Directory structure of published ASP.NET Core apps

By Luke Latham

In ASP.NET Core, the application directory, publish, is comprised of application files, config files, static assets, packages, and the runtime (for self-contained apps). This is the same directory structure as previous versions of ASP.NET, where the entire application lives inside the web root directory.

App Type Directory Structure
Framework-dependent Deployment
  • publish*
    • logs* (if included in publishOptions)
    • refs*
    • runtimes*
    • Views* (if included in publishOptions)
    • wwwroot* (if included in publishOptions)
    • .dll files
    • myapp.deps.json
    • myapp.dll
    • myapp.pdb
    • myapp.PrecompiledViews.dll (if precompiling Razor Views)
    • myapp.PrecompiledViews.pdb (if precompiling Razor Views)
    • myapp.runtimeconfig.json
    • web.config (if included in publishOptions)
Self-contained Deployment
  • publish*
    • logs* (if included in publishOptions)
    • refs*
    • Views* (if included in publishOptions)
    • wwwroot* (if included in publishOptions)
    • .dll files
    • myapp.deps.json
    • myapp.exe
    • myapp.pdb
    • myapp.PrecompiledViews.dll (if precompiling Razor Views)
    • myapp.PrecompiledViews.pdb (if precompiling Razor Views)
    • myapp.runtimeconfig.json
    • web.config (if included in publishOptions)

* Indicates a directory

The contents of the publish directory represents the content root path, also called the application base path, of the deployment. Whatever name is given to the publish directory in the deployment, its location serves as the server's physical path to the hosted application. The wwwroot directory, if present, only contains static assets. The logs directory may be included in the deployment by creating it in the project and adding the <Target> element shown below to your .csproj file or by physically creating the directory on the server.

<Target Name="CreateLogsFolder" AfterTargets="AfterPublish">
  <MakeDir Directories="$(PublishDir)logs" Condition="!Exists('$(PublishDir)logs')" />
  <MakeDir Directories="$(PublishUrl)Logs" Condition="!Exists('$(PublishUrl)Logs')" />
</Target>

The first <MakeDir> element, which uses the PublishDir property, is used by the .NET Core CLI to determine the target location for the publish operation. The second <MakeDir> element, which uses the PublishUrl property, is used by Visual Studio to determine the target location. Visual Studio uses the PublishUrl property for compatibility with non-.NET Core projects.

The deployment directory requires Read/Execute permissions, while the logs directory requires Read/Write permissions. Additional directories where assets will be written require Read/Write permissions.