Deploy a dotnet core site on nginx and systemd

This article is about how to deploy an ASP.Net core 3.1 site on nginx and systemd.


  • Prepare a server with nginx and systemd.
  • Install dotnet core support on server. Please check Microsoft site for details.
  • Build the binary files of the site to be deployed.

Step 1: Upload files

Make a folder in the server to be used to store site files. This folder will be marked as <SITEPATH> in all files below.

Upload your site files into this folder.

Give the permission to this folder.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data <SITEPATH>
sudo chmod -R 755 <SITEPATH>

Step 2: Create systemd service

Create a service file. I suggest to put this file in the same folder of the site, aka <SITEPATH>. Let’s name it as myapp. You could change the name.
nano <SITEPATH>/myapp.service and enter this text below:


ExecStart=/usr/bin/dotnet <SITEPATH>/<ENTRY_FILE>.dll


You should specify the description, port number, site path, entry file (main file), and the name to be used in syslog. Port number need to be different than all used by other services.

Link the file to systemd folder by ln -s <SITEPATH>/myapp.service /etc/systemd/system, reload systemd by systemctl daemon-reload, then start the service by systemctl start myapp.service. If everything goes will, you can see the port is listed in lsof -i -P -n | grep LISTEN. At last, set this service to start with system by systemctl enable myapp.service.

Step 3: Create nginx site.

Create the site file in sites-available folder by nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/<YOUR_SITE_NAME>, and enter this text below:

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    server_name <SERVER_DOMAIN>;
    location / {
        proxy_pass http://localhost:<PORT_NUMBER>;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection keep-alive;
        proxy_set_header Host $host;
        proxy_cache_bypass $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;

You should specify the server domain name and the port number which is chosen for this app.

Link the file to enabled sites by ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/<YOUR_SITE_NAME> /etc/nginx/sites-enabled. Test config by nginx -t. If there is nothing wrong, apply the setting by systemctl reload nginx.

Further: Certbot

If you want to use certbot to apply a free ssl certificate to this site, the nginx plugin shipped with certbot can handle that without any problem. Use certbot with the nginx parameter to finish this job: certbot --nginx.