.NET functions with native AOT compilation - AWS Lambda

.NET functions with native AOT compilation

.NET 7 supports native ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation. With native AOT, you can compile your Lambda function code to a native runtime format, which removes the need to compile .NET code at runtime. Native AOT compilation can reduce the cold start time for Lambda functions that you write in .NET. For more information, see Building serverless .NET applications on AWS Lambda using .NET 7 on the AWS Compute Blog.


There are limitations to functionality that you can include in native AOT functions. For more information, see Limitations of Native AOT deployment on the Microsoft Learn website.



You must compile your function with native AOT on the same operating system that your code will run on. As a result, on any operating system other than Amazon Linux 2, you need Docker to develop Lambda functions that use native AOT.


Native AOT compilation is a feature of .NET 7. You must install the .NET 7 SDK on your system, not only the runtime.


To create your Lambda functions, use the Amazon.Lambda.Tools .NET Core global tool. The current version of the .NET Core global tool for Lambda supports using Docker for native AOT. To install Amazon.Lambda.Tools, run the following command:

dotnet tool install -g Amazon.Lambda.Tools

For more information about the Amazon.Lambda.Tools .NET Core global tool, see the AWS Extensions for .NET CLI repository on GitHub.


To generate your Lambda function code, use the Amazon.Lambda.Templates NuGet package. To install this template package, run the following command:

dotnet new install Amazon.Lambda.Templates

Lambda runtime

Use the provided.al2 custom runtime with the x86_64 architecture to deploy a Lambda function that you build with native AOT compilation. When you use a .NET Lambda runtime, your application is compiled into Intermediate Language (IL) code. At runtime, the just-in-time (JIT) compiler takes the IL code and compiles it into machine code as needed. With a Lambda function that is compiled ahead of time with native AOT, the runtime environment doesn't include the .NET SDK or .NET runtime. You compile your code into machine code before it runs.

Set up your project

Use the .NET Core global tool for Lambda to create your new environment. To initialize your project, run the following command:

dotnet new lambda.NativeAOT

Edit your Lambda function code

The .NET Core global tool for Lambda generates a basic Lambda function that accepts a String and returns a String. Edit the function code as required for your use case. For how to change the parameters and return types of your function, see Add support for complex types.

Deploy your Lambda function

If you're using Windows or macOS, make sure that Docker is running.

Then, to compile and deploy your Lambda function, run the following command:

dotnet lambda deploy-function

The deploy-function process automatically downloads a Docker image of Amazon Linux 2 to perform the native AOT compilation for your function. After this container image has downloaded, the deploy process builds your function and then creates a .zip file that gets deployed into your AWS account.

Add support for complex types

The default Lambda function provides a basic starting point of a String parameter and a String return type. To accept or return complex types, update your code to include functionality that generates serialization code at compile time, rather than at runtime.

Add more JsonSerializable attributes to your custom serializer object definition as needed.

API Gateway example

For example, to use Amazon API Gateway events, add a reference to the NuGet package Amazon.Lambda.ApiGatewayEvents. Then, add the following using statement to your Lambda function source code:

using Amazon.Lambda.APIGatewayEvents;

Add the following attributes to your class definition of your custom serializer:

[JsonSerializable(typeof(APIGatewayHttpApiV2ProxyRequest))] [JsonSerializable(typeof(APIGatewayHttpApiV2ProxyResponse))]

Update your function signature to the following:

public static async Task<APIGatewayHttpApiV2ProxyResponse> FunctionHandler(APIGatewayHttpApiV2ProxyRequest input, ILambdaContext context)


Error: Cross-OS native compilation is not supported.

Your version of the Amazon.Lambda.Tools .NET Core global tool is out of date. Update to the latest version and try again.

Docker: image operating system "linux" cannot be used on this platform.

Docker on your system is configured to use Windows containers. Swap to Linux containers to run the native AOT build environment.

Unhandled Exception: System.ApplicationException: The serializer NativeAoT.MyCustomJsonSerializerContext is missing a constructor that takes in JsonSerializerOptions object

If you encounter this error when you invoke your Lambda function, add an rd.xml file to your project, and then redeploy.

For more information about common errors, see the AWS NativeAOT for .NET repository on GitHub.