Provided by: mono-mcs_3.2.8+dfsg-4ubuntu1_all bug


       mcs - Mono C# Compiler


       mcs [option] [source-files]


       mcs  is  the  Mono  C# compiler, an implementation of the ECMA-334 language specification.
       You can pass one or more options to drive the compiler, and a set of source files.   Extra
       options or arguments can be provided in a response file.  Response files are referenced by
       prepending the @ symbol to the response file name.

       The mcs compiler is used to compile against the latest Mono Base Class Library version and
       fully implements C# 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0 specifications.

       See the section on packages for more information.

       The  Mono C# compiler accepts the same command line options that the Microsoft C# compiler
       does.  Those options can start with a slash or a dash (/checked is the same as  -checked).
       Additionally some GNU-like options are supported, those begin with "--".  All MCS-specific
       flags which are not available in the Microsoft C# compiler are  available  only  with  the
       GNU-style options.

       C#  source  files must end with a ".cs" extension.  Compilation of C# source code requires
       all the files that make up a library, module or executable to be provided on  the  command
       line.   There  is  no support for partial compilation.  To achieve the benefits of partial
       compilation, you should compile programs into their own assemblies,  and  later  reference
       them with the "-r" flag.

       The  Mono C# compiler generates images (.exe files) that contain CIL byte code that can be
       executed by any system that implements a Common Language  Infrastructure  virtual  machine
       such  as  the  Microsoft .NET runtime engine on Windows or the Mono runtime engine on Unix
       systems.  Executables are not bound to a specific CPU or operating system.

       The Mono C# compiler by default only references three assemblies: mscorlib.dll, System.dll
       and  System.Xml.dll.    If you want to reference extra libraries you must manually specify
       them using the -pkg: command line option or the -r: command line option.  Alternatively if
       you  want  to  get  all  of the System libraries, you can use the -pkg:dotnet command line


              Displays information about the Mono C# compiler

              Includes the specified modules in the resulting assembly.  Modules are  created  by
              calling the compiler with the -target:module option

       -checked, -checked+
              Sets the default compilation mode to `checked'.  This makes all the math operations
              checked (the default is unchecked).

              Sets the default  compilation  mode  to  `unchecked'.   This  makes  all  the  math
              operations unchecked (this is the default).

       -clscheck-, -clscheck+
              Disables  or  enables the Common Language Specification (CLS) checks (it is enabled
              by default).

              The Common Language Specification (CLS) defines an interoperable subset of types as
              well  as  conventions  that compilers (CLS producers) and developers must follow to
              expose code to other programming languages (CLS consumers).

              Specifies the code page used to process the  input  files  from  the  point  it  is
              specified  on.   By  default  files  will be processed in the environment-dependent
              native code page.  The compiler will also automatically detect Unicode  files  that
              have an embedded byte mark at the beginning.

              Other popular encodings are 28591 (Latin1), 1252 (iso-8859-1) and 65001 (UTF-8).

              MCS supports a couple of shorthands: "utf8" can be used to specify utf-8 instead of
              using the cryptic 65001 and "reset" restores the automatic handling of code  pages.
              These shorthands are not available on the Microsoft compiler.

       -define:SYMLIST, -d:SYMLIST
              Defines  the  symbol  listed by the semi-colon separated list SYMLIST SYMBOL.  This
              can be tested in the source code by the pre-processor, or can be  used  by  methods
              that have been tagged with the Conditional attribute.

       -debug, -debug+
              Generate  debugging information. To obtain stack traces with debugging information,
              you need to invoke  the  mono  runtime  with  the  `--debug'  flag.  The  debugging
              information  is  stored  in  a  MDB  file located in same output folder as produced

              Do not generate debugging information.

              Only embed the strongname public key into the assembly. The actual signing must  be
              done  in a later stage using the SN tool. This is useful to protect the private key
              during development. Note that delay signing can only be done using a strongname key
              file  (not  a  key  container).  The  option  is equivalent to including [assembly:
              AssemblyDelaySign (true)] in your source code.  Compiler  option  takes  precedence
              over the attributes.

              Default.  Strongname  (sign)  the  assembly  using  the  strong  name  key file (or
              container). The option is  equivalent  to  including  [assembly:  AssemblyDelaySign
              (false)] in your source code. Compiler option takes precedence over the attributes.

