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Helper classes to set up and run as windows services directly on .net core. A ServiceBase alternative.

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.NET Standard-based Windows Service support for .NET

This repo contains a library for running a .NET Core application as Windows service without the need for a wrapper assembly or the full (desktop) .NET Framework. It is built using P/Invoke calls into native Windows assemblies.

Usage scenarios include: * Running on Windows Nano Server (no full framework but can run Windows services) * Shipping a modern service application using the latest .NET Core version to systems where you cannot upgrade to new versions of .NET, but you want to use new framework features. * Build truly portable applications that can for example run as service on Windows and as daemon on Linux, just using runtime checks / switches

How to use the example application

Prerequisites: * .NET Core SDK 2.0.3 or higher (

based tooling) * Windows machine * Elevated command prompt: Run cmd as administrator. ```cmd

cd samples\TestService dotnet restore dotnet run --register-service --urls http://*:5080 ... Successfully registered and started service "Demo .NET Core Service" ("Demo ASP.NET Core Service running on .NET Core") ``

in a browser. You should see
Hello world`.

The "Services" administrative tool should show the service: running service running service

> dotnet run --unregister-service
Successfully unregistered service "Demo .NET Core Service" ("Demo ASP.NET Core Service running on .NET Core")

The service may show up as

for some time until all tools accessing the Windows services APIs have been closed. See this Stack Overflow question.


Add a NuGet package reference to


Write a Windows service using:

using DasMulli.Win32.ServiceUtils;

class Program { public static void Main(string[] args) { var myService = new MyService(); var serviceHost = new Win32ServiceHost(myService); serviceHost.Run(); } }

class MyService : IWin32Service { public string ServiceName => "Test Service";

public void Start(string[] startupArguments, ServiceStoppedCallback serviceStoppedCallback)
    // Start coolness and return

public void Stop()
    // shut it down again


You can then register your service via sc.exe (run cmd / powershell as administrator!):

sc.exe create MyService DisplayName= "My Service" binpath= "C:\Program Files\dotnet\dotnet.exe C:\path\to\MyService.dll --run-as-service"

Now go to Services or Task Manager and start your service.

will install your service as
user which has way to many access rights to run things like web apps. See its reference for more options.

If you want to get rid of it again, use:

sc.exe delete MyService

You can also create a service that registers itself like the example provided by taking a look at the sample source.

Also take a look at the ASP.NET Core MVC sample which has additional logic to set the correct working directory. When running it in development and not from the published output, be sure to pass

to it when registering so that it will run from the project directory (e.g. run
dotnet run --register-service --preserve-working-directory
from and administrative command prompt).

Pause & Continue support

To create a service that supports being paused and later continued or stopped, implement

which extends
methods you can use to implement your pause & continue logic.


  • No custom exceptions / error codes. Everything will throw a
    if something goes wrong (Its message should be interpretable on Windows).
  • All exceptions thrown by the service implementation will cause the service host to report exit code -1 / 0xffffffff to the service control manager.
  • Currently, no direct support for services supporting commands such as power event and system shutdown
    • However, consumers can now use
      to implement custom behavior. Copy
      as a starting point to implement extended services.

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