Command ‘dotnet ef’ not located



I’m consulting the documentation to generate the first migration. The successful display of the help section upon executing


confirms that my PATH is functioning correctly.

Next, I attempt to run the command provided in the documentation within the console window.

Create an initial migration with the name “migrations add InitialCreate”.

I get the following error:

execute because the specified command or file
couldn’t be found due to several potential reasons, which may include:

  • There is a spelling mistake in a pre-existing <a class=”text-blue-600″ href=”” title='”dotnet” command does nothing’>dotnet command</a>.

  • Your plan to run a .NET <a class=”text-blue-600″ href=”” title=”Multi core programming”>Core program</a> is impractical since <a class=”text-blue-600″ href=”” title='”dotnet-ef does not exist” in .net core heroku application’>dotnet-ef</a> is absent.

  • The <a class=”text-blue-600″ href=”” title=”Error NU1202: Cannot install global .net tool”>global tool</a> you planned to execute was not found on the PATH as a <a class=”text-blue-600″ href=”” title=”Application works locally but not on azure”>dotnet-prefixed</a> executable.

  • As I duplicated the command, I omitted the initial item.

  • I omitted the second entry as the installation of the package named Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.SqlServer has been completed.

  • As I get redirected to the help section while invoking “dotnet”, I opted not to include the third item.

As the version is new, I am searching for the problem online. However, finding relevant information is difficult as there are either limited resources available or the issue is being overshadowed by similar problems that occurred in the earlier versions.

In an attempt to ensure it was included, I attempted to install Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore forcefully. However, my attempt resulted in an error message stating that downgrading from the latest version, which is 2.2.6, is not possible. I am unsure how to install a version that is compatible with the SQL-package already present on my system, and I am even less certain if this is the correct approach to resolve the issue at hand.

To select a different version of Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore, reference the package directly from the project. For Web, the current version is 3.0.0-preview6.19304.10 and it requires Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.SqlServer and Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.Relational to be at the same version. For versions older than 3.0.0-preview6.19304.10, Web only requires Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore to be version 2.2.6 or higher.

Solution 1:

The announcement regarding ASP.NET Core 3 Preview 4 states that an explicit install is now necessary as the tool is no longer built-in.

The dotnet ef tool is no longer part of the .NET Core SDK

By making this modification, we can now distribute

dotnet ef

as a standard .NET CLI utility that can be installed either globally or locally. To handle operations such as managing migrations or creating a


framework, you can install

dotnet ef

as a global tool by executing the following command.

dotnet tool install --global dotnet-ef

To utilize a particular edition of the tool (check out all the accessible versions on, execute the subsequent directive.

dotnet tool install --global dotnet-ef --version 3.1.4

The documentation provides an explanation for the alteration.


By making this modification, we can now distribute and upgrade

dotnet ef

through NuGet as a typical .NET CLI tool. This aligns with the distribution method of
EF Core
3.0, which is also consistently provided as a NuGet package.

Additionally, it may be necessary to incorporate the subsequent NuGet packages into your project.

  • The SqlServer module of Entity Framework Core by Microsoft.
  • The design component of Microsoft’s Entity Framework Core, known as Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.Design.
  • The tools for Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.

Solution 2:

In case you utilize a Dockerfile for deployments, you must undertake the following measures to address this concern.

Modify your Dockerfile to encompass the subsequent:

FROM AS build-env
ENV PATH $PATH:/root/.dotnet/tools
RUN dotnet tool install -g dotnet-ef --version 3.1.1

Modify your commands labeled as

dotnet ef




Solution 3:

Installation of global tools can be done either in
default directory
or in a designated area. By default, the following directories are available:

  • For Linux and macOS, the designated path for $HOME/.dotnet/tools is recommended.

  • The path to access Windows is through %USERPROFILE%.dotnet ools.

Ensure that the path to the global tool’s installation directory is included in
PATH environment variable
on your machine, and that the executable is located in that same directory, if you intend to run a global tool.

Troubleshoot .NET Core
tool usage issues

Solution 4:

To resolve this issue, I installed the dotnet-f tool on my system by executing the subsequent commands within my local environment.

In case you are configuring this repository.

dotnet new tool-manifest
dotnet tool install --local dotnet-ef --version 5.0.6

Instead of using “dotnet-ef”, opt for “dotnet dotnet-ef”.

Frequently Asked Questions

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