.NET 6 Preview 6 Improves Pre-Compilation
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 22 July 2021

Microsoft has released .NET 6 Preview 6, the second to last preview before the RC period. The new preview has been tested for Visual Studio 2022, Preview 2, and has added improved pre-compilation handling of code.

.NET was created from a combination of .NET Framework and .NET Core. Microsoft's plan when .NET 5 was announced was that developers would be able to create a single native .NET 5 project to target Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, tvOS, watchOS and WebAssembly.

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The changes in this release are minor, as Richard Lander, Program Manager in the .NET team acknowledged: 

"The Preview 6 is the second to last preview before we enter the RC period. There will be two RCs. This release itself is relatively small, while Preview 7 will be bigger."

The first change of note is a move to Crossgen2 for all existing crossgen scenarios. Crossgen (1 and 2) enables pre-compiling IL to native code as a publishing step. Crossgen2 has been rewritten from scratch and the team says it is already proving to be a superior platform for code generation innovation, including being able to generate code for a broader set of IL patterns.

One thing that didn't make it into this release was supporting x64 emulation on macOS Apple Silicon and Windows Arm64. For this to work, .NET 6 needs to have side-by-side capable installers, and suitable "architecture targeting" with the .NET CLI so it will use the native architecture SDK in all scenarios. At the moment developers will need to choose to install all x64 builds or all Arm64 ones.

Other minor improvements include better discovery and management of workloads via three new commands for .NET SDK Optional Workload, and the enabling of support for W^X memory protection, which is a requirement on Apple Silicon machines and a useful security measure on other operating systems, according to Richard Lander.

.NET 6 Preview 6 is available for download now.

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More Information

.NET 6 Preview 6 

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