Creation of a proper Mono PPA

Alexander Trauzzi atrauzzi at
Mon Jun 16 02:10:15 UTC 2014

Hey Christopher,

I still think this "bleeding edge" release is needed as it's not helpful to
be forced to wait 6+ months every time Xamarin reaches a popular milestone.
 My whole suggestion here *is* to make a best effort to keep pace, no

WRT current backports, I think you just explained why they're not a
workable solution.  Saying "...not particularly out of date..." in this
thread is the same as saying "be happy with the status quo".  If what
exists currently was sufficient, I think you'd see a lot fewer people like
myself voicing concerns and interest to see a better option.  It's
definitely appropriate here to suggest that you google for peoples'
accounts and anecdotes on stack exchange sites.  There's no shortage of
people talking about the hoops one has to jump through, which we know
effectively render any use of Mono in deployment improbable.  We have to
bring the calibre of the integration up to the same levels as PHP, Ruby,
Python, Java and other runtimes.

Something about the current arrangement for Mono on Ubuntu just isn't

On Sun, Jun 15, 2014 at 7:44 PM, Christopher James Halse Rogers <
chris at> wrote:

> On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 1:31 AM, Alexander Trauzzi <atrauzzi at>
> wrote:
>> Hello to everyone on the mailing list!
>> I've found myself very interested in C# development lately as well as
>> upcoming new technologies in the .NET sphere (OWIN, vNext).  Lots of it is
>> going to be runnable on Mono, which despite any historical misgivings about
>> Microsoft one might have, is pretty nice.
>> Unfortunately, whenever I try to run these new technologies on my
>> favourite OS (Ubuntu!), I'm faced with the issue that Ubuntu's Mono is
>> relatively out of date.  Which is normal and something we all know happens
>> for a reason.
> Less so in 14.04, which has 3.2.7, but you're right; the stable releases
> will always have the runtime they released with.
>> So, as is normal, I go looking for PPAs and turn up this list:
>> Which, while it's seemingly satisfactory that 27 results managed to come
>> back, there are a few issues which I'll detail here as I've attempted using
>> several of them:
> My first port of call for newer Mono on stable releases would be
> Badgerports: This is run by Jo Shields, a member
> of the Debian CLI (as in: Common Language Infrastructure, ie .NET) team.
> It's not going to be bleeding edge; it's roughly backports of the most
> recent Debian/Ubuntu packages. They're not particularly out of date,
> though, and when they are it's generally because either (a) there's a
> transition going on that needs some special handling, or (b) it's been a
> while since the last upstream release tarball which actually built.
>   - Not all of these PPAs install.  Some actually break your system!
>>  - Some of these PPAs aren't actually the latest version, they're a
>> somewhat-latest version, but still too out of date to be useful
>>  - I have yet to find a PPA that correctly replaces the system-wide Mono.
>> Any of the ones I've tried install to /opt and are very difficult to use
>> because they don't integrate as an alternative
> Which is doubly odd, because we in the pkg-cli-* teams have made it really
> easy to have parallel-installed Mono runtimes:
> plus the /usr/bin/cli alternative.
>  While it's nice that these PPAs exist and they're okay for tinkering
>> around with the technologies, they by no means establish what I would
>> consider a solid foundation for deployment or coexistence with a healthy
>> Ubuntu system.
>> Moreover, the Mono project themselves have passed the buck back to Ubuntu
>> ( ) in terms of who
>> is responsible for making this happen.
>> So, be it resolved that the current options for Mono are just not cutting
>> it, I'd like to propose that a PPA or appropriate equivalent be made or an
>> existing official PPA be reworked to meet the following criteria:
>>  - Both nightly and stable builds of the entire core Mono & Monodevelop
>> ecosystem
>>  - Both 32 and 64 bit if possible
>>  - Development libraries so that integrations (edge.js) can happen
>>  - Packages integrate system-wide using the update-alternatives
>> mechanism, similar to java and other runtimes
>>  - Built using equivalent parameters and conventions used to produce
>> Ubuntu universe packages
>>  - Optional: NuGet
>>  - Optionally & Ideally: Liase with Xamarin and open up a channel of
>> communication with them to see if they're either willing to help or advise
> Some of this is already covered; Debian builds are a part of Mono CI
> (although
> it seems that their builders are having problems, hm) - this produced
> parallel-installable artefacts, as seen on https://wrench.mono-project.
> com/Wrench/ViewLane.aspx?lane_id=25&host_id=20&revision_id=13094
> There's probably an API you could hook into to pull those things out into
> a repository once the builders come back online.
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