What is the .NET SDK?

The .NET SDK is a set of libraries and tools that allow developers to create .NET applications and libraries. It contains the following components that are used to build and run applications:

How to install the .NET SDK

As with any tooling, the first thing is to get the tools on your machine. Depending on your scenario, you can install the SDK using one of the following methods:

  • Use the native installers.
  • Use the installation shell script.

The native installers are primarily meant for developers' machines. The SDK is distributed using each supported platform's native install mechanism, such as DEB packages on Ubuntu or MSI bundles on Windows. These installers install and set up the environment as needed for the user to use the SDK immediately after the install. However, they also require administrative privileges on the machine. You can find the SDK to install on the .NET downloads page.

Install scripts, on the other hand, don't require administrative privileges. However, they also don't install any prerequisites on the machine; you need to install all of the prerequisites manually. The scripts are meant mostly for setting up build servers or when you wish to install the tools without admin privileges (do note the prerequisites caveat above). You can find more information in the install script reference article. If you're interested in how to set up the SDK on your CI build server, see Use the .NET SDK in Continuous Integration (CI) environments.

By default, the SDK installs in a "side-by-side" (SxS) manner, which means multiple versions can coexist at any given time on a single machine. For information about how the version gets picked when you're running CLI commands, see Select the .NET version to use.

See also