.NET Console App User Secrets April 20, 2022

When scaffolding an EF Core .NET 6 console app recently, I discovered the it doesn’t support sourcing connection strings from the user secrets store unless you’re scaffolding an ASP.NET project. A lot of the documentation on the web, both from Microsoft and third-parties, also seems to assume that you’re using ASP.NET.

Here’s how I got it working with the minimum of fuss.

Create a user secrets store and add your secrets to it:

dotnet user-secrets init
dotnet user-secrets set ConnectionStrings:Foo ...
dotnet user-secrets set SomeApiKey ...

Install the requisite package for adding user secrets support to ConfigurationBuilder:

dotnet add package Microsoft.Extensions.Configuration.UserSecrets

Add the ConfigurationBuilder call to your code, and use it to fetch your user secrets:

var config = new ConfigurationBuilder()
string fooConnectionString = config.GetConnectionString("Foo");
string someApiKey = config.GetSection("SomeApiKey").Value;

In the case of the connections string, update your DbContext constructor(s) to take it as a parameter:

public FooContext(string connectionString)
    _connectionString = connectionString;

protected override void OnConfiguring(DbContextOptionsBuilder optionsBuilder)
    if (!optionsBuilder.IsConfigured)

That’s it!