.NET Core is an open-source, general-purpose development platform maintained by Microsoft and the .NET community on GitHub. It’s cross-platform (supporting Windows, macOS, and Linux) and can be used to build device, cloud, and IoT applications.
.NET Core has the following characteristics:
- Cross-platform: Runs on Windows, macOS and Linux operating systems.
- Consistent across architectures: Runs your code with the same behavior on multiple architectures, including x64, x86, and ARM.
- Command-line tools: Includes easy-to-use command-line tools that can be used for local development and in continuous-integration scenarios.
- Flexible deployment: Can be included in your app or installed side-by-side user- or machine-wide. Can be used with Docker containers.
- Compatible: .NET Core is compatible with .NET Framework, Xamarin and Mono, via .NET Standard.
- Open source: The .NET Core platform is open source, using MIT and Apache 2 licenses. .NET Core is a .NET Foundation project.
- Supported by Microsoft: .NET Core is supported by Microsoft, per .NET Core Support.
.NET 5.0 Preview 6 releases.