.NET Core 2 New Deployment Mode

Publish Framework-dependent

Apps published as framework-dependent are cross-platform and don't include the .NET Core runtime. The user of your app is required to install the .NET Core runtime.

  • Publishing an app as framework-dependent produces a cross-platform binary as a dll file and a platform-specific executable that targets your current platform.
  • The dll is cross-platform while the executable isn't.
  • For example, if you publish an app named excel_processor and target Windows, a excel_processor.exe executable is created along with excel_processor.dll.
  • When targeting Linux or macOS, a excel_processor executable is created along with excel_processor.dll.

Framework-dependent Executables

Starting with .NET Core 2.2, you can deploy framework-dependent executables, which are .exe files instead of .dll files.

  • Functionally similar to framework-dependent deployments, framework-dependent executables (FDE) still rely on the presence of a shared system-wide version of .NET Core to run.
  • Your app contains only your code and any third-party dependencies. Unlike framework-dependent deployments, FDEs are platform-specific.
  • This new deployment mode has the distinct advantage of building an executable instead of a library, which means you can run your app directly without invoking dotnet first.


Small Deployment

  • Only your app and its dependencies are distributed.
  • The user installs The .NET Core runtime and libraries and all apps share the runtime.


  • Your app and any .NET-based library runs on other operating systems.
  • You do not need to define a target platform for your app.

Uses the Latest Patched Runtime

  • The app uses the latest runtime (within the targeted major-minor family of .NET Core) installed on the target system.
  • This means your app automatically uses the latest patched version of the .NET Core runtime.


Requires Pre-installing the Runtime

  • Your app can run only if the version of .NET Core your app targets is already installed on the host system.
  • You can configure roll-forward behavior for the app to either require a specific version of .NET Core or allow a newer version of .NET Core.

.NET Core May Change

  • It is possible for the .NET Core runtime and libraries to be updated on the machine where the app is run.
  • In rare cases, this may change the behavior of your app if you use the .NET Core libraries, which most apps do.
  • You can configure how your app uses newer versions of .NET Core.

The following disadvantage only applies to .NET Core 2.1 SDK.

  • Use the dotnet command to start the app
  • Users must run the dotnet <filename.dll> command to start your app.
  • .NET Core 2.1 SDK does not produce platform-specific executables for apps published framework-dependent.