Entity Framework Core with SQLite

All the applications used as examples for ASP.NET Core and Entity Framework Core from this site so far used database running SQL Server/SQL Express. In addition to the Microsoft-based SQL databases, Entity Framework Core has support for a number of other database providers. This post is going to look at using SQLite. A full list of the support database providers can be found here.

Starting point

Using Visual Studio 2017 I started with a new ASP.NET Core project using Individual User Accounts which ensured all the Entity Framework Core bits were present. The template in RC 4 used packages based on the Core 1.0.3 which I upgraded to 1.1.0. The project at this point can be found here.

Just a side note this project was created when Visual Studio 2017 was at the RC 4 stage. This code associated with this post will be updated when Visual Studio 2017 is released.

Naming warning

As you will be able to see with the structure of the solution I started this work using the project name SQLite. With this project name, it was impossible to get the SQLite package to install. If you see something like the following renaming your project should get you running.

Cycle detected: 
   Sqlite (>= 1.0.0) -> Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.Sqlite (>= 1.1.0) -> Microsoft.Data.Sqlite (>= 1.1.0) -> SQLite (>= 3.13.0)

This issue is where I found out what the problem was.

Add SQLite Packages

Right-click on the project file and click Manage NuGet Packages.

Select Browse and in the search box enter “Microsoft.EntityFramework.Sqlite” and install the two packages that are found.

Remove SqlServer Packages

While still in the Manage NuGet Packages screen click on the Installed tab. Select and uninstall the following packages.


Configuration changes

Open appsettings.json and in the ConnectionStrings delete the line for DefaultConnection. Next, in the same section add a line for a SQLite connection string. The following is the result.

"ConnectionStrings": {
  "Sqlite": "Data Source=Database.db"

The above will expect the database file to be in the same location as the application is running. For a debug build the database file can be found in the \bin\Debug\netcoreapp1.0\ directory of the project.

Startup changes

The final location to change is in the ConfigureServices function of the Startup class. The following shows the addition of the application DB context before and after the changes.

  .AddDbContext<ApplicationDbContext>(options =>  options.UseSqlServer(Configuration.GetConnectionString("DefaultConnection")));
  .AddDbContext<ApplicationDbContext>(options =>

Wrapping up

The application is now runnable using SQLite as its backing data store. At this point, the only thing using data access is related to identity. The first time an attempt is made to access the database you may be prompted to apply migrations.

I have been using SQLite Studio to view the data in my database if you have that need outside of the application it does a good job.

The code in its final state can be found here.

4 thoughts on “Entity Framework Core with SQLite”

  1. You should try my SQLite Toolbox (free Visual Studio extension) for management and code generation with SQLite database files

    1. Erik
      I used your wonderful tool to migrate a SQLCE database to SQLite as part of a migration plan to move from ASP.NET to ASP.NET Core. I have stumbled badly trying to get SQLite connected to my application so I can begin the work of migrating the SQL commands I used to do CRUD functions on the DB. I did generate the code using the tool but had over 400 errors on compile because I haven’t got the setup right – any chance you know of a good guide or tutorial on how to get this accomplished without Entity Framework?

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