Anil Selim Surmeli


Deploy your React & .NET Core Apps on Linux using Nginx and Supervisor

After a long day trying to deploy my .NET Core microservice to IIS7(?), I finally persuaded my client to port our app to a linux server.

In this post, I am going to create a simple React app that uses a .NET Core backend service, indeed, my goal is writing about tricky process of deployment. Here are the steps:

  • Creating a sample React app & Getting the prod ready files
  • Creating a sample .NET Core app
  • Connect and send them to a Linux machine
  • Installing Nginx & configuration — Deployment for client
  • Supervisor installing & configuration — Deployment for server

Creating a sample React application

For creating a boilerplate code, I am going to use create-react-app, which is an official cli for react applications. I had zero problem with it.

Here you can find further information

  1. Install it:
$ npm install -g create-react-app

2. Create your project:

$ create-react-app sample-react-app

3. Check that everything is ok. Application will be running at port 3000.

$ cd sample-react-app
$ npm start

4. Let’s prepare the build files for the deployment

$ npm run build

Now you have a build folder in your project folder that contains asset-manifest.json favicon.ico index.html and static. Cool, we have a sample front end base now. We will send this file to the remote server.

Creating a sample .NET Core application

I can use Visual Studio 2015 to create our backend base, but I prefer using Yeoman for those who have Mac or Linux.

  1. Install Yeoman:
$ npm install -g yo

2. Install ASP.NET Generator:

$ npm install -g generator-aspnet

3. Create your .NET Core Microservice:

 * Web Application Basic [without Membership and Authorization]
 * Bootstrap
Name it:
 * SampleMicroservice

$ yo aspnet

Go inside the created folder and change the Index method of HomeController:

public IActionResult Index()
return Json(new {
Hello = "From the api"

4. Go inside Program.cs and add .UseUrls("") after .UseKestrel()

Run the service and try hitting http://localhost:5000 and be sure that the json appears on screen:

Connect and send them to a Linux machine

For a cheap Linux VPS, I prefer DigitalOcean. For your personal projects, you can use Raspberry PI + a static IP as your own server.

To send what we created so far, you can use a version controlling system like Github and SVN or use SFTP protocol.

Reminder for SFTP:

sftp username@remote_hostname_or_IP
# Basic Commands:
pwd -> remote working dir
ls -> remote ls
lpwd -> your working dir
lls -> ls for your machine
get remoteFile localFile -> Get the file to the local machine
put localFile -> Send the file to the remote server
# simply put l as a prefix to the commands for running them in local machine

Installing Nginx & configuration — Deployment for client

So, we are in our Linux server, connected via ssh and our build folder extracted by npm run build is in our workspace.

SSH Reminder:

$ ssh user_name@IP
Then enter your pass

Install Nginx:

$ sudo apt-get install nginx

Edit the configuration file by vim or nano:

vim -or nano- /etc/nginx/sites-available/default

In this file default configuration appears:

server {
listen 80 default_server;
listen [::]:80 default_server;
        # Some comments...
        root /var/www/html;  # STATIC FILE LOCATION
        # Some comments...
index index.html index.htm index.nginx-debian.html;
        server_name _;
        location / {
# Some comments...
try_files $uri /index.html; # ADD THIS
        # Some comments...

At first, you should move all the files in your build folder to the static file location, which is /var/www/html as default.

$ cp -a /your/build/folder/location/build/* /var/www/html/

Before you copy the files, you should add try_files $uri /index.html; inside location / in the nginx configuration as you don’t want to give 404 not found error to the user trying to directly go to the different url in your single page app. You simply say here that “Any routes should match with the index.html , Let’s give the responsibility to the React Router.”

After restarting nginx, your homepage should run on the http://your_ip:

$ sudo service nginx restart

Supervisor installing & configuration — Deployment for server

We are again in our Linux server and our dotnet core project folder is in our workspace.

I prefer explaining this step by step:

1. Create a user to run your future daemon -service-. And login with that user:

$ adduser sampleMicroService
$ usermod -aG sudo sampleMicroService
$ su sampleMicroService

2. Install dotnet by these steps.

3. Prepare your dll files:

Go into your project folder and extract the deployment files:

$ dotnet restore
$ dotnet run (optional to check that your app runs successfully)
$ dotnet publish

publish folder should be in /bin/Debug/netcoreapp1.x/

4. Move the all the files inpublish folder to somewhere in /var

$ mv /your/publish/folder/location/publish/* /var/SampleMicroservice/

Note: The reason we are compiling and publishing our dll’s in our deployment server instead of our local machine is that we want /home/sampleMicroService/.nuget/packages folder to set it as an environment variable in supervisor configuration. Actually this is a bug in dotnet cli, if we don’t set an environment variable ArgumentNullException is thrown with path1 can't be null message. Here is the bug details.

5. Install supervisor to create your daemon:

$ sudo apt-get install supervisor

6. Create supervisor configuration file by:

$ sudo vim -or nano-  /etc/supervisor/conf.d/sampleMicroService.conf

And put this inside:

command=/usr/bin/dotnet /var/sampleMicroService/SampleMicroService.dll

Be sure that you set NUGET_PACKAGES environment variable here.

Stop supervisor, enable systemctl and start supervisor:

$ sudo service supervisor stop
$ sudo systemctl enable supervisor
$ sudo service supervisor start

From now on you can start/stop your service by:

$ sudo supervisorctl start/stop/status sampleMicroService

Check the error or out logs:

$ tail -f /var/log/sampleMicroService/sampleMicroService.err.log
$ tail -f /var/log/sampleMicroService/sampleMicroService.out.log

That’s it, your micro service is running on http://YOUR_IP:5000

Ps. You can easily add your domain name by clicking “Add domain” to droplet menu if you use digitalocean like me.


Sometimes I tweet useful piece of information: @_skynyrd

Btw, my references:

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