[Mono-winforms-list] WinForms On Linux

Maser, Dan Dan.Maser at inin.com
Mon May 7 13:29:45 EDT 2007

  With this amount of information I think the answer is inconclusive;
and depends heavily on your time frame.  Just as one example, if your
app uses only (or mostly) WinForms features from the v1.1 release of
.NET you'll have a much easier time in the short term.  My app uses a
number of v2.0 features such as ToolStrips, MenuStrips, MDI forms, etc,
and I have to hack things a bit (today) to get the app to work properly.
More and more of these newer features are completed every day; but it
will still be weeks before my app has 100% support and I don't have to
hack anything.  And you'll have to be more specific about your app
having "heavy reliance on GDI+".  Does that mean you're making many GDI+
function calls directly using p/invoke?  If so, that's going to
significantly complicate things for you.  Obviously if your app has
platform-specific stuff in it then porting it is a chore :)

  My hunch is that based on your experience level you'll be more
successful developing and building with Visual Studio.  You can run the
VS binaries on mono directly.  There's no need to build with mono if
you're also building in Visual Studio.

  If you're using the latest stable release and you had no errors during
the installation you'll have to be more specific about what's not
working.  If you take a binary compiled using Visual Studio that doesn't
use platform-specific p/invoke function calls and copy it to your linux
machine you should be able to run it with the command line "mono
my-app.exe".  If that fails I'd recommend first checking your
$LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable and-or the /etc/ld.so.conf paths.  If that
fails you can get some more help by changing your command line to
"MONO_LOG_LEVEL=Debug mono my-app.exe".  However, this isn't as simple
as installing a shareware app on Windows and running it.  If it doesn't
work you'll have to send information about any error messages you're
getting and your setup.  Simply saying that you tried it and it doesn't
work, and asking for a set of steps, is never going to produce a good
result.  The steps *are* available on the web site and they *do* work,
however the level of expertise they assume is open to some debate.   So
if something isn't working instead of saying "the steps are not working,
where should I get better instructions?" you should consider saying
"everything seems to be working up until I do (fill in the blank) at
which point I get error message (fill in the blank) which is unexpected.
I did these steps (fill in the blank) which should have satisfied the
error I'm getting, but the error is still there.  Any ideas on what the
error means?" and you'll get much father.

-----Original Message-----
From: mono-winforms-list-bounces at lists.ximian.com
[mailto:mono-winforms-list-bounces at lists.ximian.com] On Behalf Of Denis
Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2007 10:44 PM
To: mono-winforms-list at lists.ximian.com
Subject: Re: [Mono-winforms-list] WinForms On Linux

Hi Dan,

To introduce myself quickly, I am lead of a small development team of
engineering software. The application is client/server written in VB.Net
MSSQL. I am looking at the feasibility of supporting linux and thought I
would take a look at how useable Mono is. I am a relative linux newb. I
not really fussed about missing VB specific features in Mono because
can be recoded easily however I have a heavy reliance on WinForms and

I have recently installed Feisty Ubuntu and installed Mono/MonoDevelop
the package manager on my home machine to have a play and havent got

Windows.Forms is part of a standard Mono installation. I cant see how to
reference and/or use it. 

I have been occasionally checking http://www.mono-project.com/ over
quite a
long time. 
http://www.mono-project.com/WinForms provides some background info,
of any use really. The development weblog it references was last updated
I am happy using the latest stable release so I hope I dont have to
my own version.

Is there a simple way of getting up and running with WinForms? Is there
decent way to develop WinForms in Linux or would I be better off staying
Windows and using Visual Studio (and then trying to compile under Mono
run results on Linux)? If there are any other website with information
please point me in the right direction, I have tried the mono website,
mailing list, various blogs, Wikipedia and whatever Google has thrown up
try and find my way.


Maser, Dan wrote:
>    Yes, it does work.  Naturally if you do something (just as an
> example) that calls into the Win32 api directly you'll have to make
> changes to your code to let it do the equiv on linux.   All the steps
> are on the mono web site.  If you have a more specific question about
> error your getting then perhaps this mailing list might be a good
> to start.   But for general steps on how to start:
> 1. Read as much of the http://www.mono-project.com/ web site as you
> 2. Pay close attention to http://www.mono-project.com/Compiling_Mono
> http://www.mono-project.com/FAQ:_Winforms

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