This post assumes you have a Mac and OS X 10.9 (Mavericks). A Mac Mini 2009 or later will support Mavericks, and you can get them relatively cheap on eBay.
Once the operating system is installed, there are really two things to download and install:
- The Mono Framework (equivalent to the .NET Framework) – http://www.go-mono.com/mono-downloads/download.html
- MonoDevelop/Xamarin (equivalent to Visual Studio) – http://monodevelop.com/download
Installing the Mono Framework:
After the image is downloaded, run it – and you are given a simple wizard:
Installation took about 5 minutes – simple enough.
This is a little odd. You download a 40MB .dmg file and when you run it, you see this:
I think this is a disk image that you “mount” whenever you want to run the application. Not sure why it would work that way.
UPDATE: good Samaritan Dave from www.pingtrip.com explained to me about these .dmg images. To install the app, you simply drag the application icon (for example, “Xamarin Studio”, above) onto that shortcut to the Applications folder, just below it. That will install the application into your Applications. If you run into a.dmg that doesn’t have the shortcut, you can also drag the icon to the Applications folder in Finder to do the same thing.
Double-click the Xamarin Studio icon and it seems to download something from the internet, then brings another launcher, this is the actual Xamarin Studio app:
From this, you can create new projects or check for updates:
Click on Restart and Install Updates and it starts to do just that:
Note that the VERY first time I tried – neither the Close nor the Restart and Install Updates buttons did anything. After a reboot, they did. Then, I always get this:
I don’t know why. The OS is patched, and I don’t have any other software installed. Even though I can’t get those latest versions, I still can create many different types of C# and VB.NET projects:
So, if I create an MVC 3 project for example, it looks very familiar:
I got some build errors of the projects pointing to the wrong version of System.Web.Mvc, etc – but after I fixed that, I tried to run the site:
I dunno, this would take some time to figure out what is going on. However, if interested – that is what it looks like to get a .NET development environment set up on a Mac.