.NET Core 2.1 RC1 was released this week. This is the first supported version of the .NET Core CLI which ships dotnet watch as a built-in command. In addition to changing how this tool ships, dotnet-watch 2.1 has a few improvements that make it the best version yet.

Download the .NET Core CLI 2.1 here.

dotnet watch from anywhere

In earlier versions of .NET Core, you had to add a <DotNetCliToolReference> into each .csproj file in order to use dotnet watch. And you could only invoke it from the project directory.

No more! You can remove your DotNetCliToolReference’s to Microsoft.DotNet.Watcher.Tools and still execute dotnet watch on any MSBuild project.

$ dotnet watch --project subFolder/ run

Supports custom obj/ folder locations

Until 2.1, you could not customize the location of your obj/ folder if you wanted to use dotnet watch. This was fixed in 2.1, so you can organize your MSBuild outputs however you want and still use this tool.


Perf improvements

This release contains a bunch of perf improvements which makes dotnet watch capable of relaunching your app faster than ever. For small projects, this shaves 2-3 seconds off the wait time for your app to restart. On large projects, it can save 30 seconds or more.

Read more about these performance improvements.

Support for running in Docker

dotnet watch should work better now for those building inside Docker containers.

To make this work well with your IDE, create a file in your project folder named Directory.Build.props, and put these contents inside:



  <PropertyGroup Condition="'$(DOTNET_RUNNING_IN_CONTAINER)' == 'true'">

  <PropertyGroup Condition="'$(DOTNET_RUNNING_IN_CONTAINER)' != 'true'">