Microsoft's Next ASP.NET Release Runs on OS X and Linux

.NET developer Graeme Christie has managed to get Microsoft's open-source, cross-platform ASP.NET vNext running on OS X and Linux.

Linux penguin

Microsoft delivered a preview of the next version of its ASP.NET Web development framework at its TechEd 2014 conference, and now that software is able to run on OS X and Linux.

Graeme Christie, a .NET developer, wrote a blog post on how he has enabled Microsoft's open-source, cross-platform ASP.NET vNext to run on OS X and Linux. With an emphasis on the "open-sourceness" of the platform, Christie notes that Microsoft is fully integrating Mono and Linux into their build environment and test matrix, and is actively working with the community to make Mono a first-class platform for hosting ASP.NET.

"ASP.NET vNext is cross-platform and embraces non-Windows hosts as first-class citizens," he said. "ASP.NET vNext is fully open-source. People like you and me are able to get in on the ground floor, try out the bits and pieces and even contribute—pretty much from the project's inception."

Moreover, Christie notes that there are two main steps to running ASP.NET apps on non-Windows systems. The first is to install Mono, and the second is to install the "K Runtime Environment" or KRE. KRE "is the command line environment that will build and run (not that there is really a distinction anymore) projects from their new project.json project files," he said.

Christie goes further to demonstrate how he managed to get ASP.NET vNext up on OS X and Linux; this proves Microsoft's claim of the framework's cross-platform functionality.

Microsoft announced ASP.NET vNext at TechEd on May 12. ASP.NET vNext is a streamlined framework and runtime that enables developers to optimize cloud and server workloads with maximum agility and performance, Microsoft said. ASP.NET vNext will be a new Microsoft contribution to the .NET Foundation as an open-source project.

The new ASP .NET vNext enables ASP.NET developers to leverage their existing skills and create applications with automatic cloud support built in. It also enables a more agile Web development, with full side-by-side support per application and dynamic compilation based on the new .NET Compiler Platform. And it provides a flexible componentization as enhanced performance and startup times.

Brian Harry, a corporate vice president in Microsoft's Developer Division, told eWEEK the new framework would run across multiple platforms through a partnership with Xamarin.

Last November, Microsoft announced a partnership with Xamarin to enable C# and Visual Studio developers to target additional mobile devices, including iOS and Android. Visual Studio and .NET provide developer productivity for application developers targeting the Windows family of devices. With Xamarin, developers can take this productivity to iOS and Android as well. Xamarin is working closely with Microsoft on the newly formed .NET Foundation. Xamarin's co-founder and chief technical officer, Miguel de Icaza, is the founder of the Mono project and also sits on the board of the .NET Foundation.

"ASP.NET vNext is an evolution of ASP.NET. Everything you know today about ASP.NET will apply to ASP.NET vNext," said S. "Soma" Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division, in a blog post. "You can use the existing libraries or the new versions for those libraries in .NET vNext and get immediate benefits. Web development in the cloud demands a simple, lean development experience built on top of a composable framework. The next version of ASP.NET will be composed from a collection of packages, with each application describing its dependencies."

Meanwhile, further explaining the new platform, Microsoft software architect Scott Hanselman, wrote in a blog post, "ASP.NET vNext will take things to the next level. Today, you run ASP.NET using the same CLR [Common Language Runtime] that desktop apps use. We're adding a cloud-optimized (my cloud, your cloud, their cloud—server stuff) version optimized for server scenarios like low memory and high throughput.

"ASP.NET vNext will let you deploy your own version of the .NET Framework on an app-by-app-basis. One app with new libraries can't break an app next door with a different version. Different apps can even have their own cloud-optimized CLR of their own version. The CLR and cloud-optimized libraries are NuGet packages!"

In addition to the preview of ASP.NET vNext, at TechEd Microsoft also announced the availability of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2, Visual Studio Apache Cordova tooling, Visual studio Online APIs and more.