NuGet Package Alternatives when Migrating to .NET Core

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NuGet Package Alternatives

Migrating from .NET Framework to .NET Core requires all of your NuGet Package dependencies to also be compliant with .NET Core. But what happens when you find a dependency that only targets .NET Framework? Here are a few NuGet package alternatives that I’ve run into during my own migration.

Migrating from .NET Framework to .NET Core

This post is in a blog series for migrating from .NET Framework to .NET Core. Here’ are some earlier post if you need to catch up:

Entity Framework

Probably the most common dependency most projects have is on Entity Framework. Luckily there are a few options in terms of support for .NET Core.

First, Entity Framework version 6.3 and higher target .NET Standard 2.1. Which means that you must migrate to .NET Core 3.0 or higher.

This is a bit of a problem if you want to migrate to .NET Core 2.1 as I’ve mentioned in my previous posts. This is more applicable if you’re migrating from ASP.NET on .NET Framework.

There is a second option which is to use Z.EntityFramework.Classic

Entity Framework Classic is an EF6 fork with performance enhancement, new features, and .NET Core support.

The community (free) version supports everything that’s in EF6 but targets .NET Standard 2.0. Which means you can run on .NET Core 2.1.

Machine Key

If you’re using System.Web.MachineKey and cannot for whatever reason move to the new ASP.NET Core Data Protection, you might want to look at AspNetCore.DataProtection.MachineKey

This package adds a new DataProtector that is configured using your existing Decryption & Validation Keys from your web.config. This allows you to Decrypt data that you might have already encrypted using MachineKey on .NET Framework. This package also supports .NET Standard 2.0


If you do any image processing on .NET Framework, you might be using the ImageProcessor library. Although not a direct replacement, the same author, James Jackson-South has created a new library ImageSharp that does work on .NET Core

These libraries are completely different. ImageSharp is not a drop in replacement for ImageProcessor but it’s by far the best image library that can run on .NET Core.


Another issue we ran into was PDF generation. For this I turned to IronPDF. This is a commercial product that requires a license. It does support .NET Standard 2.0 and works on Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

If you’re using PdfSharp, there is a  replacement package, PdfSharpCore.PdfSharp that targets .NET Standard.

NuGet Package Alternatives

Have you run into packages that don’t support .NET Core or .NET Standard?

If you have and/or have found any NuGet package alternatives, let me know in the comments or on Twitter. I’d like to keep this an evolving post with other recommendations.

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