ASP.NET on Linux? (Part 1)
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by William Wise
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Compatibility - The Good News

As we get into the nitty-gritty of our discussion of Mono’s compatibility with .NET be prepared for some good news and some not so good news.  As tradition dictates, we’ll look at the good news first.


Our first bit of good news is that if you want to use Mono to test your applications for compatibility but have little interest in establishing a Linux test environment then you’re in luck.  Mono provides a simple Windows executable that will install and configure your system for Mono development.  In fact, it’s important to note that Mono has no dependencies on .NET applications or class libraries so you don’t need to have .NET installed on Windows to develop .NET applications with Mono.  To download the latest Mono installer head on over to and grab the latest version. 


Mono currently supports ASP.NET deployment on Linux using either a small, light-weight web-server written in C# called XSP or via an add-on for Apache called mod_mono.  Whereas XSP is ideal for experimentation and development scenarios mod_mono is clearly the choice for deployments demanding greater performance and reliability.  Currently, Mono’s XSP web-server is not included as part of the Mono distribution.  Although downloading the C# source code for XSP is easy enough, actually building the source on Windows is a pain since Mono’s build system is very UNIX-centric in its reliance on “make” files.  Since most Windows users don’t have the tools required to compile “make” files I’ve posted the XSP executable at my web-site here.  What’s interesting to note is that although I built the XSP executable on Linux it runs just fine under Windows, which brings us to our next bit of good news…


Because Mono’s .NET compatible run-time (officially called the CLI, short for Common Language Infrastructure) is byte code compatible with Microsoft .NET binaries, you can (at least in theory) copy an existing .NET application from Windows to Linux and run it without recompilation.  Likewise, any application compiled using Mono’s C# compiler will also run without recompilation under Windows.  Of course, the truth of the matter is that, in either case, if you write your application using assemblies that are not available on the alternative platform you’re going to run into problems and therein lies the rub…

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User Comments

Title: Crime   
Name: Akhil Vijayan
Date: 2011-08-16 2:55:34 AM
Does Microsoft allow such a project as MOno. Isnt this project breach of intellectual property Rights. Any way Microsoft would not be pleased with people using in Linux.
Title: Excellent!   
Name: Mark Carson
Date: 2011-04-11 6:50:21 AM
There are hundreds of applications designed and developed for PHP and Apache. The majority of these are open-source and more importantly; 'useful'. Apache, MySQL and PHP can be installed and executed quite well on a Windows platform; free of licensing charges...
When this article was written, it was 'fantastic' to believe that the reverse was possible; .NET applications designed and developed for Windows could be installed and used on Linux technologies.
Even now, years on; this article provides some hope that .NET technologies can be fully supported on a 'low-cost' environment with the choices of database, file-system and web technologies that there should be...
Title: Dr   
Name: ASP
Date: 2011-03-07 7:17:49 AM
Sounds fantastic and would be grate to use with C#
Title: / MYSQL   
Name: Haneez Haroon
Date: 2011-02-02 1:03:15 PM
Most of the web hosting providers support now without MSSQL support.

Thanks for the information. Useful stuff.
Title: .net is run in linux   
Name: udit trivedi
Date: 2010-10-20 6:58:33 AM
it is possible or not i think that's possible because .net is software and is install in different environment
Title: Important Info   
Name: Seraju Rahman
Date: 2010-09-05 3:37:04 PM
It is nice information.But i am not 100% satisfied.
Give us clear Answer.?
Title: info   
Name: pankaj
Date: 2010-02-13 3:34:42 AM
can we run programes on linux servers?if yes,then which all facilities will not be available?
Title: Nice info   
Name: Aditya G. Jadhav
Date: 2009-12-23 2:05:37 AM

got nice information here but not enough. what about redhat linux, i mean there is no packages for RedHat as well as fedora is any migration. plzz give me solution if u so.

with warm regard
J. Aditya
Title: thanks   
Name: debanjan sengupta
Date: 2009-07-21 1:34:53 AM
i cannot install xsp on my fedora 9 system.i have already installed mono 2.4.2 and monodoc 2.0 but an error message is coming while installing xsp that "you need to install either mono 2.0 orc higher or .net sdk".what should i do?????
Title: Thank you   
Name: Okari
Date: 2009-05-31 2:43:22 PM
Thanks a lot... I'm a new graduate from university trying to set up a webserver for a small business, I studied mainly and started worrying cause the introductory classes clearly started that belongs to that other OS makers...

