.NET 8 LTS Released With Integratable Large Language Models; Fastest .NET To Date

NET 8 ReleasedNET 8 Released

For the .NET developers, the moment you have been waiting for is finally here. Microsoft has released .NET 8, which is the Long Term Service (LTS) version, in line to replace .NET 6. .NET is planned to have 3 years of active support from its release date , which is 14th November 2023.

This release also introduces F# 8, C# 12, and .NET MAU in .NET 8. This post provides the direct download links for the .NET 8 SDKs, Runtimes, and ASP.NET Core libraries and also discusses the major features.NET 8, so that you can make an informed decision on whether and when to upgrade your production environments.

What’s new in .NET 8

Integrate Large Language Models (LLMs)

Developers will now be able to integrate LLMs into their applications, like GPT4 and Bard. This will allow the developers to bring the touch of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to their applications and significantly enhance their performance, as well as user experience.

New code generator

Microsoft has included a new code generator called Dynamic Profile-Guided Optimization (PGO), which drastically improves the speed of .NET 8. It optimizes your code based on real-world usage which is enabled by default and can improve the performance of your apps by up to 20%.

Additionally, the AVX-512 instruction set, which is now supported, enables you to perform parallel operations on 512-bit vectors of data, meaning you can process much more data in less time.

.NET Aspire

.NET Aspire is a stack for building resilient, observable, and configurable cloud-native applications with .NET. It includes a set of components enhanced for cloud-native applications by including telemetry, resilience, configuration, and health checks by default.

Combined with a sophisticated but simple local developer experience, .NET Aspire makes it easy to discover, acquire, and configure essential dependencies for cloud-native applications on day 1 as well as day 100.

Note that this feature is still in its preview state, so expect room for further improvements.

Container enhancements

The containers have now been made more secure than ever in .NET 8. Every .NET image includes a non-root user, enabling more secure containers with one-line configuration.

You can also choose to harden the security further with the new Chiseled Ubuntu image variants to reduce your attack surface even further. Using Dockerfiles or SDK tooling, build apps and container images for any architecture.

Native Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compiler

Instead of using Just-in-Time compilers, .NET now uses an AOT compiler, which enhances .NET’s performance. You no longer need to deploy the JIT compiler and IL code. AOT apps deploy just the code that’s needed for your app. The application is now empowered to run in restricted environments where a JIT compiler isn’t allowed.

Other features and improvements

The list of new features and improvements in .NET 8 does not end here. Here are the rest of the updates to .NET 8. To learn more about them, simply click on it:

To learn more, read this .NET 8 announcement.

Download .NET 8

Use the direct download links below to download the .NET 8 Runtime, SDKs, and ASP.NET Core matching your operating system and architecture. Simply click on the respective link in the “Download” column to begin the download.

Runtime

VersionPlatformDownload
.NET 8 Desktop RuntimeWindowsx64
x86
ARM64
.NET 8 RuntimeWindowsx64
x86
ARM64
.NET 8 RuntimemacOSx64
ARM64
.NET 8 Runtime BinariesLinuxx64
ARM32
ARM64
.NET 8 Runtime BinariesLinux Alpinex64
ARM32
ARM64
Download .NET 8 Runtimes

SDK

VersionPlatformDownload
.NET 8.0.100 SDKWindowsx64
x86
ARM64
.NET 8.0.100 SDKmacOSx64
ARM64
.NET 8.0.100 SDK BinariesLinuxx64
ARM32
ARM64
.NET 8.0.100 SDK BinariesLinux Alpinex64
ARM32
ARM64
Download .NET 8 SDKs

ASP.NET Core

VersionPlatformDownload
.NET 8 ASP.NET Core RuntimeWindowsHosting bundle
x64
x86
ARM64 (Binaries)
.NET 8ASP.NET Core Runtime BinariesmacOSx64
ARM64
.NET 8 ASP.NET Core Runtime BinariesLinuxx64
ARM32
ARM64
.NET 8 ASP.NET Core Runtime BinariesLinux Alpinex64
ARM32
ARM64
Download .NET 8 ASP.NET Cores

Click on this link for more .NET 8 download options.

