significant delay in node search, graph opening, and startup (due to the same infosec stuff).
  4. Users can (and eventually will) put packages onto their own local disc, and eventually you’ll get duplicate packages with conflicting versions, which can cause loading to fail.

By copying from the network directory for each build to the local disc you circumvent each of these issues, and prevent situations where you can have the graphs running in either 2021 or 2024, but not both.

Thanks for the further explanation. I saw on other forums where they were recommending copying to a local drive or cloud service like one drive. They didn’t mention they were doing it for each build, but maybe it was implied.
I have seen the issues mentioned with 2024 and other bugs with Dynamo, fortunately we are not there yet. Hoping the bugs will be fixed before then. If interested, this is the bug
Appreciate the useful and informative information.

Wouldn’t classify that as a bug, but more of a major pain point for package authors. That said it’s a big problem the Dynamo and Revit teams is aware of (John works pretty closely with the Dynamo team). I don’t think the specific bug he mentions will happen in 2024, but more importantly I’m hopeful that the new integrations specialist will ensure we avoid these kind of issues in the future.