Create PDF in Docker container

GemBox.Pdf can be used inside docker containers that are running .NET Docker images.

To use Docker, you must first install Docker Desktop. After that, you can containerize your .NET application.

Visual Studio container tool for adding Docker to existing .NET Core project
Screenshot of Visual Studio container tool

The following is a project file for the .NET Core application with added Docker support.

<Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk">

  <PropertyGroup>
    <OutputType>Exe</OutputType>
    <TargetFramework>netcoreapp3.1</TargetFramework>
    <DockerDefaultTargetOS>Linux</DockerDefaultTargetOS>
    <DockerfileContext>.</DockerfileContext>
  </PropertyGroup>

  <ItemGroup>
    <PackageReference Include="GemBox.Pdf" Version="*" />
    <PackageReference Include="Microsoft.VisualStudio.Azure.Containers.Tools.Targets" Version="*" />
  </ItemGroup>

</Project>

To configure or customize a Docker image, you'll need to edit the Dockerfile.

When creating PDF files, the font files need to be present in the container. The official Linux images for .NET won't have any fonts installed. So, you'll need to copy the necessary font files to the Linux container, or install a font package like ttf-mscorefonts-installer, or add them as Private Fonts.

The following example shows how you can create PDF files from Docker containers and configure Docker images with Dockerfile.

Generated PDF file from Docker container
Screenshot of PDF file created with Docker container
FROM mcr.microsoft.com/dotnet/core/runtime:3.1-buster-slim AS base
WORKDIR /app

FROM mcr.microsoft.com/dotnet/core/sdk:3.1-buster AS build
WORKDIR /src
COPY ["PdfDocker.csproj", ""]
RUN dotnet restore "./PdfDocker.csproj"
COPY . .
WORKDIR "/src/."
RUN dotnet build "PdfDocker.csproj" -c Release -o /app/build

FROM build AS publish
RUN dotnet publish "PdfDocker.csproj" -c Release -o /app/publish

FROM base AS final

# Update package sources to include supplemental packages (contrib archive area).
RUN sed -i 's/main/main contrib/g' /etc/apt/sources.list

# Downloads the package lists from the repositories.
RUN apt-get update

# Install System.Drawing.Common dependency.
RUN apt-get install -y libgdiplus

# Install Microsoft TrueType core fonts.
RUN apt-get install -y ttf-mscorefonts-installer

# Or install Liberation TrueType fonts.
# RUN apt-get install -y fonts-liberation

# Or some other font package...

WORKDIR /app
COPY --from=publish /app/publish .
ENTRYPOINT ["dotnet", "PdfDocker.dll"]
using GemBox.Pdf;
using GemBox.Pdf.Content;

class Program
{
    static void Main()
    {
        ComponentInfo.SetLicense("FREE-LIMITED-KEY");

        // Create new document.
        using (var document = new PdfDocument())
        {
            // Add a page.
            var page = document.Pages.Add();

            // Write a text.
            using (var formattedText = new PdfFormattedText())
            {
                formattedText.Append("Hello World!");
                page.Content.DrawText(formattedText, new PdfPoint(100, 700));
            }

            // Save as PDF file.
            document.Save("output.pdf");
        }
    }
}
Imports GemBox.Pdf
Imports GemBox.Pdf.Content

Module Program

    Sub Main()

        ComponentInfo.SetLicense("FREE-LIMITED-KEY")

        ' Create new document.
        Using document = New PdfDocument()

            ' Add a page.
            Dim page = document.Pages.Add()

            ' Write a text.
            Using formattedText = New PdfFormattedText()
                formattedText.Append("Hello World!")
                page.Content.DrawText(formattedText, New PdfPoint(100, 700))
            End Using

            ' Save as PDF file.
            document.Save("output.pdf")
        End Using

    End Sub
End Module

Limitations on Linux or macOS

You can use the full functionality of GemBox.Pdf on Unix systems, but with the following exceptions:

These features currently have WPF dependencies which means they require a .NET Windows Desktop Runtime. However, we do have plans for providing cross-platform support for them in future releases.

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If you want to try the GemBox.Pdf yourself, you can download the free version. It delivers the same performance and set of features as the professional version, but with some operations limited. To remove the limitation, you need to purchase a license.