What Is a Kestrel Web Server?


Scott Campbell

What Is a Kestrel Web Server?

In the world of web development, understanding the various components that power a website is essential. One such component is a web server, which plays a crucial role in serving web pages and handling HTTP requests.

One popular option for building fast and efficient web applications is the Kestrel web server.

Introduction to Kestrel

Kestrel is an open-source, cross-platform web server developed by Microsoft. It is built on top of the .NET Core platform and is designed to be lightweight, fast, and scalable.

Kestrel can handle thousands of concurrent connections efficiently, making it an excellent choice for high-performance web applications.

Key Features of Kestrel

Kestrel offers several key features that make it a compelling option for hosting web applications:

  • Performance: Kestrel is optimized for delivering high-speed performance and can handle a large number of connections concurrently.
  • Cross-Platform: Kestrel is built using .NET Core, which means it can run on various operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Integration: It seamlessly integrates with other components in the ASP.NET Core ecosystem, such as middleware and hosting environments.
  • TLS Support: Kestrel supports Transport Layer Security (TLS), enabling secure communication between clients and servers by encrypting data.
  • Configuration Flexibility: Developers have fine-grained control over configuring Kestrel’s behavior through options like connection limits, timeouts, and more.

Using Kestrel in an ASP.NET Core Application

Kestrel is the default web server used in ASP.NET Core applications. When you create a new ASP.NET Core project, it automatically includes Kestrel as the web server.

You can further customize Kestrel’s behavior by modifying the appsettings.json or appsettings.Development.json configuration files.

To start developing with Kestrel, you need to have .NET Core SDK installed on your machine. Once installed, you can create a new ASP.NET Core project and run it using the following command:

    dotnet run

By default, Kestrel listens on port 5000. You can access your application by navigating to http://localhost:5000 in your web browser.


In summary, Kestrel is a powerful and lightweight web server that offers high-performance capabilities for hosting web applications. Its cross-platform support and integration with ASP.NET Core make it an excellent choice for developers looking to build fast and scalable applications.

By leveraging its features and configuration flexibility, you can optimize your application’s performance and deliver an exceptional user experience.

So why not give Kestrel a try for your next web application project? Experience its speed and reliability firsthand!

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