Guidance for Snyk for .NET

Dependency analysis

In the .NET ecosystem, there are multiple levels of dependencies, some of which are obvious and some completely hidden to a developer. To correctly identify the vulnerabilities for a given .NET application, these dependencies must be resolved accurately.

Snyk resolves dependencies differently in the Snyk CLI and the Source Code Management (SCM) systems such as GitHub.

In the CLI, if you manage your Project dependencies using PackageReference, Snyk scans your obj/project.assets.json. if you manage your dependencies using packages.config, Snyk scans the packages directory. This approach contributes to accuracy of scan results.

Runtime dependencies (provided by the runtime environment also known as "meta-packages") are resolved more accurately in the CLI if the host machine uses a similar runtime SDK to the server running the app.

In an SCM integration, scanning uses a different process, as the generated files mentioned above are not available. To overcome this, Snyk follows the NuGet dependency resolution algorithm to construct a dependency tree.

For further information on .NET automated fixes, see the Snyk blog.

Build-time versus runtime dependencies

  • Build-time dependency: Snyk understands build-time dependency to be resolved during build time and not susceptible to change at runtime.

  • Runtime dependency: Snyk understands runtime dependency to be resolved against the installed runtime, for example, packages coming from the .NET framework (<=4) / .NET runtime (for Core and .NET 5+) such as System.Net.Http . Snyk sometimes refers to runtime dependencies as meta-packages.

You can choose one of the following actions to address vulnerabilities from runtime dependencies. These vary between the SCM and the CLI.

Vulnerabilities from runtime dependencies in SCM

If you believe you have found false positives because the application runs on a system that always has the latest patches from Microsoft installed, which may mean the vulnerability is no longer relevant to your Project, you may choose to ignore it.

Vulnerabilities from runtime dependencies in CLI

If you believe you have found false positives because when the application runs in production, you always pull the latest/explicit patches from Microsoft, which may mean the vulnerability is no longer relevant to your Project, you may ignore them and do the following:

  • If, in production your application always runs on the latest SDK patch version, you can set TargetLatestRuntimePatch to true in the Project file. Make sure to upgrade your environments (for example, dev, prod) to the latest runtime version.

  • You may choose to publish a self-contained app that includes the runtime. Then set RuntimeFrameworkVersionto the specific patch version in the Project file. You may choose to ignore vulnerabilities that you believe are no longer relevant.


Use this guide to apply Snyk effectively in your technology stack.


Snyk Code can analyze your C# code using IDE, CLI, and Git integration.

For framework support, see Snyk Code - Supported languages and frameworks.


  • Target Frameworks: Snyk identifies the target frameworks and presents results against each identified version using the git integration.

  • Development dependencies: Snyk generally does not scan developer dependencies, as they are not usually pushed to production and are seen as "noise." Enable visibility in Nuget git import using the Settings > Languages > .Net settings (see Git settings for .NET). Snyk scans and fixes the build and development Dependency sections of your , packages.config and project.json files

  • Lock files: Currently, packages-lock.json is not supported. Snyk interacts with the build system to determine the installed dependencies.

  • PackageReference: Snyk currently requires a version attribute. If your Project lacks this, Snyk may fail to open a PR for your Project.

  • Git analysis

    How dependency trees are created:

    • For .NET Core, using the *.proj files

    • For .NET Framework, using the *.proj file, and packages.config

    Git integrations support the following:

    • *.csproj

    • *.fsproj

    • *.vbproj

    • packages.config

    Fix Pull Requests

    • If you currently manage your Project dependencies with NuGet and leverage PackageReference or packages.config Snyk can automatically update the dependency version in your manifest file, provided there is an actual fix for it. You can then review and merge your fixes.

  • CLI Analysis

    The CLI supports the following config files:


Snyk can scan project.assets.json to determine dependencies, but the file must be generated. Similarly, if you point to the solution file (.sln), you must generate the file first.

Run "dotnet restore" to generate the necessary project.assets.json before running the "snyk test" command.

The solution file contains pointers to the files necessary to perform the analysis. Note that the projects themselves must have project.assets.json files to be scanned. If you want Snyk to use the solution file as an entry point for scanning, you can point the Snyk CLI to the solution file by using --file=<filename>.sln.

Where multiple target frameworks are used in the same Project, the CLI scan returns results for the first target framework declared in the Project.

Run "nuget install -OutputDirectory packages" before running the snyk test command.

Runtime dependencies (provided by the runtime environment known as "meta-packages") are resolved more accurately in the CLI if the host machine uses a similar runtime SDK to the server running the app.


Snyk can analyze dependencies managed by Paket through the CLI. Keep in mind that the paket.dependencies and paket.lock must be present.

For more information on Paket support, see Snyk for .NET.


Snyk provides custom test APIs for your unique dependency management strategies.

🔗 List issues for a package

Build-time versus runtime dependencies

See .NET for more information

Snyk CLI tips and tricks

CLI cheat sheet

What to test

Use the --help option in the CLI for details of Snyk CLI commands.

CLI commands and options summary

Open Source libraries

For open source analysis in the CLI, first, install the dependencies. After installing the dependencies, use one of the following options to run snyk test:

  • --file=: Choose this option to target the solution file (.sln) or a specific file.

  • --all-projects: Choose this option to analyze your open source projects, especially if multiple languages, package managers, and .sln files are involved.


Use the snyk code test command from the root of the Project to perform source code analysis.


Supported Operating System Distributions

Snyk CLI for container security

Infrastructure as Code

Infrastructure as Code security

Helpful options and plugins

  • To help generate reports locally or at build time, see snyk-to-html.

  • See the --json and --sarif options for generating output that can be programmatically accessed.

  • For advanced filtering options, see snyk-filter.

Additional security topics for .Net developers

The following is a collection of articles from the Snyk Security team and Developer Relations related to this ecosystem.

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