              Extracts  the  C#/XML documentation from the source code and stores in in the given

              This flag is ignored by Mono's C# compiler and is present only to allow MCS  to  be
              used as a CSC replacement for msbuild/xbuild.

              This is used for debugging the compiler.  This makes the error emission generate an
              exception that can be caught by a debugger.

              This flag is ignored by Mono's C# compiler and is present only to allow MCS  to  be
              used as a CSC replacement for msbuild/xbuild.

              Any  source code error or warning issued by the compiler includes file name only by
              default. This option causes compiler to issue absolute file path instead.

              Strongname (sign) the output assembly using the key pair present in  the  specified
              strong  name  key file (snk). A full key pair is required by default (or when using
              delaysign-). A file containing only the public key can be used with delaysign+. The
              option  is  equivalent to including [assembly: AssemblyKeyFile ("KEYFILE")] in your
              source code.  Compiler option takes precedence over the attributes.

              Strongname (sign) the output assembly using the key pair present in  the  specified
              container. Note that delaysign+ is ignored when using key containers. The option is
              equivalent to including [assembly: AssemblyKeyName ("CONTAINER")]  in  your  source
              code. Compiler option takes precedence over the attributes.

              The  option  specifies  the  version  of  the  language  to use. The feature set is
              different in each C# version. This switch can be used  to  force  the  compiler  to
              allow only a subset of the features.  The possible values are:

                     Instruct  compiler  to  use  the  latest  version. Equivalent is to omit the
                     switch (this currently defaults to the C# 4.0 language specification).

              ISO-1  Restrict compiler to use only first ISO standardized features.  The usage of
                     features  such  as  generics, static classes, anonymous methods will lead to

              ISO-2  Restrict compiler to use only the second ISO  standardized  features.   This
                     allows  the use of generics, static classes, iterators and anonymous methods
                     for example.

              3      Restrict the compiler to use only  the  features  available  in  C#  3.0  (a
                     superset of ISO-1 and ISO-2).

              4      Restrict  the  compiler  to  use  only  the  features  available  in  C# 4.0

              future Enables unstable features from upcoming versions of the language.

              Notice that this flag  only  restricts  the  language  features  available  to  the
              programmer. A version of produced assemblies can be controled using SDK option.

              Each  path  specified  in the comma-separated list will direct the compiler to look
              for libraries in that specified path.

       -L PATH
              Directs the compiler to look for libraries in the specified path.   Multiple  paths
              can be provided by using the option multiple times.

              Tells  the  compiler  which  CLASS  contains  the  entry point. Useful when you are
              compiling several classes with a Main method.

       -nostdlib, -nostdlib+
              Use this flag if you want to compile the core library.   This  makes  the  compiler
              load its internal types from the assembly being compiled.

       -noconfig, -noconfig+
              Disables  the default compiler configuration to be loaded.  The compiler by default
              has references to the system assemblies.

              Makes the compiler ignore warnings specified in the comma-separated list WARNLIST>

       -optimize, -optimize+, -optimize-
              Controls compiler code generation optimizations on the  code.  Using  -optimize  or
              -optimize+ will turn on optimizations, -optimize- will turn it off.  The default in
              mcs is to optimize-. The option can be mixed with -debug but for the best debugging
              experience it is recommended leave the options off.

       -out:FNAME, -o FNAME
              Names the output file to be generated.

              Used for benchmarking.  The compiler will only parse its input files.

              Reference assemblies for the given packages.

              The  compiler will invoke pkg-config --libs on the set of packages specified on the
              command line to obtain libraries and directories to compile the code.

              This is typically used with third party components, like this:

                        $ mcs -pkg:gtk-sharp demo.cs

                     This  will  instruct  the  compiler  to  reference  the  System.*  libraries
                     available  on a typical dotnet framework installation, notice that this does
                     not include all of the Mono libraries, only the System.* ones.   This  is  a
                     convenient shortcut for those porting code.

                     Use  this  to  reference  the  "Olive"  libraries  (the 3.0 and 3.5 extended

                     References the assemblies for creating Moonlight/Silverlight applications.

