[Mono-list] Starting MONO ASP.NET development: Tips/Gotchas request

Joshua Tauberer jit at occams.info
Tue Jan 22 17:16:22 EST 2008

Swaminathan Saikumar wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm from the Windows ASP.NET <http://ASP.NET> world & am just starting 
> out with Linux & Mono.
> I plan to develop & run ASP.NET <http://ASP.NET> applications on Linux 
> with PostGreSql. I would love suggestions on:
>    1. Linux distributions: OpenSuse vs Ubuntu vs Fedora.

I can only say that I have had no problems in particular with Fedora (in 
the past) and CentOS (which I use now)... more or less (see below).

>    2. ASP.NET <http://ASP.NET> Server technology for deployment: Apache
>       vs FastCGI vs XSP. I keep hearing from friends that Apache is hard
>       to configure, and my attempt at installing mod_mono on Ubuntu 64
>       failed. Any pointers will be appreciated.

There are cases where Apache is hard to configure, but there are also 
cases where it's easy. You may not need any directives at all, but YMMV.

After around three years of a bit of struggling with Apache/mod_mono, I 
think it's finally gotten to the point where it actually works well in a 
production environment --- at least with the patches I committed to SVN 
yesterday (and have been using for a while). I run it on a site that 
gets some 50k pageviews per day, and it's doing just fine.

The only configuration issue I hit was, in both Fedora and CentOS, the 
need to tell mod_mono to use a particular cross-process locking method 
instead of the default, set through an environment variable.

I can't speak to FastCGI, except that it's much newer and hasn't been 
tested as much. I expect that with more use it would probably suffer 
many of the same problems mod_mono has over the years --- problems 
starting mono automatically, configuration challenges with vhosts, 
high-load issues.

With xsp, you can run it either alone, but then you don't get the 
benefits of the well-tuned Apache handling things besides ASP.NET, or 
behind Apache, but then you may have other configuration trouble 
(proxying, how to start xsp) and potentially other issues (lack of rate 

>    3. Development tool for Linux: MonoDevelop vs Eclipse. If Eclipse,
>       which C# plugin is best?

MD is really nice. (Actually I haven't used it recently, but I assume 
it's only gotten better since last I used it.)

- Josh Tauberer


"Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation!  Yields
falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
Tortoise (in "Gödel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)

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