What Is Kestrel Web Server?


Larry Thompson

Kestrel Web Server is a lightweight, cross-platform web server that is built using .NET Core. It’s designed to be fast, efficient, and scalable, making it an ideal choice for hosting web applications and APIs. In this article, we will explore the features of Kestrel and understand why it has gained popularity among developers.

Kestrel Web Server is the default web server for ASP.NET Core applications. It was developed by Microsoft to replace the previous web servers used in .NET Framework. The primary goal behind creating Kestrel was to provide a high-performance server that could handle a large number of concurrent connections efficiently.

Features of Kestrel Web Server

1. Cross-Platform
One of the key advantages of Kestrel is its cross-platform support.

It can run on various operating systems such as Windows, macOS, and Linux. This flexibility allows developers to deploy their applications on different platforms without any compatibility issues.

2. Performance
Kestrel is known for its exceptional performance.

It achieves this by utilizing asynchronous programming techniques and taking advantage of modern hardware capabilities. With its efficient handling of requests and responses, Kestrel can serve a large number of concurrent clients with minimal resource consumption.

3. Integration with ASP.NET Core
Kestrel seamlessly integrates with ASP.NET Core framework, which provides a rich set of features for building web applications and APIs. This integration allows developers to leverage the benefits of both Kestrel’s performance and ASP.NET Core’s robustness.

4. Configuration Options
Kestrel provides various configuration options that allow developers to customize its behavior according to their requirements. These options include settings for timeouts, maximum request sizes, SSL certificates, logging, and more.

How to Use Kestrel Web Server?

To use Kestrel in your ASP.NET Core application, you need to follow these steps:

1. Add Kestrel NuGet Package
In your project file, add a reference to the Microsoft.AspNetCore.Server.Kestrel NuGet package. This package contains the necessary libraries for using Kestrel in your application.

2. Configure Kestrel
In your application’s startup code (typically in the ConfigureServices or Configure methods of Startup.cs), configure Kestrel by specifying its options. You can set properties like port number, SSL certificate, and other server-related settings.

3. Start Kestrel Server
Finally, start the Kestrel server by calling the Run method on your web host builder object. This will initiate the server and start listening for incoming requests.

Here’s an example of configuring and starting a basic Kestrel server:

public class Startup
public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app)

app.UseEndpoints(endpoints =>
endpoints.MapGet(“/”, async context =>
await context.Response.WriteAsync(“Hello, World!”);

public static void Main(string[] args)
var host = new WebHostBuilder()



Kestrel Web Server is a powerful and versatile web server that provides developers with an efficient solution for hosting their ASP. Its cross-platform support, exceptional performance, integration with ASP.NET Core, and configuration options make it a preferred choice for building scalable web applications and APIs.

Whether you are developing a small website or a large-scale enterprise application, considering Kestrel as your web server can bring significant benefits in terms of performance and reliability. So give it a try and experience the power of Kestrel in your web development projects.

Now that you have a good understanding of what Kestrel Web Server is and its features, you can explore its documentation and start using it in your ASP. Happy coding!

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