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CairoSharp is a C# wrapper for .NET Standard 1.6/2.0 of cairo. All dependencies included.

Cairo is a 2D graphics library with support for multiple output devices.

Cairo is designed to produce consistent output on all output media while taking advantage of display hardware acceleration when available. The cairo API provides operations similar to the drawing operators of PostScript and PDF. Operations in cairo including stroking and filling cubic Bézier splines, transforming and compositing translucent images, and antialiased text rendering. All drawing operations can be transformed by any affine transformation (scale, rotation, shear, etc.).


A former release works on Windows desktop (Winform/WPF/Console Application) on .NET 4.5 and linux (tested on Ubuntu 12.04) on mono 4.2. CairoSharp was ported to .NET Core (.NET Standard 1.6) after that release.

Supported platforms:

  • windows 32bit / 64bit
  • linux 64bit (tested on Ubuntu 16.04-server)

Other platforms that support .net core may work, but have not been tested.

On Linux libcairo is a prerequisite. sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install -y libcairo2




Build native dlls

We use VS2019 to build native libraries as dll files.

  • Preparation:

    1. Open Visual Studio Installer, click Modify or More/Modify;
    2. Check Desktop development with C++;
    3. In the Summary section on the right, open Desktop development with C++, then check Windows 8.1 SDK and UCRT SDK.
    4. Click Modify button.
  • Build

    1. Open CarioSharp.sln with VS2019.
    2. Select a configuration: Debug or Release, and a platform: x86 or x64. For AnyCPU, be sure to set/unset Prefer 32-bit to use the same architecture as the native dll.
    3. Find the project source/native/cairo, right click and select Build.
    4. Built native dll files will be output to source/native/cairo/bin/.

Build C# projects

  • Build CairoSharp

    In VS2019, right click the CairoSharp project then select Build. CairoSharp.dll and its native dependencies will be placed in the output dir such as source\CairoSharp\bin\Debug\netstandard2.0.

  • Build C# demos

    In VS2019, right click a C# demo project then select Build. The built demo app, CairoSharp.dll and native dependencies will be placed in the output dir such as demos\CairoDemo\bin\Debug\netcoreapp2.0.

Common Errors:

Error C1083 Cannot open include file: 'assert.h': No such file or directory

Make sure Windows 8.1 SDK and UCRT SDK is checked (See Preparation 3 above). See also this post.


Project CairoSharp (not the native cairo lib but the C# one) is licensed under the LGPL v3 license.

CairoSharp, A C# wrapper of cairo which is a 2D vector rendering library
Copyright (C) 2017 gfoidl
Copyright (C) 2015-2020 Zou Wei,,
Copyright (C) 2007-2015 Xamarin, Inc.
Copyright (C) 2006 Alp Toker
Copyright (C) 2005 John Luke
Copyright (C) 2004 Novell, Inc (
Copyright (C) Ximian, Inc. 2003

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License
along with this program.  If not, see <>.

The C# code files in CairoSharp project was taken from Mono/GTK#(Version 3.0.0), licensed under the GNU LGPL. So CairoSharp uses LGPL as well.

Native libraries

The Native project files is generated according to a VS2015 Solution from Cairo-VS.

These libraries will be updated if new verisons are released.
Last update date of these Native libraries: 2020-09-30