                     Use this option to create Moonlight/Silverlight applications that target the
                     desktop.    This  option  allows  developers to consume the Silverlight APIs
                     with the full 2.0 profile API available to them, unlike smcs it  gives  full
                     access  to  all  the  APIs that are part of Mono.  The only downside is that
                     applications created  with  silverdesktop  will  not  run  on  the  browser.
                     Typically  these  applications  will be launched with the mopen command line

              For more details see the PACKAGE section in this document

              Used  to  specify  the  target  platform.  The   possible   values   are:   anycpu,
              anycpu32bitpreferred, arm, x86, x64 or itanium. The default option is anycpu.

              Embeds to the given resource file.  The optional ID can be used to give a different
              name to the resource.  If not specified, the resource name will be the file name.

              Links to the specified RESOURCE.  The optional ID can be used to give a name to the
              linked resource.

       -r:ASSEMBLY1[,ASSEMBLY2], -reference ASSEMBLY1[,ASSEMBLY2]
              Reference the named assemblies.  Use this to use classes from the named assembly in
              your program.  The assembly will be loaded from either the system  directory  where
              all the assemblies live, or from the path explicitly given with the -L option.

              You can also use a semicolon to separate the assemblies instead of a comma.

              Extern alias reference support for C#.

              If  you  have  different  assemblies  that provide the same types, the extern alias
              support allows you to provide names that  your  software  can  use  to  tell  those
              appart.     The types from ASSEMBLY will be exposed as ALIAS, then on the C# source
              code, you need to do:

                   extern alias ALIAS;
              To bring it into your namespace.   For example, to cope with two graphics libraries
              that  define "Graphics.Point", one in "OpenGL.dll" and one in "Postscript.dll", you
              would invoke the compiler like this:

                   mcs -r:Postscript=Postscript.dll -r:OpenGL=OpenGL.dll

              And in your source code, you would write:

                   extern alias Postscript;
                   extern alias OpenGL;

                   class X {
                        // This is a Graphics.Point from Postscrip.dll
                        Postscript.Point p = new Postscript.Point ();

                        // This is a Graphics.Point from OpenGL.dll
                        OpenGL.Point p = new OpenGL.Point ();

       -recurse:PATTERN, --recurse PATTERN
              Does recursive compilation using the specified pattern.  In  Unix  the  shell  will
              perform globbing, so you might want to use it like this:

                 $ mcs -recurse:'*.cs'

              Used  to specify the version of Base Class Library assemblies used for compilation.
              Following predefined values are valid: 2, 4 (default) as well as any custom  value.
              The predefined version number means which custom value is specified mcs will try to
              find Base Class Libraries in the mono installed location PREFIX/lib/mono/<value>.

              Starts up the compiler in interactive mode, providing a C# shell for statements and
              expressions.   A shortcut is to use the csharp command directly.

              Generates a stack trace at the time the error is reported, useful for debugging the

       -target:KIND, -t:KIND
              Used  to  specify  the  desired  target.   The  possible  values  are:  exe  (plain
              executable),  winexe  (Windows.Forms executable), library (component libraries) and
              module (partial library).

              Another debugging flag.  Used to  display  the  times  at  various  points  in  the
              compilation process.

       -unsafe, -unsafe+
              Enables compilation of unsafe code.

       -v     Debugging. Turns on verbose yacc parsing.

              Shows the compiler version.

       -warnaserror, -warnaserror+
              All compilers warnings will be reported as errors.

       -warnaserror:W1,[Wn], -warnaserror+:W1,[Wn]
              Treats one or more compiler warnings as errors.

              Sets  one  or  more  compiler  warnings to be always threated as warnings.  Becomes
              useful when used together with -warnaserror.

              Sets the warning level.  0 is the lowest warning level, and 4 is the highest.   The
              default is 4.

              Specifies a Win32 resource file (.res) to be bundled into the resulting assembly.

              Attaches the icon specified in FILE on the output into the resulting assembly.

       --     Use  this  to stop option parsing, and allow option-looking parameters to be passed
              on the command line.


       When referencing an assembly, if the name of the assembly is a path, the compiler will try
       to  load  the assembly specified in the path.   If it does not, then the compiler will try
       loading the assembly from the current directory, the compiler base directory  and  if  the
       assembly  is not found in any of those places in the directories specified as arguments to
       the -lib: command argument.

       The compiler uses the library path to locate libraries, and is able to reference libraries
       from a particular package if that directory is used.  To simplify the use of packages, the
       C# compiler includes the  -pkg:  command  line  option  that  is  used  to  load  specific
       collections of libraries.

