Monday, January 26, 2015

:-( Helios failed to start

For a project we are comparing multiple web server options in terms of performance. The project will be using ASP.NET Web API, but the web server will be either

  • IIS(using the ASP.NET pipeline)
  • IIS(using Microsoft Helios)
  • Selfhosting(using the OWIN selfhost)
  • Or something else(don’t know what)

I downloaded the required(pre-release) NuGet packages, configured my web project and started the application. But what I saw, was not what I expected:


I was welcomed by the following error message:


Helios failed to start.

The ApplicationStart method threw an exception. Detailed exception information is below.

System.TypeInitializationException: The type initializer for 'Microsoft.Owin.Host.IIS.Security.Algorithms' threw an exception. ---> System.Security.Cryptography.CryptographicException: Unknown error "-1073741275".

at Microsoft.Owin.Host.IIS.Security.Algorithms.CreateSP800108AlgorithmHandle()

at Microsoft.Owin.Host.IIS.Security.Algorithms..cctor()

--- End of inner exception stack trace ---

at Microsoft.Owin.Host.IIS.Security.DataProtection.DataProtectionProvider.CreateImpl(Byte* masterKey, Int32 masterKeyLengthInBytes)

at Microsoft.Owin.Host.IIS.Security.DataProtection.DataProtectionProvider.CreateNew()

at Microsoft.Owin.Host.IIS.Security.DataProtection.HeliosDataProtectionProvider.CreateFactory(IHttpApplication httpApplication, Boolean& requiresApplicationIsolation)

at Microsoft.Owin.Host.IIS.Security.DataProtection.HeliosDataProtectionProvider.CreateDataProtectionProvider(IHttpApplication httpApplication)

at Microsoft.Owin.Host.IIS.OwinApplicationBase.ApplicationStart(IHttpApplication application)

at Microsoft.AspNet.Loader.IIS.HttpApplicationBase.InvokeApplicationStart(IHttpApplication application)

My bad! I didn’t took a look at the prerequisites. You need at least Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 to use Helios on top of IIS. Although a better error message would have been useful, I have learned that reading the documentation could be helpful Glimlach

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