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In this article we will learn about what exact Difference between .NET Core vs ASP.NET Core.

Question:  Are they mutually exclusive? ASP.NET Core is built on .NET Core, but it can also be built on the full .NET framework.


.NET Core is a runtime. It can execute applications that are built for it.

ASP.Net Core is a collection of libraries that form a Framework for building web applications. ASP.Net Core libraries can be used on both .NET Core and the "Full .NET Framework".

The confusing part is that an application using the libraries and tools of ASP.NET Core is usually referred to as "ASP.NET Core Application", which in theory doesn't say if it is built for .NET Core or .NET Framework. So an "ASP.NET Core Application" is also a ".NET Core Application" or a ".NET Framework Application".

Here you can see that ASP.NET Core is built "on top of" both .NET Framework and .NET Core, while "ASP.NET" (now often referred to as "classic ASP.NET") is .NET Framework only.

ASP.NET Core using .NET Core - all dependencies are self-contained, can use most NuGet packages, can't use Windows-specific packages, can execute on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

ASP.NET Core using .NET Framework - most dependencies are self-contained, only executes on Windows, will have access to Windows-specific NuGet packages, needs the .NET framework version which is targeted installed on the machine.

ASP.NET Core is one of the workloads supported by .NET Core.

By itself, .NET Core includes a single application model -- console apps -- which is useful for tools, local services and text-based games. Additional application models have been built on top of .NET Core to extend its functionality, such as:

  • ASP.NET Core
  • Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform (UWP)
  • Xamarin.Forms


Here we discussed the Difference between .NET Core vs ASP.NET Core.

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