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This is Mono.
1. Installation
2. Using Mono
3. Directory Roadmap
4. git submodules maintenance
1. Compilation and Installation
a. Build Requirements
On Itanium, you must obtain libunwind:
On Solaris, make sure that you used GNU tar to unpack this package, as
Solaris tar will not unpack this correctly, and you will get strange errors.
On Solaris, make sure that you use the GNU toolchain to build the software.
Optional dependencies:
* libgdiplus
If you want to get support for System.Drawing, you will need to get
Libgdiplus. This library in turn requires glib and pkg-config:
* pkg-config
Available from:
* glib 2.4
Available from:
* libzlib
This library and the development headers are required for compression
file support in the 2.0 profile.
b. Building the Software
If you obtained this package as an officially released tarball,
this is very simple, use configure and make:
./configure --prefix=/usr/local
make install
Mono supports a JIT engine on x86, SPARC, SPARCv9, S/390,
S/390x, AMD64, ARM and PowerPC systems.
If you obtained this as a snapshot, you will need an existing
Mono installation. To upgrade your installation, unpack both
mono and mcs:
tar xzf mcs-XXXX.tar.gz
tar xzf mono-XXXX.tar.gz
mv mono-XXX mono
mv mcs-XXX mcs
cd mono
./ --prefix=/usr/local
The Mono build system is silent for most compilation commands.
To enable a more verbose compile (for example, to pinpoint
problems in your makefiles or your system) pass the V=1 flag to make, like this:
make V=1
c. Building the software from GIT
If you are building the software from GIT, make sure that you
have up-to-date mcs and mono sources:
If you are an anonymous user:
git clone git://
If you are a Mono contributors with read/write privileges:
git clone
Then, go into the mono directory, and configure:
cd mono
./ --prefix=/usr/local
For people with non-standard installations of the auto* utils and of
pkg-config (common on misconfigured OSX and windows boxes), you could get
an error like this:
./configure: line 19176: syntax error near unexpected token `PKG_CHECK_MODULES(BASE_DEPENDENCIES,' ...
This means that you need to set the ACLOCAL_FLAGS environment var
when invoking, like this:
ACLOCAL_FLAGS="-I $acprefix/share/aclocal" ./ --prefix=/usr/loca
where $acprefix is the prefix where aclocal has been installed.
This will automatically go into the mcs/ tree and build the
binaries there.
This assumes that you have a working mono installation, and that
there's a C# compiler named 'mcs', and a corresponding IL
runtime called 'mono'. You can use two make variables
EXTERNAL_MCS and EXTERNAL_RUNTIME to override these. e.g., you
can say
make EXTERNAL_MCS=/foo/bar/mcs EXTERNAL_RUNTIME=/somewhere/else/mono
If you don't have a working Mono installation
If you don't have a working Mono installation, an obvious choice
is to install the latest released packages of 'mono' for your
distribution and running; make; make install in the
mono module directory.
You can also try a slightly more risky approach: this may not work,
so start from the released tarball as detailed above.
This works by first getting the latest version of the 'monolite'
distribution, which contains just enough to run the 'mcs'
compiler. You do this with:
# Run the following line after ./
make get-monolite-latest
This will download and automatically gunzip and untar the
tarball, and place the files appropriately so that you can then
just run:
make EXTERNAL_MCS=${PWD}/mcs/class/lib/monolite/gmcs.exe
And that will use the files downloaded by 'make get-monolite-latest.
Testing and Installation
You can run (part of) the mono and mcs testsuites with the command:
make check
All tests should pass.
If you want more extensive tests, including those that test the
class libraries, you need to re-run 'configure' with the
'--enable-nunit-tests' flag, and try
make -k check
Expect to find a few testsuite failures. As a sanity check, you
can compare the failures you got with
You can now install mono with:
make install
You can verify your installation by using the mono-test-install
script, it can diagnose some common problems with Mono's install.
