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Linux Developer's Corner - Mono Live!

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Richard Smith

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Posted: 25 Oct 2005

Richard Smith
Developer Content Manager
Novell, Inc

Mono Live! (

I know there are some of you out there who would like to try out Mono, but don't want or have the resources to setup a machine to do it. Well, I have the answer for you now. Mono Live is a 'live CD' that will allow you to boot into a system that contains the most up-to-date version of Mono, the required dependencies and many of the latest desktop applications and tools. All this without having to make changes to your existing system.

In order to use Mono Live you just need the Mono Live CD. You can download the ISO image via HTTP at or if you are a BitTorrent kind of person a torrent file is available at
Once you have obtained the ISO image and burned it to CD you are ready to try out Mono Live.

You will need to boot your system from the CD (may require you to adjust the setting on your computer so that the BIOS will boot the CD prior to the hard disk). Once the system is booted you will need to respond to a few questions so that things like your keyboard, mouse, video display and such can be configured properly. Within a few minutes you will arrive at the Gnome desktop with icons that will link you with the Mono content on the CD. Here from the Mono Live website is a partial list of some of the software you'll find that will be of value in evaluating Mono.

Desktop Applications (written in Mono)
Beagle - Desktop Search
Blam - Blog Reader
F-Spot - Photo Album
Muine - Music Player
Tomboy - Simple Note-Taking

Web Applications (ASP.NET)
ASP.NET Forums - 1.0 on PostgreSQL
BlogX - Weblog Engine
IBuySpy - Portal on PostgreSQL
mojoPortal - Community Portal
nGallery - Web Photo Gallery

Developer Tools (Mono and non-Mono)
MonoDevelop - Mono IDE
Monodoc - Documentation Browser
Glade - GTK+ / Gtk# GUI Builder
PostgreSQL- Advanced Open Source Database
pgAdmin III - Graphical PostgreSQL Administration and Development Tool

Other Useful Tools
FireFox - Web Browser
Gaim - Multi-protocol Messaging Client
GIMP - Image Editor
XChat IRC - Internet Relay Chat Client (configured to connect to fellow Mono users)

You'll get a chance to use monodevelop, a feature-rich IDE for building Mono applications, whether C#, VB.NET, boo or any of the other supported languages or technologies is your choice.

In order to help you understand what you can do with Mono, Mono Live provides many examples of the various types of solutions that you can build, from web applications based on ASP.NET to Windows Forms programs for desktop applications.

Due to the maturity of Mono's ASP support, you will find a significant number of examples under the various ASP selections, including complete working versions of a weblog tool, web discussion forums and a very flexible, full-featured corporate portal system.

Here is a screen shot of the sample forum application that is part of Mono Live.

Many of the samples provided are based on applications originally developed for Microsoft's .NET framework and helps to illustrate your ability to deploy applications designed for .NET on Mono supported platforms.

As an added benefit of using Mono Live, the CD also contains what is needed to install Mono on a Windows based system and to begin developing applications leveraging Mono and Gtk# immediately. And as with all open source projects, Mono Live is always looking for contributers to get involved with the project. The are many ways to get involved from writing tutorials, to sample code or testing.

So, don't let installation and configuration prevent you from trying Mono, Mono Live takes care of all of that for you and let's you concentrate on evaluating the merits of Mono without having to invest a lot of time in preparation.

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