How to run an ASP.net MVC3 website on IIS6

Hi guys,

After a long time without writing up something of much relevance to programming, I came up with this post which I hope some of you will find it interesting and useful.

BTW: I am not saying the approach I will show you is the best one or the only way to do it. I just want to share with you my experience and troubles in configuring an ASP.net MVC3 website on a Windows Server 2003 running IIS 6 (Internet Information Services 6). Nevertheless I hope that the tips I will give you will somehow help you to solve issues you may have had while trying to run an ASP.net MVC3 website on IIS6.

Before we proceed here are some points I want to raise:

You could update the Windows Server to a recent version and them have the latest IIS. By doing this you might solve some issues but I believe this is not something you can do and that is why you are reading this post.

I believe you are reading it because you want to deploy you website on a Windows Server 2003 where you have the IIS 6 and a website built with Asp.net MVC3. Right?

Well, try following the steps below and you may get it working very soon.

  1. Install the .Net Framework 4 (https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=17718)
  2. Install the ASP.net MVC3 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=215693)
  3. On you web.config set runAllManagedModulesForAllRequests equals false.

    mvc3_iis6_1
  4. Check the permissions. If you are receiving the 403 error try going on IIS Management, right click on Web Services Extension and then select Allow all Web Service extension for a specific application option. On the popup choose ASP.net 4.0.
  5. Check if *.axd is mapped to ASP.NET Isapi.dll(aspnet_isapi.dll).
    To do that click on the Configuration button.
    mvc3_iis6_2
  6. Add a Wildcard pointing to ASP.NET Isapi.dll(aspnet_isapi.dll). Make sure the ‘Verify that file exists’ option is not selected.
    Check your website properties and make sure that it is running with .Net Framework 4.mvc3_iis6_3mvc3_iis6_4

After these steps your MVC3 website should run on IIS6 with no problems.

There are hundreds of post on the Internet about this issue and here I am showing you the way I solve this problem.

Thanks for reading.
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