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How to run ASP.NET Core app on HTTPS in Docker

This prove of concept demonstrates following topics:

  1. Configuration of HTTPS in ASP.NET Core app: Program.cs and Startup.cs
  2. Using SSL certificate file in ASP.NET Core app: localhost-dev.pfx
  3. Generating localhost development certifcate file: generate-dev-cert.ps1
  4. Running ASP.NET Core on HTTPS inside Docker container: Dockerfile and docker-compose.override.yml
  5. Configuring HTTPS ports for Visula Studio and Docker container: launchSettings.json and docker-compose.override.yml

Step 1: Generate a local development certificate

Execute Cert\generate-dev-cert.ps1 file which will create a certificate: Cert\localhost-dev.pfx with and auto-generated random password (a GUID) and saves that password in UserSecrets (secrets.json) for this project

Step 2: Run docker-compose

In the root catalog (where the docker-compose.yml file is) run command

docker-compose up -d --build

this will build docker image and create a docker container.

Step 3: Open a web browser

Open https://localhost:44309/api/values to confirm the app is running correctly.


This PoC uses PowerShell script Cert\generate-dev-cert.ps1 which is using dotnet dev-certs tool to generate a certificate file Cert\localhost-dev.pfx with a random password (a GUID). This password and full path to the generated certificate file is then saved to User Secrets for the project.

Good starting point for HTTPS development is: Enforce HTTPS in ASP.NET Core

Main points

HTTPS is configured in Program.cs

.UseKestrel(options =>
        options.Listen(IPAddress.Any, httpsPort, listenOptions =>
            listenOptions.UseHttps(certPath, certPassword);

and Startup.cs

if (env.IsDevelopment())


HTTPS port and allowed urls are configured with environment variables defined in launchSettings.json (for running in Visual Studio) and docker-compose.override.yml (for running in Docker container)

"environmentVariables": {
    "ASPNETCORE_URLS": "https://*:443"
    - ASPNETCORE_URLS=https://+:443;http://+:80
    - CertPath=/app/cert/localhost-dev.pfx

Running in Visual Studio

When running in Visul Studio, HTTPS port and allowed urls are overriden by launchSettings.json. CertPath and CertPassword are stored in User Secrets for the project and used when running the application: configuration.GetValue<string>("CertPassword")

Running in Docker

When running in Docker, HTTPS port and allowed urls are overriden by docker-compose.override.yml

CertPassword is still stored in User Secrets for the project and is available inside Docker container by creating a volume linked to User Secrets folder on the host machine in docker-compose.override.yml

      - ${APPDATA}/Microsoft/UserSecrets:/root/.microsoft/usersecrets:ro

CertPath in User Secrets is overriden by environment variable defined in docker-compose.override.yml. This is the same path as defined in Dockerfile: /app/cert/localhost-dev.pfx

ARG CERT_PATH_DEST=/app/cert/localhost-dev.pfx
COPY Cert/localhost-dev.pfx $CertPath


ASP.NET Core app on HTTPS in Docker




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