Using Docker Multi Stage Builds to build an ASP.NET Core Echo Server

by Carlos Mendible on 04 Apr 2018 » dotnetcore

Today I’ll show you how to create a simple Echo Server with ASP.NET Core and then a Docker Image using multi-stage build:

1. Create the Application

Open a PowerShell promt and run:

mkdir echoserver
cd echoserver
dotnet new console
dotnet add package Microsoft.AspNetCore -v 2.0.2

2. Replace the contents of Program.cs

Replace the contents of the Program.cs file with the following code:

namespace EchoServer
    using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Hosting;
    using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Builder;
    using Microsoft.AspNetCore;

    class Program
        static int Main(string[] args)
                .Configure(app =>
                        app.Run(httpContext =>
                            var request = httpContext.Request;
                            var response = httpContext.Response;

                            // Echo the Headers
                            foreach (var header in request.Headers)

                            // Echo the body
                            return request.Body.CopyToAsync(response.Body);

            return 0;

3. Build and Test

Run the folowing commands to build the application:

dotnet build
dotnet run

The Echo Server will be running on: http://localhost:5000 and to test it just send any request and the server should return it back to you.

Let’s try sending a GET request with a custom header:

curl -H "Custom-Header: echo" http://localhost:5000/ -i

the response should read:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2018 10:10:55 GMT
Server: Kestrel
Content-Length: 0
Accept: */*
Host: localhost:5000
User-Agent: curl/7.35.0
Custom-Header: echo

4. Create a Dockerfile

In order to run the Echo Server in a container create a Dockerfile with the following contents:

# This stage builds the application
FROM microsoft/dotnet:2.0.6-sdk-2.1.101-jessie AS builder
COPY . src
RUN dotnet restore
RUN dotnet publish -c release

# This stages uses the output from the build
FROM microsoft/dotnet:2.0.6-runtime-jessie
COPY --from=builder src/bin/release/netcoreapp2.0/publish app
ENTRYPOINT ["dotnet", "echoserver.dll"]

Note: The previous Dockerfile defines a multi-stage build:

  • The first stage copies the source code to the image and builds the application.
  • The second stage uses the output of the first stage (builder) to create the final and optimized image (i.e. No need to remove the sdk or the source code).
  • Docker 17.05 or higher is needed in order to build and image based on a multi-stage Dockerfile.

5. Build and test the image

Run the folowing commands to build and run the docker image:

docker build -t echoserver .
docker run -p 5000:80 echoserver

To test the image just repeat the tests from step 3.

Hope it helps!

Feel free to get the code here.