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 Studio Community

For an individual or hobbyist programmer, Microsoft Visual Studio Community 2015 appears to include most of the important tools of its commercial cousins. Assuming the list comparing the various versions is complete, you get the IDE, debugger, optimizing compiler of the full version, minus a few things in the editor, debugging and profiling facilities. With this suite, you can develop programs for the desktop and mobile versions of Windows as well as Android. The software also comes with support for building programs with C#, C, C++, Visual Basic, F# and Python. At the time I wrote this, the site states that Visual Studio Community is "free for individual developers, open source projects, academic research, education and small professional teams".

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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