Free C# Compilers

Free C# compilers, interpreters and development environments


Free C# Compilers and Interpreters

C# is an object-oriented programming language created by Microsoft. This page lists free C# compilers, interpreters and integrated development environments (IDEs) for writing C# computer programs.

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Free C# Compilers

Microsoft Visual C# Express 2013 and Visual C# 2010 Express

The free Microsoft Visual C# compiler included in the Visual Studio Express 2013 and Visual C# 2010 Express allow you to create programs for the .NET framework. Visual Studio Express 2013 works on Windows Vista, 7, 8, Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Server 2012 (although not XP). I think the 2010 version works with Windows XP in addition to those listed for Express 2013. (Note: at the time I write this, you will have to scroll down to nearly the bottom of the page to find the 2010 version.) Both versions include a subset of the full (commercial) Visual Studio. WARNING: Visual Studio Express 2013 requires you to register for a Microsoft account, and associate your installation with this account, otherwise you will only be able to run the program for 30 days.

Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express

Develop non-commercial games in C# for Windows with the Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express. You will also need to download the Microsoft Visual C# Express Edition (see elsewhere on this page for the link). The XNA Game Studio Express includes the XNA Framework, a set of managed code development libraries that supposedly speeds up your development of games on Windows, as well as the XNA Framework Content Pipeline, tools that help you add 3D content to your games. Also included are documentation, starter kits (for example, a SpaceWar starter kit is included), etc. Important note: although the website says the XNA Game Studio Express allows you to develop for the Xbox 360, you must pay an annual fee to develop games for the Xbox 360. In fact, from the FAQ on the site, it appears that you don't even get the XNA Framework for Xbox 360 in this Express edition. You should also read the End User License Agreement (EULA) carefully before you start developing (to find out what the other restrictions are). In case you're wondering, XNA stands for "XNA's Not Acronymed", following the tradition started by GNU's "GNU's Not Unix". Currently supported systems: Windows XP SP2 and Vista. (Note: Microsoft regularly changes the web addresses for its products, making it difficult for others to link to them. If you find that the above link does not work, please let me know.)

The Mono C# Compiler

Mono is an open source cross-platform implementation of Microsoft's .NET Development Framework. It includes a C# compiler (generating .NET virtual machine code, not native code), a runtime for CLR (the Common Language Infrastructure) and a set of libraries. You can embed the runtime into your C# applications. Mono currently works on Linux (both x86 and PPC), Windows, S390, with work being carried on for Strong/ARM and SPARC.

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