Thanks a lot
Title: What web server??   
Name: Anthony Estrada
Date: 2009-04-29 11:29:26 PM
What web server for i have develop ang application in mono but im wondering how could i implement it.
Title: Positioning of Mono   
Name: David Maeder
Date: 2009-04-23 3:49:05 AM
Excellent introduction to Mono, giving an independent warts and all view of this project.
Title: Game Dev   
Name: GasDeveloper
Date: 2009-03-03 2:15:10 PM
Does Mono have any support for 3D Graphic libraries, Or is it able to use any Libraries that support .NET. And can mono be used for GUI Applications?
Title: Mono   
Name: edcon
Date: 2008-08-06 2:58:59 PM
do you think mono supports Ajax, Silverlight and MS SQL database? Not sure if I'm asking a right question.
Title: Great Idea   
Name: metalisa
Date: 2008-07-24 9:00:16 AM
it will be a great feature to be able to run asp/net applications on linux
Title: Thanks   
Name: Jagadish
Date: 2008-07-14 11:24:24 AM
Thanks it is a good article.
Title: Crystal Reports on Ubuntu   
Name: Zahid Khan kakar
Date: 2008-06-13 6:54:23 AM
Please also tell me about Crystal reports with mono. Thanks
Title: Thakur   
Name: Pankaj Kr.
Date: 2008-05-19 8:25:42 AM
The article was of great interest to the developers like us who has the expertise of developing an application in .Net and wish to port the same across different platform.

Do continue to write similar articles but also test some .Net application on Mono. Because there is still some ????????s on the compatibility of the two.

Pankaj Kr. Thakur
Chief Executive
Renuka Associates Pvt. Ltd.
New Delhi, India.
Title: VB hosting on Linux (Ubuntu)   
Name: busnetdown
Date: 2008-05-13 10:06:47 AM
There is a good tutorial at about setting up your Ubuntu server to host applications. Also information about Vb pages.
Title: Nice   
Name: Marvin
Date: 2008-04-24 3:45:12 AM
Nice one on MONO . I just hope it will live up to its promises . I love open source and linux but in my job i use .Net so MONO is a great welcome.
Title: hi   
Name: pampa
Date: 2007-06-08 2:38:22 AM
Now that you understand that Mono’s implementation of .NET is still a work-in-progress it’s important to reflect on how much has been accomplished by the talented programmers contributing to this effort. A good example of the progress Mono has made toward providing a viable cross platform ASP.NET implementation is found in the fact that a number of Microsoft’s sample applications including IBuySpy work unmodified on Mono. As for performance, although Microsoft’s C# compiler generates more performant code is currently more performant than that produced by mono’s C# compiler the gap is closing rapidly. In addition, Mono’s support for Visual Basic.NET is shaping up quite nicely.
Title: Hosting providers   
Name: Eric Windisch
Date: 2007-03-24 6:24:32 PM
The provider that is listed there has gone out of business. However, there are other providers now. At least one of which has been in business for over 5 years...

For the latest list of providers supporting Mono:
Title: I loved this one   
Name: Rahul
Date: 2006-09-18 5:30:47 AM
praveen , I do not agree , There are so many indian companies that use dotnet may be willing to switch to *nix . Mono will be a blessing .
Title: how long will it survive   
Name: praveen
Date: 2006-08-27 11:53:46 PM
well, here in india, java runs in large, so i dont think so it wud survive in future with this new tech...!...?
Title: Really Nice information   
Name: Vijay Kumar Mateti
Date: 2006-07-20 11:45:34 AM
You really saved me. I'm a GNU supporter, I fell in love with linux but most of my work is on .NET platform so i'm forced to work on this environment. This article really cleared the clouds regarding implimentation of mono on linux. Expecting more Technical article on mono....
Title: MONO   
Name: Sarvesh Dhiman
Date: 2006-04-05 2:24:11 AM
The article about mono is too good. But is it possible to port ASP.Net application or windiw application on Unix platform using Mono. If it is possible then will it be great sucess then we possible to use COM Components on Unix Platform. and will run all aplication on linux
Title: Niks   
Name: Niks
Date: 2005-08-29 2:04:50 AM
The article is too cool. But is it possible to port ASP.Net application on Unix platform using Mono. If it is possible then will it be possible to use COM Components (Like Excel Workesheet, Excel Chart Objects, VB DLLs, etc.) on Unix Platform?

waiting for your reply. U can mail me at

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