Install .NET 8

You can begin by downloading the right .NET version for your device using the links above and then running it to begin the installation process. Here is how:

Once you have installed the newer .NET preview version, all your applications will run using the new build as the previous preview version will be replaced. However, if a stable version is installed and running, it will not be replaced.

  1. Execute the downloaded installation package and click Install.

    Install NET 8
    Install .NET 8
  2. Close the wizard once the installation is complete.

    Close NET installer
    Close .NET installer

You have now installed the .NET. You may check which .NET version is running by running the following command in Command Prompt:

wmic product get description | findstr /C:.NET
Check installed NET version
Check installed .NET version

How to uninstall .NET

If you wish to remove a .NET version from your computer, you can simply uninstall it like any other regular application. Here are the steps to following:

  1. Press the Windows Key + R shortcut keys to open the Run Command box.

  2. Type in “appwiz.cpl” and press Enter to open the Programs and Features applet.

    Open Programs & Features applet
    Open Programs & Features applet
  3. Right-click the .NET component that you want to remove, then click Uninstall from the context menu.

    Uninstall NET 8 from Programs and Features applet
    Uninstall .NET 8 from Programs and Features applet

    The uninstallation wizard will now launch.

  4. Click “Uninstall” again.

    Confirm NET 8 removal
    Confirm .NET 8 removal
  5. When removed, click Close.

    Close the NET 8 uninstallation wizard
    Close the .NET 8 uninstallation wizard

Closing words

As mentioned earlier in this post, .NET 8 will be replacing .NET 6, since both are released from the LTS channel. However, .NET 6 will be supported for another year till 12th November 2024, as can be seen on our .NET End of Life information page. During this duration, the developers can slowly upgrade to .NET and gain benefit from the latest features and improvements.

Over time, Microsoft has been developing .NET 8 and releasing new features with each iteration. From Preview 1 of .NET 8 to Release Candidate 2, you can learn what new has been included from the release history below.

.NET 8 Release History

Complete VersionRelease DateSignificant ImprovementsAnnouncement
.NET 8.0.213-Feb-23– Addresses 2 security vulnerabilities
– Updates repositories
Microsoft announces .NET 8.0.2
.NET 8.0.19-Jan-23– Includes security improvements
– Updates repositories
– Updates to .NET Docker images
Microsoft announces .NET 8.0.1
.NET 814-Nov-23– Includes security improvements
– Fastest .NET version to date
– AI integration in .NET apps
– AOT replaces JIT
Microsoft announces .NET 8
.NET 8 RC 210-Oct-23– Package READMEs for .NET libraries
– Publish directly to TAR.GZ archives
– Tensor Primitives for .NET
Microsoft announces .NET 8 RC 2
.NET 8 RC 112-Sep-23– Improvements to System.Text.JsonMicrosoft announces .NET 8 RC 1
.NET 8 Preview 78-Aug-23– Improvements to System.Text.Json
– Keyed services support amongst many other changes
Microsoft announces .NET 8 Preview 7
.NET 8 Preview 611-Jul-23– Improvements to System.Text.Json
– New overloads
– Addition of options validation source generator
Microsoft announces .NET 8 Preview 6
.NET 8 Preview 513-Jun-23– Improved Metrics APIs
– Included .NET MAUI
– Improved IDE experience with source link integration
– Addition of .NET libraries analyzers
Microsoft announces .NET 8 Preview 5
.NET 8 Preview 416-May-23– Nuget security improvements to Template Engines
– New terminal build output
– Updates to simplified output paths
Microsoft announces .NET 8 Preview 4
.NET 8 Preview 311-Apr-23– Updates to SDK and Runtime libraries
– Optimizations to JIT compilers
– Improvements to containers
Microsoft announces .NET 8 Preview 3
.NET 8 Preview 214-Mar-23– Updates to libraries
– Introspection support for function pointers
Microsoft announces .NET 8 Preview 2
.NET 8 Preview 121-Feb-23– Native AOT
– Improvements to container images and Runtime Libraries
Microsoft announces .NET 8 Preview 1
.NET 8 version history
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Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).

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