How to create an Azure Container Instance (ACI) with .Net Core

For a project I just started, I need to create Azure resources from code. In fact, I want to create an Azure Container Instance. I already know how to create a container from Logic Apps and Azure CLI/PowerShell, but I was looking to create it inside an Azure Function. After a quick research online, I found the Azure Management Libraries for .NET (aka Fluent API) a project available on Github that do just that (and so much more)!
In this post, I will share with you how this library work and the result of my test.

The Goal

For this demo, I will create a .Net Core console application that creates an Azure Containter Instance (ACI). After it should be easy to take this code and migrate to an Azure Function or anywhere else.


The Console Application

Let's create a simple console application with the following command: dotnet new console -o AzFluentDemo cd AzFluentDemo dotnet add package The last command will use the nuget package available online an add it to our solution. Now we need a service principal so our application could access the Azure subscription. A since way to create one is the use Azure CLI az ad sp create-for-rbac --sdk-auth > my.azureauth This will create an Active Directory (AD) Service Principal (SP) and write the content into the file my.azureauth. Perfect, now open the solution, for this kind of project, I like to use Visual Studio Code so code . will do the work for me. Replace the content of the Program.cs file by the following code.

using System;
using Microsoft.Azure.Management.Fluent;
using Microsoft.Azure.Management.ResourceManager.Fluent;
using Microsoft.Azure.Management.ResourceManager.Fluent.Core;
namespace AzFluentDemo
    class Program
        static void Main(string[] args)
            string authFilePath = "/home/frank/Dev/AzFluentDemo/my.azureauth";
            string resourceGroupName  = "cloud5mins";
            string containerGroupName = "frank-containers";
            string containerImage  = "microsoft/aci-helloworld";
            // Set Context
            IAzure azure = Azure.Authenticate(authFilePath).WithDefaultSubscription();
            ISubscription sub;
            sub = azure.GetCurrentSubscription();
            Console.WriteLine($"Authenticated with subscription '{sub.DisplayName}' (ID: {sub.SubscriptionId})");
            // Create ResoureGroup
            // Create Container instance
            IResourceGroup resGroup = azure.ResourceGroups.GetByName(resourceGroupName);
            Region azureRegion = resGroup.Region;
            // Create the container group
            var containerGroup = azure.ContainerGroups.Define(containerGroupName)
                .DefineContainerInstance(containerGroupName + "-1")
            Console.WriteLine($"Soon Available at http://{containerGroup.Fqdn}");

In the first row, I declare a few constants. The path of the service principal created earlier, resource group name, the container group name, and the image I will use. For this demo aci-helloworld. Then we get access with the Azure.Authenticate. Once we got access, it's y easy and the intellisense is fantastic! I don't think I need to explain the rest of the code as it already self-explanatory.

Got an Error?

While running you main in contour an error message complaining about the namespace not being registered or something like that ( I'm sorry I did not note the error message). You only need to register it with the command:

az provider register --namespace Microsoft.ContainerInstance

It will take a few minutes. To see if it's done you can execute this command:

az provider show -n Microsoft.ContainerInstance --query "registrationState" 

Wrap it up

And voila! If you do a dotnet run after a minute or two, you will have a new web application running inside a container available from It's now very easy to take that code and bring it to an Azure Function or in any .Net Core Application that runs anywhere (Linux, Windows, Mac Os, web, containers, etc.)!

In a video, please!

I also have a video of this post if you prefer.