Redistributing the .NET Framework

Applications and controls written for the .NET Framework require the .NET Framework to be installed on the computer where the application or control runs. Microsoft provides a redistributable installer that contains the common language runtime and .NET Framework components that are necessary to run .NET Framework applications.

Depending on the version of the .NET Framework you are using, the capabilities of the redistributable installer vary, as follows:

  • For the .NET Framework version 1.0, Microsoft provides a localized version of the redistributable installer for each of the eight languages that the .NET Framework supports.

  • For the .NET Framework versions 1.1 and 2.0, Microsoft provides 25 versions of the core redistributable installer. Each of these provides the Setup user interface in a different language. However, the localized resources for each supported language are stored separately, in 25 corresponding language packs; these must be installed separately.

  • For the .NET Framework version 3.5, see the .NET Framework 3.5 Deployment Guide for Application Developers for detailed information about the redistributable package.

The Microsoft Software License Terms for the .NET Framework give you specific rights to redistribute the .NET Framework. If you have previously installed the Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) or Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, or you have downloaded the .NET Framework from the Web, you have accepted the license terms for the .NET Framework. (See the license.htm file in the License folder of the Windows SDK installation directory, or the eula.txt file in the Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 installation directory.) The installation directory also includes a redist.txt file that lists the files that can be redistributed under that license.

You can manually launch and install the .NET Framework on a computer, install it across a network using an electronic software distribution tool, or launch and install it as part of the setup program for a .NET Framework application. If you have previously installed the Windows SDK or Visual Studio 2005, you do not need to install the .NET Framework. 

In This Section

Change History




September 2008

Corrected out-of-date information about the .NET Framework redistributable package.

Customer feedback.