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Is there any way to compile C# so it 'doesn't need' .Net?

All replies

  • Hi,
    Threre is an open source project called Mono which provide the necessary software to develop and run .NET client and server applications on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, Windows, and Unix. Sponsored by Novell http://www.novell.com/products/mono/

    Thanks

    We are volunteers and ask only that if we are able to help you, that you mark our reply as your answer. THANKS! Blog http://mohamed-radwan.spaces.live.com/default.aspx
    Sunday, July 19, 2009 5:48 AM
  • as my humble knowledge tells me there is no such .net application can run without .net framework (or similar frameworks such as Mono) but it still needs framework to run. If you look inside the framework you will see that any application needs not only the framework class library but also the CLR and the other services.

    so, unless the compiler you need compile the c# code into native win32 application you can't have a .net application that doesn't need .Net.
    We are volunteers, if the reply help you mark it as your answer. thanks!!
    Sunday, July 19, 2009 7:33 AM
  • Salamander is still around.  Beware of sticker shock.

    Hans Passant.
    Sunday, July 19, 2009 6:22 PM
  • Sorry, posted on lack of sleep. I meant, 'compile into a native win32 application'.

    Seems to me it would be possible, by having the compiler trawl through all the functions and classes called and compile them into the program.

    Just might not be practical.

    Thanks for the responses.
    Sunday, July 19, 2009 10:42 PM
  • It's probably far easier to re-code it in unmanaged C++.
    http://blog.voidnish.com
    Sunday, July 19, 2009 11:25 PM
  • The C# standard is available at Standard ECMA-334 C# Language Specification. Note that that file is a 5.6 MB PDF.

    The standard says: "Although Microsoft’s implementation of C# relies on CLI for library and runtime support, other implementations of C# need not, provided they support an alternate way of getting at the minimum CLI features required by this C# standard (see Annex D).".

    The standard says much more and you should read it. Essentially, C# relies haevily on the CLI, which is the standard implemented by the CLR and .Net. The C# standard says "CLI is based on a subset of the .NET Framework".

    Your question is not clear, so I am not sure if you are asking if it is possible to use C# without any library other than Windows or if you are interested in some other library other than .Net. Usually when the subject is used to ask a question, as you did, the question is more work to answer. You should use the big box for asking questions to make your questions more clear.
    Sam Hobbs; see my SimpleSamples.Info
    Sunday, July 19, 2009 11:55 PM
  • I think people typically ask this sort of question when they write an app in C# (or have a 3rd party do it for them), and then later find out that some customers may not want to install the .NET framework (on older computers perhaps). Obviously there's no easy answer here - their best option is to convince them to install .NET, their next best (and possibly last) option is to rewrite it in a native language like C++, Delphi or classic VB.


    http://blog.voidnish.com
    Monday, July 20, 2009 12:00 AM
  • As a practical matter, it's not possible. Theoretically, a compiler could examine all the classes your application is using and include that code in your application, and compile the whole thing to native code. But, that still doesn't account for the CLR itself which contains core functionality like the garbage collector, assembly loader, metadata reader, etc. All these things are in native code, so they would have to be duplicated.

    In addition, not all methods in .NET classes are in managed code. If you look at the disassembled code in Reflector, you'll see that some of the methods are marked with the MethodImplAttributes.InternalCall flag. This means that the actual implementation of the method is internal to the CLR. Any system that compiled C# (or any other .NET language) to native code would have to duplicate all of this, and that would be a herculean effort. And the resulting app would likely be quite large.
    Don Caton - Shoreline Software
    NewsHound - Offline Reader for Newsgroups and Microsoft Forums
    Monday, July 20, 2009 1:55 PM
  • Hi,

    u can not run a c# exe file at the machine without the .net framework, but u can packing the .net framework in ur c# exe file, and then it can run at a machine without .net framework.
    Monday, July 20, 2009 3:02 PM
  • No C# is a managed language, meaning you need the manager to manipulate the OS. What would be the point in packaging up .Net in all its glory for a huge exe? You need to look into unmanaged languages or other scripting languages if installed on the user's system.
    William Wegerson (www.OmegaCoder.Com)
    Monday, July 20, 2009 3:07 PM
  • ok so we can not run a c# exe file at the machine without the .net framework. am i right?
    Monday, July 20, 2009 3:09 PM
  • You can.  See Nobugz's reply.
    Monday, July 20, 2009 4:01 PM
  • No C# is a managed language, meaning you need the manager to manipulate the OS.

    Are you saying that the manager does not use the Windows API to do the things that the Windows API does?

    The point of the question is that at the lowest level, the .Net runtime uses Windows and theoretically code equivalent to the manager could be generated. I think it would be much more accurate to say that such a facility does not exist. It could exist theoretically, but it does not. Or does it? Some of the other answers seem to indicate that there are other implementations of the CLI that could be used.
    Sam Hobbs; see my SimpleSamples.Info
    Monday, July 20, 2009 8:04 PM
  • Somebody is going to have to tell the folks at Salamander that their product isn't real.  OP, please close the thread.

    Hans Passant.
    Monday, July 20, 2009 8:11 PM
  • Somebody is going to have to tell the folks at Salamander that their product isn't real.  OP, please close the thread.
    Sure, but to quote their website:
    Salamander .NET Linker and mini-deployment tool allows you to link .NET assemblies together into a single file, and to deploy your application without installation of the whole Microsoft .NET Framework. The linker selectively links MSIL code putting together only the required classes and methods, and it is capable of linking into the Microsoft .NET framework class libraries.

