Install the .NET SDK or the .NET Runtime with Snap

Use a Snap package to install the .NET SDK or .NET Runtime. Snaps are a great alternative to the package manager built into your Linux distribution. This article describes how to install .NET through Snap.

A snap is a bundle of an app and its dependencies that works without modification across many different Linux distributions. Snaps are discoverable and installable from the Snap Store. For more information about Snap, see Getting started with Snap.

Important

Snap packages aren't supported in WSL2 on Windows. As an alternative, use the dotnet-install script or the package manager for the particular WSL2 distribution. It's not recommended but you can try to enable snap with an unsupported workaround from the snapcraft forums.

Caution

Snap installations of .NET may have problems running .NET tools. If you wish to use .NET tools, we recommend that you install .NET using the dotnet-install script or the package manager for the particular Linux distribution.

It's a known issue that the dotnet watch command doesn't work when .NET is installed via Snap.

If you're going to use .NET tools or the dotnet watch command, we recommend that you install .NET using the dotnet-install script.

.NET releases

There are two types of supported releases, Long Term Support (LTS) releases or Standard Term Support (STS). The quality of all releases is the same. The only difference is the length of support. LTS releases get free support and patches for 3 years. STS releases get free support and patches for 18 months. For more information, see .NET Support Policy.

The following table lists the support status of each version of .NET (and .NET Core):

✔️ Supported ❌ Unsupported
7 (STS) 5
6 (LTS) 3.0
3.1 (LTS) 2.2
2.1
2.0
1.1
1.0

SDK or Runtime

Install the SDK (which includes the runtime) if you want to develop .NET apps. Or, if you only need to run apps, install the Runtime. If you're installing the Runtime, we suggest you install the ASP.NET Core Runtime as it includes both .NET and ASP.NET Core runtimes.

If you've already installed the SDK or Runtime, use the dotnet --list-sdks and dotnet --list-runtimes commands to see which versions are installed. For more information, see How to check that .NET is already installed.

Install the SDK

Snap packages for the .NET SDK are all published under the same identifier: dotnet-sdk. A specific version of the SDK can be installed by specifying the channel. The SDK includes the corresponding runtime. The following table lists the channels:

.NET version Snap package or channel
7 (STS) 7.0 or latest/stable
6 (LTS) 6.0 or lts/stable
5 5.0
3.1 (LTS) 3.1

Use the snap install command to install a .NET SDK snap package. Use the --channel parameter to indicate which version to install. If this parameter is omitted, latest/stable is used. In this example, 7.0 is specified:

sudo snap install dotnet-sdk --classic --channel=7.0

Next, register the dotnet command for the system with the snap alias command:

sudo snap alias dotnet-sdk.dotnet dotnet

This command is formatted as: sudo snap alias {package}.{command} {alias}. You can choose any {alias} name you would like. For example, you could name the command after the specific version installed by snap: sudo snap alias dotnet-sdk.dotnet dotnet70. When you use the command dotnet70, you'll invoke this specific version of .NET. But choosing a different alias is incompatible with most tutorials and examples as they expect a dotnet command to be used.

Install the runtime

Snap packages for the .NET Runtime are each published under their own package identifier. The following table lists the package identifiers:

.NET version Snap package
7 (STS) dotnet-runtime-70
6 (LTS) dotnet-runtime-60
5 dotnet-runtime-50
3.1 (LTS) dotnet-runtime-31
3.0 dotnet-runtime-30
2.2 dotnet-runtime-22
2.1 dotnet-runtime-21

Use the snap install command to install a .NET Runtime snap package. In this example, .NET 7 is installed:

sudo snap install dotnet-runtime-70 --classic

Next, register the dotnet command for the system with the snap alias command:

sudo snap alias dotnet-runtime-70.dotnet dotnet

The command is formatted as: sudo snap alias {package}.{command} {alias}. You can choose any {alias} name you would like. For example, you could name the command after the specific version installed by snap: sudo snap alias dotnet-runtime-70.dotnet dotnet70. When you use the command dotnet70, you'll invoke a specific version of .NET. But choosing a different alias is incompatible with most tutorials and examples as they expect a dotnet command to be available.

Export the install location

The DOTNET_ROOT environment variable is often used by tools to determine where .NET is installed. When .NET is installed through Snap, this environment variable isn't configured. You should configure the DOTNET_ROOT environment variable in your profile. The path to the snap uses the following format: /snap/{package}/current. For example, if you installed the dotnet-sdk snap, use the following command to set the environment variable to where .NET is located:

export DOTNET_ROOT=/snap/dotnet-sdk/current

Tip

The preceding export command only sets the environment variable for the terminal session in which it was run.

You can edit your shell profile to permanently add the commands. There are a number of different shells available for Linux and each has a different profile. For example:

  • Bash Shell: ~/.bash_profile, ~/.bashrc
  • Korn Shell: ~/.kshrc or .profile
  • Z Shell: ~/.zshrc or .zprofile

Edit the appropriate source file for your shell and add export DOTNET_ROOT=/snap/dotnet-sdk/current.

TLS/SSL Certificate errors

When .NET is installed through Snap, it's possible that on some distros the .NET TLS/SSL certificates may not be found and you may receive an error during restore:

Processing post-creation actions...
Running 'dotnet restore' on /home/myhome/test/test.csproj...
  Restoring packages for /home/myhome/test/test.csproj...
/snap/dotnet-sdk/27/sdk/2.2.103/NuGet.targets(114,5): error : Unable to load the service index for source https://api.nuget.org/v3/index.json. [/home/myhome/test/test.csproj]
/snap/dotnet-sdk/27/sdk/2.2.103/NuGet.targets(114,5): error :   The SSL connection could not be established, see inner exception. [/home/myhome/test/test.csproj]
/snap/dotnet-sdk/27/sdk/2.2.103/NuGet.targets(114,5): error :   The remote certificate is invalid according to the validation procedure. [/home/myhome/test/test.csproj]

To resolve this problem, set a few environment variables:

export SSL_CERT_FILE=[path-to-certificate-file]
export SSL_CERT_DIR=/dev/null

The certificate location will vary by distro. Here are the locations for the distros where the issue has been experienced.

Distribution Location
Fedora /etc/pki/ca-trust/extracted/pem/tls-ca-bundle.pem
OpenSUSE /etc/ssl/ca-bundle.pem
Solus /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt

Troubles resolving dotnet

It's common for other apps, such as the OmniSharp extension for Visual Studio Code, to try to resolve the location of the .NET SDK. Typically, this is done by figuring out where the dotnet executable is located. A snap-installed .NET SDK may confuse these apps. When these apps can't resolve the .NET SDK, you'll see an error similar to one of the following messages:

  • The SDK 'Microsoft.NET.Sdk' specified could not be found
  • The SDK 'Microsoft.NET.Sdk.Web' specified could not be found
  • The SDK 'Microsoft.NET.Sdk.Razor' specified could not be found

To fix this problem, symlink the snap dotnet executable to the location that the program is looking for. Two common paths the dotnet command is looking for are /usr/local/bin/dotnet and /usr/share/dotnet. For example, to link the current .NET SDK snap package, use the following command:

ln -s /snap/dotnet-sdk/current/dotnet /usr/local/bin/dotnet

You can also review these GitHub issues for information about these problems:

The dotnet alias

It's possible that if you created the dotnet alias for the snap-installed .NET, you'll have a conflict. Use the snap unalias dotnet command to remove it, and then add a different alias if you want.

Next steps