[MonoDevelop] Is MonoDevelop similar to visual c# but is able to write to different platforms

jmalcolm malcolm.justin at gmail.com
Fri Jul 15 10:02:03 EDT 2011

Santosh Gupta wrote:
> Can MonoDevelop
> work the same was as Visual C# but the output will work for
> different platforms? Also how are windows forms supported?

The short answer is yes. MonoDevelop is an Integrated Development
Environment (IDE) that supports writing C# applications that run on Windows,
Linux, OS X (Mac), and other platforms. You can think of MonoDevelop as a
Visual Studio clone that you can use instead of Visual Studio in your
Mono/.NET workflow.

I should point out though that .NET (and Mono) programs written using Visual
Studio on Windows are also completely cross-platform. If written properly,
they will run unmodified on any platform Mono supports. Simply move the
compiled .EXE and .DLL files to a Linux or Mac box and run them with Mono.
It is a common misunderstanding that you must use MonoDevelop to create Mono

MonoDevelop uses the Visual Studio solution and project formats. So, you can
start a project in Visual Studio and then edit it in MonoDevelop or

The real benefit of MonoDevelop is that it itself runs on Windows, Linux,
and Mac. That means that you can develop your programs on the platform of
your choice instead of being forced to use Windows to use .NET.

There is no portability benefit of using MonoDevelop per se. One possible
benefit is that if you write your code first on Linux or Mac you are certain
that it will run on Mono. If you write it entirely on Windows first you may
use some functionality that Mono does not support or make coding errors that
make your program unsuitable for Linux and Mac (like hard-coding Windows
path information, using P/Invoke to access non .NET libraries, or assuming
case-insensitive filesystems).

Another reason to prefer MonoDevelop is if you are developing desktop apps
that use the GTK# toolkit. MonoDevelop has a built in designer for this
purpose and just does a nicer job overall of supporting this kind of app. Of
course, Visual Studio and SharpDevelop both do a nicer job of supporting the
creation of Windows Forms GUIs.

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