I am looking for a C# programming compiler on macOS that is a good value.

Could you give me any advice?


In April 2017, Microsoft released Visual Studio for Mac. Visual Studio Community is free for students, open-source and individual developers.

It supports development of the following:

  • Mobile with .NET: Android, iOS, tvOS, watchOS
  • Mac desktop apps
  • .NET applications (in C# and F# by default)
  • ASP.NET Web applications
  • Cross-platform Unity games

Minimum Requirements:

  • macOS El Capitan 10.11
  • Xcode 8.2
  • An Apple ID (for signing into Xcode)

For iOS development, macOS Sierra 10.12 and Xcode 8.3 are required.

  • 3
    It also supports .NET standard, not just core. – casey Aug 13 '17 at 19:13
  • Visual studio is an editor and doesn’t really compile anything. Wouldn’t this be more correct to list Xcode alone for a compiler? I guess it depends how much the OP wants an environment IDE or really wants just to compile for free or low cost. – bmike Aug 13 '17 at 23:25
  • 7
    @bmike You are thinking of Visual Studio Code which is just an editor. Visual Studio for Mac is a full IDE and includes parts beyond the 'editor' for compiling C# code that does not come with Xcode. – thaimin Aug 14 '17 at 17:46
  • Visual Studio Code's a good point. @thaimin's correct that it starts off as an editor upon initial download, but it becomes a full-blown IDE after a few clicks (specifically, the clicks to download the C# compiler, syntax highlighting, project management, etc. add-ins, which are linked within the editor itself). So, it can be called an editor, or an IDE that has incremental installations. – Nat Aug 14 '17 at 18:40
  • 1
    Visual Studio for Mac also runs perfectly well with XCode 8.2.1 and macOS 10.11. I believe your quoted requirements only apply for iOS development. – Moreaki Aug 14 '17 at 20:18

The Mono project maintains a cross-platform C#/.net environment which works well on macOS.



For compiler only I recommend to use .net core with editor of choice. I use VS code quite a lot, but you can use Sublime, Atom, etc.

As for IDE, I recommend to try JetBrains Rider instead of VS for mac. Unfortunately, it has only trial. It provides same functionality as VS for mac.

  • Rider is version 1 as per date of my comment. Gratis for open source. Pay otherwise. – LosManos Aug 14 '17 at 8:29

I recommend Visual Studio Code (https://code.visualstudio.com/). It's an official Microsoft product, so it should run C# quite well. When you have it installed, click on the last large button in the sidebar to get extensions, and search for C#. (There's also a Windows version.)


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .