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Jaquiel Paim
Jaquiel Paim

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Docker built-in container support for .NET 7

On 14th September 2022, Microsoft announced .NET 7 Release Candidate 1, the first of two release candidates (RC) for .NET 7 that are supported in production.

The .NET 7 launch is scheduled for November 8-10, 2022 on the .NET Conf 2022! Until then we can try some of the new features and improvements of this new .NET release!

Among several new and interesting features, one that I particularly liked and would like to highlight here is just the docker built-in container support for .NET 7.

This new .NET 7 resource, which is part of one of the new cloud native features, helps .NET to further consolidate itself as an excellent alternative for building cloud-native applications and achieving resiliency, scalability, efficiency and speed in your web apps.

Let's get started

For this release, you must have Docker and .NET 7.0.100-rc.1.22431.12 or higher installed. Additionally, only Linux-x64 containers are supported.

Below we can see how simple it is to build a containerized ASP.NET application from scratch.

# 1st step - create a new project 
dotnet new mvc -n my-containerized-app

# 2nd step - move project to its directory
cd my-containerized-app

# 3rd step - add a reference to a (temporary) package that creates the container
dotnet add package Microsoft.NET.Build.Containers

# 4th step - publish your project for linux-x64
dotnet publish --os linux --arch x64 -p:PublishProfile=DefaultContainer

# 5th step - run your app using the new container
docker run -it --rm -p 5010:80 --name my-cloud-native-app my-containerized-app:1.0.0

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If you are familiar with docker and the .NET CLI, or have already mastered them, you will probably have no difficulty understanding the above sequence of instructions.

However, if you're a beginner, let's take a look at each statement, step by step.

In the first and second steps, we just created a new .NET application with the ASP.NET Core Empty template and then moved to the new project directory.

$ dotnet new mvc -n my-containerized-app
$ cd my-containerized-app
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  • dotnet new : command to create a new project
  • mvc : argument to set the .NET template project
  • -n : option for the created output

In the third step, we added Microsoft.NET.Build.Containers, a nuget package for publishing .NET applications natively as containers.

$ dotnet add package Microsoft.NET.Build.Containers
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In our example we are using the empty mvc template, but in your own project what you need to do is just add this package to it.

Taking a look at a my-containerized-app.csproj file you can see the package there:

  <ItemGroup>
    <PackageReference Include="Microsoft.NET.Build.Containers" Version="0.1.8" />
  </ItemGroup>
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In the fourth step we compiled the application.

$ dotnet publish --os linux --arch x64 - p:PublishProfile=DefaultContainer
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  • dotnet publish: command to compile the app
  • --os linux and --arch: options to specify the target operating system (OS) and specify the target architecture. We specified linux and x64, respectively. And it’s important to remember that only Linux-x64 containers are supported
  • -p: used for setting properties

If you type docker images in your console you could see that the image is already created:

REPOSITORY             TAG       IMAGE ID       CREATED         SIZE
my-containerized-app   1.0.0     b65f7ee7668a   7 seconds ago   220MB
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Now, in the fifth and last step we finally run our container.

$ docker run -it -p 5010:80 --name my-cloud-native-app  my-containerized-app:1.0.0
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  • docker run : container process that runs is isolated in that it has its own file system, its own networking, and its own isolated process tree separate from the host
  • -it : to run the container in interactive mode instead of detached mode, allowing us to execute commands while the container is in a running state
  • -p 5010:80 : definition of used ports. <port that we will use on our local host>:<port used inside the container>
  • --name my-cloud-native-app : to set a name for the container, preventing docker from generating a random name for it
  • my-containerized-app:1.0.0 : setting the image that we want to use, in this example, <name of our project>:<version defined by .NET>

If all goes well we will have a result similar to this below.

warn: Microsoft.AspNetCore.DataProtection.Repositories.FileSystemXmlRepository[60]
      Storing keys in a directory '/root/.aspnet/DataProtection-Keys' that may not be persisted outside of the container. Protected data will be unavailable when container is destroyed.
warn: Microsoft.AspNetCore.DataProtection.KeyManagement.XmlKeyManager[35]
      No XML encryptor configured. Key {2b3bd45e-0cc8-4cad-a0b9-ce5593370e33} may be persisted to storage in unencrypted form.
info: Microsoft.Hosting.Lifetime[14]
      Now listening on: http://[::]:80
info: Microsoft.Hosting.Lifetime[0]
      Application started. Press Ctrl+C to shut down.
info: Microsoft.Hosting.Lifetime[0]
      Hosting environment: Production
info: Microsoft.Hosting.Lifetime[0]
      Content root path: /app
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Then, just access the application in any browser:http://localhost:5010/:

Application running

Conclusion

So, that 's it. We could see how simple this resource is and how useful it is for our projects. Unlike virtual machines, containers can rapidly scale in and out and are essential to cloud-native applications, offering granular scalability, portability and efficient use of resources.

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NinaDryer

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