Failure to follow these steps may result in a broken installation.
d. Configuration Options
The following are the configuration options that someone
building Mono might want to use:
Generational GC support: Used to enable or disable the
compilation of a Mono runtime with the SGen garbage collector.
On platforms that support it, after building Mono, you
will have both a mono binary and a mono-sgen binary.
Mono uses Boehm, while mono-sgen uses the Simple
Generational GC.
--with-gc=[boehm, included, sgen, none]
Selects the default Boehm garbage collector engine to
use, the default is the "included" value.
This is the default value, and its
the most feature complete, it will allow Mono
to use typed allocations and support the
It is essentially a slightly modified Boehm GC
This is used to use a system-install Boehm GC,
it is useful to test new features available in
Boehm GC, but we do not recommend that people
use this, as it disables a few features.
Disables the inclusion of a garbage
Controls how Mono should access thread local storage,
pthread forces Mono to use the pthread APIs, while
__thread uses compiler-optimized access to it.
Although __thread is faster, it requires support from
the compiler, kernel and libc. Old Linux systems do
not support with __thread.
This value is typically pre-configured and there is no
need to set it, unless you are trying to debug a
Experimental: Use at your own risk, it is known to
cause problems with garbage collection and is hard to
reproduce those bugs.
This controls whether Mono will install a special
signal handler to handle stack overflows. If set to
"yes", it will turn stack overflows into the
StackOverflowException. Otherwise when a stack
overflow happens, your program will receive a
segmentation fault.
The configure script will try to detect if your
operating system supports this. Some older Linux
systems do not support this feature, or you might want
to override the auto-detection.
This controls whether `mono' should link against a
static library (libmono.a) or a shared library
This defaults to yes, and will improve the performance
of the `mono' program.
This only affects the `mono' binary, the shared
library will always be produced for
developers that want to embed the runtime in their
The default value for this is `yes', and it makes Mono
generate code which might be slightly slower on
average systems, but the resulting executable will run
faster under the Xen virtualization system.
Enable support for GC heaps larger than 3GB.
This value is set to `no' by default.
Enable some tweaks to reduce memory usage and disk footprint at
the expense of some capabilities. Typically this means that the
number of threads that can be created is limited (256), that the
maxmimum heap size is also reduced (256 MB) and other such limitations
that still make mono useful, but more suitable to embedded devices
(like mobile phones).
This value is set to `no' by default.
Controls whether the IKVM JNI interface library is
built or not. This is used if you are planning on
using the IKVM Java Virtual machine with Mono.
This defaults to `yes'.
Whether you want to build the 4.x profile libraries
and runtime.
It defaults to `yes'.
Whether you want to generate the Silverlight/Moonlight
libraries and toolchain in addition to the default
(1.1 and 2.0 APIs).
This will produce the `smcs' compiler which will reference
the Silverlight modified assemblies (mscorlib.dll,
System.dll, System.Code.dll and System.Xml.Core.dll) and turn
on the LINQ extensions for the compiler.
Select the GC to use for Moonlight.
Selects the Boehm Garbage Collector, with the same flags
as the regular Mono build. This is the default.
Selects the new SGen Garbage Collector, which provides
Generational GC support, using the same flags as the
mono-sgen build.
This defaults to `boehm'.
This is used to configure where should Mono look for
libgdiplus when running the System.Drawing tests.
It defaults to `installed', which means that the
library is available to Mono through the regular
system setup.
`sibling' can be used to specify that a libgdiplus
that resides as a sibling of this directory (mono)
should be used.
Or you can specify a path to a libgdiplus.
Use this option to disable the use of shared memory in
Mono (this is equivalent to setting the MONO_DISABLE_SHM
environment variable, although this removes the feature
Disabling the shared memory support will disable certain
features like cross-process named mutexes.
Use this feature to specify optional runtime
components that you might not want to include. This
is only useful for developers embedding Mono that
require a subset of Mono functionality.
