When you are hosting a ClickOnce deployment on a webserver, you need have certain MIME types defined so the server knows how to handle the files. You can host a ClickOnce deployment on any server regardless of the operating system. So you can host a ClickOnce deployment on an Apache server just as easily as a server running Microsoft Windows Server. You just need to set up the right MIME types.
When you install the .NET Framework, it registers the MIME types automatically. This is why you don’t have to set up MIME types if you install IIS on your desktop machine and test your deployments by deploying to localhost. Carrying that forward, if you have the .NET Framework installed on your server, the MIME types should already be registered.
This is generally one of the first things to check when you’re having problems downloading the deployment. A definite sign that your MIME types are not set up correctly is if your customers try to install the application and it shows the XML of the deployment manifest (the .application file) in Internet Explorer rather than installing the application.
Here are the basic MIME types you need for every ClickOnce deployment:
.application –> application/x-ms-application
.manifest –> application/x-ms-manifest
.deploy –> application/octet-stream
If you are targeting .NET 3.5 or .NET 4.0, you need these as well:
.msp –> application/octet-stream
.msu –> application/octet-stream
If you are deploying an Office application (VSTO add-in), you need this one:
.vsto –> application/x-ms-vsto
If you are deploying a WPF application, you need these:
.xaml –> application/xaml+xml
.xbap –> application/x-ms-xbap
If your application is hosted on an Apache webserver, you can set up your own MIME types by putting entries in the .htaccess file in the root folder of your deployment. The syntax for adding the MIME types is this:
AddType Mime-type file-extension
For example, for the first three MIME types above, you would add these lines to your .htaccess file:
AddType application/x-ms-application application
AddType application/x-ms-manifest manifest
AddType application/octet-stream deploy
You can create the .htaccess file simply by opening notepad or some other text editor and adding the lines above to it, and saving it with the file name of .htaccess. Then copy it to the root of your deployment folders, and those MIME types will work for that folder and all of its subfolders.
For more information than you ever wanted to know about .htaccess files, check out this article.