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How to Install Dotnet on a Mac (.NET, CSharp)

In this article, I will show you how to install and use dotnet (.NET) on a Mac. This will allow you to run and even write C# (CSharp) projects.

Why dotnet and not .NET?

Why am I writing "dotnet" and not ".NET?" As you will see below, the name of the binary / command-line tool is "dotnet."

Step 1. Install dotnet

Before installing dotnet, see if you have it installed already by opening up a terminal window and running this command:

To install dotnet on a Mac, do the following:

dotnet --version

If dotnet is already installed, skip to the next step, otherwise:

This will download the installer (*.pkg) file.

  • Once the download is finished, run the installer
  • When the installer is done, close the terminal window and open a new one
  • Try running the dotnet command again to verify that it was installed:
dotnet --version

Step 2. Create a project

To create a new dotnet project, open up a terminal window and do the following:

  • Create the project folder (if any subfolder doesn't exist it will be created):
mkdir -p ~/projects/charp/csharp-demo
cd ~/projects/charp/csharp-demo
  • Create a project using dotnet by running this command in the demo folder:
dotnet new console
  • Verify the project was created:
ls -ls
  • Verify you see a listing for these files and folders:
  • View the contents of the *.cs file by using cat:
cat Program.cs

You should see something like this:

// See for more information
Console.WriteLine("Hello, World!");

Step 3. Run the project

To run the project, do the following from the project folder:

dotnet run
  • Verify that you see output like this:
Hello, World!

Step 4. Update Visual Studio Code

If you don't have Visual Studio Code installed already, see the installation link:

Once Visual Studio code is installed, from the root of your project run this command (note the dot (.) at the end):

code .
  • Click on the source (*.cs) file

You should get prompted to install the C# extension:

  • Click Install

You may also get another prompt saying something like "Required assets to build and debug are missing ..."

  • Click Yes to install the required assets

Step 5. Install the .NET Extension Pack (optional)

You may want to also install the .NET Extension Pack (which already includes the C# extension and will skip or update it):

Step 6. Add a .gitignore file (optional)

To add a .gitignore file to your project, simply run this command:

dotnet new gitignore

To view it:

cat .gitignore

Example Project

An example of the project created in this article can be found here:


In this article, you learned how to:

  • Install dotnet on a Mac
  • Use dotnet to create a simple project
  • Use dotnet to run the project
  • Update Visual Studio Code to work with .NET and CSharp projects