[Mono-devel-list] How hard is it to install Mono?

Duncan Mak duncan at ximian.com
Tue Aug 24 13:58:38 EDT 2004

Hello all,

We are in the process of re-evaluating the way we package Mono, in doing
so, I'd like to get some feedback from you all.

When we entered the 1.0 beta cycle, we split the previous setup of two
packages (mono, mono-devel) into smaller packages, believing that it
will provide greater flexibility for users, who may wish to selectively
install only certain parts of the whole release.

We received a lot of feedback from this change: some said that it was a
bad decision, as it made the installation process more complicated;
others said it worked great for them for it fit their use case more

During the 1.0 beta cycle, the package dependency listing was hand
written and buggy. That was the source of a lot of broken, incomplete
installations reported [1]; later in the beta cycle, we switched to
using a script that calculates dependencies based on assembly
references. With that, our current set of packages is a lot less buggy
now [2].

To further facilitate end-users, two meta packages were created:
'mono-complete' and 'mono-complete-devel'. Installing these packages
requires installing every package we ship. Effectively, this mimics the
old 'mono' and 'mono-devel' package.

We made available 'mono-all' zip files on the download page, containing
all the packages we ship for that particular release.

On top of downloading packages from the download page, there are two
additional ways of installing Mono: either through the 'mono' channel on
Red Carpet, or with our YUM repository for Fedora users. Both mechanisms
will resolve dependencies problems for you.

Some questions:

How do you install Mono right now? What do you do to upgrade?

Is Mono too difficult to install for people new to Linux? For people
with Linux experience?

Do you think switching back to a two package setup is a good idea?

A lot of Mono users are new to Linux, and it is evident that the
installation procedure for Windows (Paco's excellent installer) and Mac
OS X (the dmg image from Adam) is far simpler than the various
mechanisms available on Linux. We like to make the installation
experience on Linux as simple as the others as well.

Thanks so much!


[1] e.g. mono-web-services requires mono-web-forms, but the dependency
was not encoded in the RPM.

[2] Frequently the mono-preview package gets installed in place of other
packages, resulting in broken installations. This has been fixed in CVS
and will be rolled out in the next release.

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