Table of contents

    Building MonoDevelop


    Installing dependencies

    MonoDevelop requires the following packages (or newer versions):

    • Mono 5.10
    • Mono.Addins 0.6
    • Gtk# 2.12.45
    • monodoc 1.0
    • F# (fsharpc program)
    • cmake
    • libssh2

    You can build them from gitsource releases or, even easier, simply install the pre-built packages appropriate for your platform.

    We strongly recommend you install everything from packages if possible. If not, you should use a Parallel Mono Environment. Do not install anything to /usr or /usr/local unless you completely understand the implications of doing so.

    Note that if your distro has sufficiently up-to-date Gtk# or Mono.Addins packages, you can configure a parallel Mono environment to use them instead of building them from source. See the section on MONO_GAC_PREFIX in the Parallel Mono Environment guide.

    Building from Git

    After getting the source code from GitHub, run the following code in the root directory:


    It may fail because of missing dependencies; install them, and re-run the command.

    This script allows selecting and configuring a set of MonoDevelop modules to be included in an integrated build. The MonoDevelop build system consists of a ‘main’ module, which contains the main distribution, and a number of additional add-ins in subdirectories of ‘extras’.
    The ‘extras’ add-ins are designed to be built and distributed separately, and therefore build against your system-installed MonoDevelop by default. However, this script sets them up to build against the MonoDevelop in ‘main’, and ensures that they will be loaded when MonoDevelop is launched with ‘make run’ in this top-level directory. This is very useful for development and testing.

    You can select the list of extra add-ins to be built by running this command:

    ./configure --select

    Further executions of the configure script will configure only the selected add-ins.
    You can also configure a predefined list of modules by specifying a build profile using the –profile option. Use the –help option to get information about available profiles and other build options.

    Linux: Running

    Since you’ll be working on the development version, it’s best not to install it; instead, you can use

    make run

    to run it without installing it. It is a good idea to keep separate copies for using and developing.

    Building from Tarballs

    MonoDevelop is split in several tarballs: one for the main application, and one for each optional add-in. You can get the tarballs from the Download page.

    First of all you have to configure and install the main tarball:

    ./make install

    The configure script may fail because of missing dependencies; install them, and re-run the command.

    After this, you can build and install any of the additional tarballs using the same procedure.


    Building MonoDevelop from source on the Mac is straightforward when the latest Mono SDK package is installed. In general, the instructions in Development:Getting Started can be applied directly to building MD on macOS. However, there are a few caveats, so this page explains the Mac build process in more detail.

    Building using Makefiles


    First you will need Xcode installed. If you have Xcode 4.3 or later, you will need to then install the Xcode Commandline tool from Xcode preferences, and install autoconf and automake from brew.

    NOTE: Please ensure that you have the very latest Mono MDK.

    Check out MD, configure using the Mac profile:

    git clone git://
    pushd monodevelop
    ./configure --profile=mac
    make run

    NOTE: DO NOT use configure –select on Mac - the Mac profile passes adds required arguments to the configuration of main.  Instead edit profiles/mac manually to add any additional modules.

    IMPORTANT: Do not install MonoDevelop into the install prefix. MonoDevelop will pick up libraries from the prefix automatically. If you configured with a non-default prefix, then when you build an app bundle, the entire prefix will be merged into the app bundle.

    Things you might have to do before running the configure script

    1. Tell aclocal where to find the pkgconfig M4 macro (pkg.m4), e.g.

      export ACLOCAL_FLAGS="-I /Library/Frameworks/Mono.framework/Versions/Current/share/aclocal"

      Comment: this did not appear necessary

    2. Add the GTK+ libraries’ location to the Mac dynamic loader path:

      export DYLD_FALLBACK_LIBRARY_PATH=/Library/Frameworks/Mono.framework/Versions/Current/lib:/lib:/usr/lib

      Comment: this did not appear necessary

    Building extras

    To include additional addins from extras in the build, instead of using the Mac profile, use configure --select to select addins. This will write the default profile. Next, replace the line in profiles/default that begins with “main”  with the one from profiles/mac, then run configure again using the default profile.

    Mac: Running

    To run MD, simply use:

    make run

    Building the App package

    To build the app package, navigate to the macOS build directory:

    cd main/build/MacOSX

    From here, build the using make app. You can then build the .dmg using the ./ script. To include addins from extras, manually copy their build directories into the directory, e.g.

    cp -r ../../../extras/MonoDevelop.AspNet.Mvc/build/*

    Building using MonoDevelop

    When building MonoDevelop using MonoDevelop, be sure to select the Mac configuration, as this will enable building only the addins that work on Mac.


    Building main is straightforward. Open main/Main.sln, select the Mac configuration, and run the Build command. Note that running MonoDevelop from within MD will currently only work if you export DYLD_FALLBACK_LIBRARY_PATH as described above.


    Loading the full MonoDevelop.mdw workspace and building the addin solutions from extras will only work if the Makefiles’ configure script has been run. Even then, not all of them will build correctly. Until this is resolved, use the makefiles to build extras.

    TL;DR - Getting a MD Master App Bundle

    Install the latest Mono MDK (2.10.6 at the time of writing) and git. Then run the following commands

    export PATH="/Library/Frameworks/Mono.framework/Versions/Current/bin:$PATH"
    export ACLOCAL_FLAGS="-I /Library/Frameworks/Mono.framework/Versions/Current/share/aclocal"
    export DYLD_FALLBACK_LIBRARY_PATH=/Library/Frameworks/Mono.framework/Versions/Current/lib:/lib:/usr/lib
    git clone git://
    cd monodevelop
    ./configure --profile=mac
    cd main/build/MacOSX && make app && open

    To update, run the following commands in the monodevelop directory:

    git pull
    cd main/build/MacOSX && make app && open


    Prerequisites and Source

    • Install Visual Studio 2017 with the .NET Desktop and .NET Core workloads and the F# optional component (note, F# is disabled by default so need to enable it in the VS installer).
    • Install Git for Windows (from here)
    • Make sure you have .NET Framework 4.7.1 Reference Assemblies (4.7.1 Targeting Pack)
    • Install Gtk# (installer). Direct link: gtk-sharp-2.12.45.msi
    • Install the Mono libraries package (installer)
    • Install GNU Gettext tools (from here)

    Building using Visual Studio or MonoDevelop

    You need at least Visual Studio 2017 or MonoDevelop 7.1  

    • git clone --recursive -j8
    • Open main/Main.sln.
    • Select the DebugWin32 configuration and Any CPU platform (this is important!).
    • Build the solution.

    Building using MSBuild

    Open a Command Prompt in main and run winbuild.bat. You can easily run MD directly after building with the winbuild.bat script (run monodevelop\main\build\bin\monodevelop.exe).