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Sukhpinder Singh
Sukhpinder Singh

Posted on • Originally published at Medium

Publishing .NET Applications with dotnet publish

The dotnet publish command simplifies this complex task, allowing developers to create deployable packages efficiently.

Understanding dotnet publish

At its core, dotnet publish is a command-line tool that compiles your .NET application and its dependencies. It then generates an output that can be deployed to a specific platform. Whether you’re building a console application, a web API, or a desktop application, dotnet publish streamlines the process.

Key Steps in the dotnet publish Process


  • The first step involves compiling your code into an intermediate language (IL). This IL is platform-agnostic and can run on any compatible runtime.

  • During compilation, the tool also optimizes the IL for performance and size.

Dependency Resolution:

  • dotnet publish identifies all necessary dependencies for your application.

  • It includes not only your project’s direct dependencies but also transitive dependencies.

Output Generation:

  • The output of dotnet publish includes the compiled IL, dependencies, and other required files.

  • These files are organized in a directory structure suitable for deployment.

Platform-Specific Output:

  • The generated output is platform-specific. For example, if you’re targeting Windows, Linux, or macOS, the output will be tailored accordingly.

  • This ensures that your application runs seamlessly on the chosen platform.

Customizing the Process

dotnet publish offers several options to customize the output:

  • -c|--configuration : Specify the build configuration (e.g., Debug, Release).

  • -o|--output : Define the output directory for the published files.

  • --self-contained: Create a self-contained deployment that includes the .NET runtime.

  • --runtime : Choose the target runtime (e.g., win-x64, linux-x64).

  • --framework : Specify the target framework (e.g., net5.0, net6.0).


Publishing a Console Application (Release Configuration):

dotnet publish -c Release
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This command compiles the application in Release mode and prepares it for deployment.

Creating a Self-Contained Deployment for Linux x64:

dotnet publish --self-contained -r linux-x64
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This generates a self-contained package that includes the .NET runtime for Linux x64.

Publishing a Web API Targeting .NET 6.0:

dotnet publish --framework net6.0
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Use this command to prepare a web API project for deployment on .NET 6.0.

Stay Informed

Remember to keep your development environment up-to-date. Regularly check for new versions of the .NET SDK and Runtimes using dotnet sdk check. Install the latest versions from here.

By mastering dotnet publish, you’ll efficiently package and distribute your .NET applications, ensuring optimal performance and security.

Use dotnet publish to streamline your deployment process and deliver robust applications! 🚀

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