Linux without Mono?

Print Friendly

I’ve been wondering about this for a while, but are there any Linux distros that either do not include Mono or else make it easy for you to delete it and all packages built upon it? How hard would that be to do?

N.B. This is just a personal question, not some sort of IBM industry query.


  1. It’s available on my distro (PCLinuxOS), but I’m not using anything that requires mono.

  2. Server or client Linux distros? I don’t believe it’s going to be easy either way, but it may affect the answer. Recently parts of Gnome have added dependencies on Mono (e.g. Gnome’s yelp requires libbeagle). Gnome is probably the issue you’re running into b/c it’s pulling in Mono. You could try using a different window manager (e.g. FluxBox) but that’s a very different user experience. I believe Suse, Fedora, and Ubuntu all lay down Mono or parts thereof by default. Debian is probably the only distro that does not.

    On a headless server it’s easier to avoid this, but that’s different from a client distro. Even on a server distro, I think Gnome will pull in Mono by default.

    Once Mono and Gnome are in, you will have a fun time recompiling Gnome to pull out the Mono dependencies. I’m going to guess Gentoo is the easiest distro for doing this. Debian may have excluded Mono from the default install, but I’ve never checked.

  3. I’m primarily thinking about client Linux.

  4. It’s totally easy to remove all of the Mono stuff on most distros. It’s effortlessly easy on Ubuntu, for instance. The only thing you’ll be left with that has a Mono “scent” is libbeagle, which is 100% C and 0% Mono anyway. It’s just an adapter such that GNOME software can use Beagle but not depend on Mono. You won’t need to build anything.

  5. I used to use F-Spot but recently migrated to DigiKam. Afterwards, I decided to remove all traces of Mono from my Debian system. (As Mike pointed out, you’ll need to stop using the GNOME Desktop to accomplish this. I recommend XFCE for people who want a “normal” window manager with a start menu and task bar and system tray and such. But any “alternative” window manager will also work. I recommend Ratpoison.)

    I believe the approach I took to removing all the Mono cruft was to find the core Mono library (something like “libmono-corlib2.0-cil”) and aggressively remove it via my package manager (aptitude). The package manager will hoot and holler about all the now-broken packages it needs to remove to satisfy your request, and you can review the list before you go any further.

    Worked for me. YMMV. Of course, like smoking, the easiest solution is not to start in the first place.

  6. Run a KDE desktop?

  7. “One Laptop Per Child”, being introduced here , doesn’t have Mono.

    It’s yet another example of the fragmentation, or blossoming if you prefer, of the “Personal Computing” sector of the technology spectrum which is occurring in the wake of IBM’s exit from the business.

    The thing that Charlie Chaplin used to advertise, which could run OS/2 and Lotus SmartSuite, isn’t the only game in town any more.

  8. Sorry, the comment about having to recompile GNOME is rubbish. Nothing in GNOME has a hard dependency on Mono. Yes, there is stuff like libbeagle. It’s written in C and has no Mono actually in it.

    If you’re using something like Fedora you just do ‘yum remove mono-core’, and the whole thing is gone.

  9. A single question, why ?

  10. Great question. I really like Ubuntu and Gnome, but think it’s unfortunate that Gnome is moving towards Mono. I’m avoiding Mono apps although I was too weak too resist using Tomboy for notes.

  11. I avoid anything built on mono so first thing I do on my distros is find the mono package (Fedora and Mandriva so rpms) and try

    rpm –test -e mono.rpm

    and see what packages require it. Think beagle is the main one of Fedora for instance so just remove them all one at a time.
    Ancillary apps for gnome require mono but the gnome desktop itself does not (at least was able to run gnome desktop happily with mono installed).

    Have since switched to KDE and use gtk apps when I need to.

    Hope that helps.

  12. Remove on Ubuntu with: sudo apt-get remove mono-common
    Works a charm.

  13. Why get rid of Mono? I have had various mono apps crash on me (especially Banshee music player) but I think that’s just bugs in apps (which come from reinventing perfectly good wheels though…)

  14. I’m using Kubuntu (which is basically Ubuntu with KDE as the default desktop
    instead of Gnome). I may be missing something, but the obvious

    dpkg-query -l | grep mono

    turns up nothing but fonts.

  15. Well, I swear by Slackware. I won’t go into all the
    reasons for that – most can be found at the Slackware

    The relevance here is that while Slackware has been
    traditionally viewed as a server distro, I feel it is a great
    client distro as well – except possibly for those who are
    so new to Linux/FLOSS that they can’t figure out how to
    download and install it on Slackware.

    The Slackware install offers various levels of precision in
    the ‘what to install’ bit. But even if the simplest and highest
    level (other than ‘Install Everything’) is chosen, one question
    is ‘KDE or GNOME?’.

    Other obvious answers for somewhat more sophisticated to
    fairly experienced types would be Debian and Gentoo.

  16. Why? Why not? I don’t want to get into the well-known controversies around Mono in this thread, but for those who decide not to use it, for any reason, it’s good to know how to avoid it.

  17. Fedora 8. I’ve removed everything I could from Gnome as I’m a KDE user and so I have no mono (yuhu!!). And it was not that hard but I guess that for Gnome users it can be close to impossible.

  18. For those looking to purge Mono from their systems, be sure to check for packages that contain the word “sharp” too.

    The results of an audit suggested that the following packages were all Mono related or dependent (Fedora). This includes bindings, but excludes debug, multi-arch, devel, and doc packages, which you should also purge (since presumably you won’t need them):

    avahi-sharp, banshee, beagle, beagle-evolution, beagle-gui, boo, bytefx-data-mysql, cowbell, daap-sharp, db4o, dbus-sharp, drapes, evolution-sharp, f-spot, gecko-sharp2, gmime-sharp, gnome-sharp, gsf-sharp, gtk-sharp, gtk-sharp2, gtk-sharp-gapi, gtksourceview-sharp, ibm-data-db2, ikvm, kerry, lat, mod_mono, mono-core, mono-data, mono-data-firebird, mono-data-oracle, mono-data-postgresql, mono-data-sqlite, mono-data-sybase, mono-debugger, monodevelop, monodoc, mono-extras, mono-jscript, mono-locale-extras, mono-nunit, mono-web, mono-winforms, muine, nant, njb-sharp, tomboy, xsp.

    48 packages total.

    This list is somewhat out of date though, so I’ll need to do a new audit for Fedora 8.

  19. Scott: GNOME is not moving towards Mono. Please read my blog about “GNOME and Novell: The FUD stops here”.

  20. Thanks, Jeff. I was hasty in my wording, getting out the door for work at 4am this morning. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this and I look forward to that additional Mono post you promised us at the end of today’s post. :-) In the meantime I’m going to go back and read today’s entry more closely.

    I certainly didn’t mean to imply that I know where GNOME is heading, I’m just concerned about the possible negative impact of committing more heavily to Mono and then running in to problems with Microsoft. Now that I’m finally getting away from Windows and have settled happily in to using GNOME, I don’t want to get re-entangled in Microsoft’s web. ;-)

  21. Your question sounds like an excellent reason to try out KDE4.0 in a couple of months :)
    Or just one of the many 3.5.x installs (not red-hat, that one still somehow sucks) that are out there.

    Have fun!

Comments are closed