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Fedora catches Mono
Jan. 17, 2006

Fedora Core Linux users desiring to run certain .Net applications will be able to do so when the next version of Fedora Core is released later this year, thanks to the inclusion of Mono, the open-source version of Microsoft's .Net software architecture, Red Hat has confirmed.

Mono is a project instituted by Ximian in 2002 to produce a set of Microsoft .Net compatible open source tools, including a C# compiler and a Common Language Runtime. Sponsored by Novell subsequent to its acquisition of Ximian in 2004, Mono also provides the necessary software for developers to create and and run .Net client and server applications on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, Windows, and Unix.

Fedora Core is a Linux distribution derived from Red Hat Linux and developed by the Fedora Project, which is sponsored by Red Hat. The Fedora Project released the second beta of Fedora Core 5 today.

"The official reason for Red Hat to include Mono on Fedora is to run a number of applications that we have developed: F-Spot (photo management), Beagle (Desktop Search) and a myriad of others," Mono project leader and Novell executive Miguel de Icaza told in an email. "They have not placed much stress on Windows migration."

"Mono, despite being so young (it was introduced 18 months ago) and only shipping with SUSE and more recently Debian-based distributions, managed to capture the minds of the developers in Linux against all the established standards (Java, C, C++, Gtk and Qt)," de Icaza continued. "In the past, Fedora users had to come to our site to download Mono and ask their users to download Mono; this will no longer be a requirement."

"The inclusion of Mono in Fedora has more to do with the large list of applications that they could not run than to get Windows migration support (which they also get)," de Icaza explained. "So I have to say, despite Red Hat refusing to ship Mono for so long, developers voted with their code in our direction."

Moreover, de Icaza called the move "fantastic news for Mono users and developers everywhere and for Fedora users, which will get both Mono and the various Mono-based applications that have been cooking."

In addition, de Icaza said Mono users should look into some of the "tasty new languages" Mono supports, including Boo, IronPython and Nemerle."

"We're happy to enable another convenient method to use our core desktop platform," Fedora's Chris Blizzard said in his blog. "In this sense, it joins all of the other enabling tools we have, including pygtk and java-gnome for Java. It's already been used to build some pretty neat apps, including Beagle, F-Spot and Tomboy."

Further details on Mono are in the Mono FAQ. A list of applications that the use of Mono allows on Linux distros can be found here. Another list can be found here.

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