Installing the .NET Microframework Add-in for Visual Studio for Mac

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last updated: 2017-03

The .NET Microframework Add-in for Visual Studio for Mac allows you to build and deploy .NET MF microntroller apps to the Netduino 2 and Netduino 2 Plus.

Note: the add-in requires Mono v3.10, which is currently in the Alpha channel.


While Xamarin.Robotics works with both .NET Microframework devices and other peripherals such as BLE enabled sensors, etc., if you want to take advantage of the .NET Microframework portions of the Xamarin.Robotics platform, you'll need either a Netduino 2 or 2 Plus running the 4.3.1 firmware. Other Netduinos may work, but we've only tested on the Netduino 2 and 2 Plus.

Note that firware updates must be done on a Windows machine. There is currently no way to update the firmware from a Mac.

Firmware and Instructions:

If your Netduino isn't running 4.3.1, you will not be able to deploy from a Mac, and your code may not compile on Windows.

Visual Studio for Mac Installation Instructions

If you're using a Mac, you'll need to have Visual Studio for Mac installed, and then you'll need to install the Micro Framework Plug-in. To install:

  1. Switch to the Alpha channel and update Visual Studio for Mac. The add-in needs Mono 3.10 which is currently in Alpha.
  2. From the Visual Studio for Mac menu choose Add-in Manager, select the Gallery tab, and then in the Search, type MicroFramework(you may have to click on the Refresh button):

  3. Click Install. The add-in will download and install all the appropriate packages. You will likely have to enter your password up to four times, as it moves files into place.

  4. Click Enable to enable the add-in, and then restart Visual Studio for Mac.

After that, you should be good to go.

Next Steps

Once you have your hardware and development environment configured, it's time to build and deploy a simple program to your Netduino.

Xamarin Workbook

If it's not already installed, install the Xamarin Workbooks app first. The workbook file should download automatically, but if it doesn't, just click to start the workbook download manually.