[Mono-dev] Failing to compile mono on Windows cygwin

Bryan Crotaz bryan.crotaz at silvercurve.co.uk
Sun Aug 25 23:13:12 UTC 2013

I followed these instructions:

Neither of them work.

They both assume prior knowledge of what cygwin even is.  It was all new to
me, so I've now spent 2.5 days just getting to a point of having autogen
run.  There were loads of packages missing.  One said to install gcc.  That
wasn't available - I had to google for a few hours and find I had to
install mingw-gcc and set up a link to it from gcc.  I couldn't work out
how to install gettext at all.  It wasn't listed in cygwin packages, so
I've used the --enable-nls=no.  If we don't need nls (what is nls???) then
why not make this part of the standard script?

What am I after?

A simple, pre-validated way to get to a point where I can debug the class
libraries.  The runtime prebuilt - skip the gcc step, just give me binaries.

I'm not a C++ programmer, I'm a C# programmer.  So I have nothing much to
bring to the run-time.  But I (like many other C# devs I would imagine)
will find bugs when porting my apps to Mono, and as a C# dev would be quite
happy to go and fix said bugs as I find them.  The one I've found is going
to take an hour to fix.  However If I have to spend 2 or 3 days just
getting it to compile before I can even start work, well I have paying work
to do!

The other thing I need is to know where to put unit test code.  I've found
code style guidelines, but no project structure guidelines.  When browsing
the source I couldn't find a single unit test.  I'm sure they're there

I love Mono.  I want to see it improve.  Doing the above (and it needs to
be someone experienced to do it) would probably add hundreds of developers
to the bugfixing crew.


On 26 August 2013 00:01, <Jean-Michel.Perraud at csiro.au> wrote:

> A blank line is certainly not the expected behaviour of a Mono 'make'. I
> tried to checkout the master branch to double check what you describe but
> encountered instead "fatal: Not a git repository" for an external module.
> Seen that git annoyance in the past, can fix but I don't have enough time.
> I very much doubt the cygwin build is as broken as you describe.
> I'll forward you in a separate email a PDF of a personal wiki page I have
> to remind myself how to go about compiling Mono on Windows, in case this
> helps.
> You certainly to not need all cygwin packages. From my notes what I
> typically need to add to a rather Spartan cygwin setup:
>  “autogen.sh requires a few additional packages to be installed in cygwin:
> bison, libtools, automake of course, and the gettext packages (incl devel
> packages), or you get a configure: error: msgfmt not found. You need to
> install the 'gettext' package, or pass --enable-nls=no to autogen.sh or
> configure”
> Not sure exactly what you are after with "Alternatively, where can I
> download a zip of the binaries and VS project so that I can start adding
> tests and fixing bugs?". Which binaries: the mono runtime and/or including
> the framework (C# assemblies)?
> Assuming you'd be OK to recompile the mono runtime and the C# assemblies
> (sounds like you have VS), the core mono runtime (mono-2.0.dll) is
> relatively easy to build in VS, though sometimes broken and VisualCPP
> and/or C code needs update/adjustments to get things going. Look under the
> 'msvc' folder (past outdated instructions). One can definitely set up a
> mono runtime in debug mode in VS.
> You can, with a fair bit of work, get the VS project files/solutions: look
> at "msvc/scripts/README". You can even build most of them, though there are
> quirks. However to my knowledge you cannot debug these through VS, unless
> something like Mono Tools for Visual Studio is alive and maintained unknown
> to me.
> FYI I have a fork intended to better document and improve the VS build use
> cases, but it is a draft and I struggle to find time for it
> https://github.com/jmp75/mono/tree/msvc_build_20130604
> By the way if someone had advice on a feasible procedure and setup with
> MonoDevelop for contributors to Mono itself, I for one would be interested.
> Hope this helps.
> J-M
> From: mono-devel-list-bounces at lists.ximian.com [mailto:
> mono-devel-list-bounces at lists.ximian.com] On Behalf Of Bryan Crotaz
> Sent: Sunday, 25 August 2013 9:43 PM
> To: mono-devel-list at lists.ximian.com
> Subject: [Mono-dev] Failing to compile mono on Windows cygwin
> I've found a bug in mono, logged it, and created a unit test for it.  Now
> I want to add the test to the Mono test suite, and fix it.
> So I've now spent 2 days attempting to work out how to get cygwin to work,
> ending up installing ALL the packages to get autogen to run successfully.
> I'm now stuck.
> I run make and get nothing.  No error, just a blank line and back to the
> prompt.  I'm assuming this isn't correct.  What do I do to fix this?
> Alternatively, where can I download a zip of the binaries and VS project
> so that I can start adding tests and fixing bugs?
> Bryan

Bryan Crotaz
Managing Director
Silver Curve
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