The list is a comma-separated list of components that
should be removed, these are:
Disables support for the Ahead of Time
Support for the Mono.Management assembly and the
VMAttach API (allowing code to be injected into
a target VM)
Disables COM support.
Drop debugging support.
Disables support for System.Decimal.
By default Mono comes with a full table
of messages for error codes. This feature
turns off uncommon error messages and reduces
the runtime size.
Generics support. Disabling this will not
allow Mono to run any 2.0 libraries or
code that contains generics.
Removes the JIT engine from the build, this reduces
the executable size, and requires that all code
executed by the virtual machine be compiled with
Full AOT before execution.
Disables support for large assemblies.
Disables support for debug logging.
Support for Platform Invocation services,
disabling this will drop support for any
libraries using DllImport.
Removes support for MONO_IOMAP, the environment
variables for simplifying porting applications that
are case-insensitive and that mix the Unix and Windows path separators.
Disables support for the default profiler.
Drop System.Reflection.Emit support
Drop support for saving dynamically created
assemblies (AssemblyBuilderAccess.Save) in
Disables support for AppDomain's shadow copies
(you can disable this if you do not plan on
using appdomains).
Disables support for the Mono.SIMD intrinsics
Disables compilation for the SSA optimization
framework, and the various SSA-based
This enables the use of LLVM as a code generation engine
for Mono. The LLVM code generator and optimizer will be
used instead of Mono's built-in code generator for both
Just in Time and Ahead of Time compilations.
See the for the
full details and up-to-date information on this feature.
You will need to have an LLVM built that Mono can link
The --enable-loadedllvm variant will make the llvm backend
into a runtime-loadable module instead of linking it directly
into the main mono binary.
This enables the use arrays whose indexes are larger
than Int32.MaxValue.
By default Mono has the same limitation as .NET on
Win32 and Win64 and limits array indexes to 32-bit
values (even on 64-bit systems).
In certain scenarios where large arrays are required,
you can pass this flag and Mono will be built to
support 64-bit arrays.
This is not the default as it breaks the C embedding
ABI that we have exposed through the Mono development
Use this option to enable the garbage collector to use
multiple CPUs to do its work. This helps performance
on multi-CPU machines as the work is divided across CPUS.
This option is not currently the default as we have
not done much testing with Mono.
On Solaris and MacOS X builds a version of the Mono
runtime that contains DTrace probes and can
participate in the system profiling using DTrace.
Mono uses /dev/random to obtain good random data for
any source that requires random numbers. If your
system does not support this, you might want to
disable it.
There are a number of runtime options to control this
also, see the man page.
This configures the Mono compiler to generate code
suitable to be used by Google's Native Client:
Currently this is used with Mono's AOT engine as
Native Client does not support JIT engines yet.
2. Using Mono
Once you have installed the software, you can run a few programs:
* runtime engine
mono program.exe
* C# compiler
mcs program.cs
* CIL Disassembler
monodis program.exe
See the man pages for mono(1), mint(1), monodis(1) and mcs(2)
for further details.
3. Directory Roadmap
Technical documents about the Mono runtime.
Configuration files installed as part of the Mono runtime.
The core of the Mono Runtime.
The object system and metadata reader.
The Just in Time Compiler.
CIL executable Disassembler
Common code for the JIT and the interpreter.
The I/O layer and system abstraction for
emulating the .NET IO model.
Common Intermediate Representation, XML
definition of the CIL bytecodes.
Interpreter for CLI executables (obsolete).
Architecture specific portions.
Manual pages for the various Mono commands and programs.
Some simple sample programs on uses of the Mono
runtime as an embedded library.
Scripts used to invoke Mono and the corresponding program.
A directory that contains the Makefiles that link the
mono/ and mcs/ build systems.
If the directory ../olive is present (as an
independent checkout) from the Mono module, that
directory is automatically configured to share the
same prefix than this module gets.
4. Git submodules maintenance
Read documentation at