       Libraries  visible  to  the  compiler are stored relative to the installation prefix under
       PREFIX/lib/mono/ called the PACKAGEBASE and the defaults for mcs, gmcs  and  smcs  are  as

       mcs    References the PACKAGEBASE/1.0 directory

       gmcs   References the PACKAGEBASE/2.0 directory

       smcs   References the PACKAGEBASE/2.1 directory

       Those  are  the  only runtime profiles that exist.  Although other directories exist (like
       3.0 and 3.5) those are not really runtime profiles, they are merely placeholders for extra
       libraries that build on the 2.0 foundation.

       Software  providers will distribute software that is installed relative to the PACKAGEBASE
       directory.  This is integrated into  the  gacutil  tool  that  not  only  installs  public
       assemblies  into  the  Global  Assembly  Cache  (GAC)  but  also  installs  them  into the
       PACKAGEBASE/PKG directory (where PKG is the name passed to the -package flag to gacutil).

       As a developer, if you want to consume the Gtk# libraries, you would invoke  the  compiler
       like this:

            $ mcs -pkg:gtk-sharp-2.0 main.cs

       The  -pkg:  option  instructs the compiler to fetch the definitions for gtk-sharp-2.0 from
       pkg-config, this is equivalent to passing to the C# compiler the output of:

            $ pkg-config --libs gtk-sharp-2.0

       Usually this merely references the libraries from PACKAGEBASE/PKG.

       Although there are directory names for 3.0 and 3.5, that does not mean that there are  3.0
       and  3.5  compiler  editions  or  profiles.    Those are merely new libraries that must be
       manually referenced either with  the  proper  -pkg:  invocation,  or  by  referencing  the
       libraries directly.


       The TRACE and DEBUG defines have a special meaning to the compiler.

       By  default  calls to methods and properties in the System.Diagnostics.Trace class are not
       generated unless the TRACE symbol is defined (either through a "#define  TRACE")  in  your
       source code, or by using the --define TRACE in the command line.

       By  default  calls to methods and properties in the System.Diagnostics.Debug class are not
       generated unless the DEBUG symbol is defined (either through a "#define  DEBUG")  in  your
       source code, or by using the --define DEBUG in the command line.

       Note  that  the  effect  of defining TRACE and DEBUG is a global setting, even if they are
       only defined in a single file.


       When using the "-debug" flag, MCS will generate  a  file  with  the  extension  .mdb  that
       contains  the  debugging information for the generated assembly.  This file is consumed by
       the Mono debugger (mdb).


              If this variable is set, it contains a string in the  form  "foreground,background"
              that specifies which color to use to display errors on some terminals.

              The  background is optional and defaults to your terminal current background.   The
              possible colors for foreground are:  black,  red,  brightred,  green,  brightgreen,
              yellow,  brightyellow,  blue, brightblue, magenta, brightmagenta, cyan, brightcyan,
              grey, white and brightwhite.

              The possible colors for background are: black, red, green, yellow,  blue,  magenta,
              cyan, grey and white.

              For example, you could set these variable from your shell:
                   export MCS_COLORS

              You can disable the built-in color scheme by setting this variable to "disable".


       During  compilation  the  MCS  compiler defines the __MonoCS__ symbol, this can be used by
       pre-processor instructions to compile Mono C# compiler specific code.   Please  note  that
       this symbol is only to test for the compiler, and is not useful to distinguish compilation
       or deployment platforms.


       The Mono C# Compiler was written by Miguel de Icaza, Ravi  Pratap,  Martin  Baulig,  Marek
       Safar and Raja Harinath.  The development was funded by Ximian, Novell and Marek Safar.


       The Mono Compiler Suite is released under the terms of the GNU GPL or the MIT X11.  Please
       read the accompanying `COPYING' file for details.  Alternative licensing for the  compiler
       is available from Xamarin.


       csharp(1), mdb(1), mono(1), mopen(1), pkg-config(1), sn(1)


       To  report  bugs  in  the  compiler,  you  must  file them on our bug tracking system, at:


       The Mono Mailing lists are listed at


       The Mono C# compiler was developed by Novell, Inc ( and Xamarin  Inc
       (  is  based  on  the  ECMA  C#  language  standard available here:

       The home page for the Mono C# compiler is at

                                          6 January 2001                                   mcs(1)