    At what point does the kitchen sink of the application size outweigh not installing .Net as one pulls in the different libraries of .Net for this standalone ? One has to be talking about a real simple application...if that is the case fire up the C++ unamanaged compiler and go to town. (IMHO)

     


    William Wegerson (www.OmegaCoder.Com)
    Monday, July 20, 2009 8:41 PM
  • What I would like is the ability to use the Visual Studio.Net environment to develop unmanaged native win32 apps using the visual designer for windows forms and a relatively easy to use high level language like C# (as opposed to C++) and then be able to compile that app just like a C++ or Delphi app and end up with an app that has a small footprint that I can easily distribute over the net (think shareware). And of course I don't want this app to rely on a relatively large framework.

    I could be wrong, but I think a lot of people are still using Delphi in preference to .net, for the reason that .net does not allow native win32 compilation (independent of .net framework). If you search the net, it's quite evident that a lot of people are asking for native compilation of .net code and I think that's because people like the ease of use and richness of the .net framework, but want their apps compiled into small binaries that can be easily distributed without relying on a huge framework, especially if the app is not using most of the framework.

    Maybe a better question is: If I can write a feature rich windows app using a RAD environment like Delphi that I can compile into small easily distributed binaries without the app requiring my users to download a large framework, why can't I do that with the Microsoft development environment, ie. VS.Net?

    Rob.

    Saturday, April 10, 2010 9:07 AM
  • Rob: Doesn't Java require that it be installed or else web sites that use it won't work? And it seems that the Adobe Reader or whatever it is called that is needed for PDF files needs to be installed in order to view documents in many web sites. And then there is the Flash Player or whatever it is called to create the obnoxious advertisements but many web sites require it too.



    Sam Hobbs; see my SimpleSamples.Info
    Saturday, April 10, 2010 9:59 AM
  • Sam, your responses in this thread have been laughably off the mark. But you get points for trying.

    Wednesday, September 01, 2010 5:28 PM
  • Sam, your responses in this thread have been laughably off the mark. But you get points for trying.


    You should make an attempt to post something constructive before criticizing other attempts to help. I see you have not contributed anything useful in these forums.


    Sam Hobbs; see my SimpleSamples.Info
    Wednesday, September 01, 2010 6:55 PM
  • Hi,

    No matter the language there are always dependencies to DLLs and COM components; some sort of runtime environment. Sure sometimes Windows has the enviroment pre-installed but not always as it depends on the technologies used by the application. VB6 and COM components is a good example. Even a Fortran application needed a Salford DLL on the machine. Sure there really isn't a choice between a 350Mb installation vs a 125kb DLL but still an environment had to exist. If you could compile C# to native machine code then there is no guarantee it will work on every machine. Of course I have seen Python turned to a completely self contained native application, a 100k script turned into a 150 Mb EXE. The whole of Windows in an application.

    Someone didn't do their homework?

    Installing the .NET framework is annoying!! Can't deny that.

    Best of luck.

     


    …we each have more potential than we might ever presume to guess. (Blog: http://dsmyth.blogspot.com/)
    Wednesday, September 01, 2010 9:18 PM
  • You are totally right but you missed a spot :)

     

    The MAIN reason people will prefer Delphi to dot.net (which is great IMHO) is because releasing dot.net code is almost like releasing the source!

    And MANY people (including me) don't want that.

    Even if protecting the code is something to discourage minor threats, the problem with dot.net is huge.

    Even the best obfuscator, in the end, deobfuscate to IL code. And IL code is so near to source that it becomes very easy to reverse engineer.

     

    Microsoft must THINK about thins and include a "-STATIC or -UNMANAGED" feature.

    Oh and by the way, every tool I have seen so far that poses as a "real compiler" does at best a rough compilation of some feature and still relies on many .NET libraries.

    I'm waiting for a solution to this to finally ditch other compilers/languages.

     

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010 8:01 PM
  • "What I would like is the ability to use the Visual Studio.Net environment to develop unmanaged native win32 apps using the visual designer for windows forms and a relatively easy to use high level language like C# (as opposed to C++) and then be able to compile that app just like a C++ or Delphi app and end up with an app that has a small footprint that I can easily distribute over the net (think shareware). And of course I don't want this app to rely on a relatively large framework."

    I am pretty sure that the single most important reason why C# is such a powerful high level language is because it takes advantage of high level .NET / CLI libraries. The .Net framework is what runs the whole thing. It's hard to have one without the other.

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010 8:12 PM
  • "What I would like is the ability to use the Visual Studio.Net environment to develop unmanaged native win32 apps using the visual designer for windows forms and a relatively easy to use high level language like C# (as opposed to C++) and then be able to compile that app just like a C++ or Delphi app and end up with an app that has a small footprint that I can easily distribute over the net (think shareware). And of course I don't want this app to rely on a relatively large framework."

    I am pretty sure that the single most important reason why C# is such a powerful high level language is because it takes advantage of high level .NET / CLI libraries. The .Net framework is what runs the whole thing. It's hard to have one without the other.

    I think what we missed in .net: is code speed in comparison with C++ optimizing compilers.

    (I agree the source code protection in .net is not enough)

    and I think it is possible rewriting C++ optimizing compiler with new highly structured language like C#

    so it is new compiler and it is very hard to do.

    and still C# has long journey to make its compiler optimized for speed (global code optimization I mean).

    some benefits in C# which C++ lacks:

     do not need header files (speeding code development), highly structured language , rich libraries,

    no legacy bugs, very easy to learn and program,  and very important: The powerful  IDE (VS2010).

    C++ has all  legacy bugs and it is very easy to make bugs in C++.

     

    The Best Wishes,

    < I am interested in compilers and computer languages>

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 4:24 AM
  • i'm agree M.Radwan, mono is a good choice but it has its own framework different from .Net and if u want to work with it, kind of seems to have relearnings....
    Saturday, August 04, 2012 2:24 AM