Installing Mono for Android on Windows


This article walks through the installation steps and configuration details required to install Mono for Android. By the end of this article, we will have a working Mono for Android installation integrated into MonoDevelop and/or Microsoft Visual Studio, and we’ll be ready to start building our first Mono for Android application.


The Mono for Android installer will automatically detect, download, and install any components required for completing the installation. This tutorial examines the installation and configuration steps required to install the Mono for Android platform and to get our development environment set up, including:

  • Downloading the Installer
  • Running the Installer
  • Configuring our IDE
  • Configuring any Additional Emulators

Downloading the Mono for Android Installer

Your first step is to download the Mono for Android Windows installer, which can be found at http://android.xamarin.com/DownloadTrial:


If you’ve purchased Mono for Android, follow the download instructions in the e-mail you received with your purchase.

Running the Mono for Android Installer

To run the installer, simply double-click it.

This is the first screen in the installation process. If you’re behind a proxy, configure network proxy settings by using the Click here to configure link near the bottom of this dialog:


Step 1 – Identify the required components

The first step required by the installer is to inspect the system to determine which, if any, required components are missing and need to be downloaded and installed:


Step 2 – Installing the Components

After identifying missing components, the Mono for Android installer downloads and executes the installers for the platform dependencies, as shown in this dialog:


During this part of the installation, you may be prompted to accept license agreements and/or to elevate the permissions necessary for individual components that are needed to complete installation, for example:


Step 3 – Completing the Installation

Once we’ve reached this step, we’re almost ready to begin developing a Mono for Android application. Select Close and continue on to the final step:


Step 4 – Configuring the Installation

Now that we’ve installed the components, we need to tell our IDE where to find them. MonoDevelop and Visual Studio both have configuration options that let us specify the Java and Android SDK locations.

During installation, the installer places the installed components in their default locations and configures the development environment with the appropriate path configuration. However, if we already had them installed or if we installed them in locations other than the default, then we must explicitly specify the paths to these components.

Configuring MonoDevelop

To configure SDK locations in MonoDevelop, navigate to Tools > Options in the Application menu bar, then select Other > SDK Locations from the left tree-view panel in the Options dialog:


Configuring Visual Studio

To configure the Visual Studio tools, navigate to Tools -> Options -> Mono for Android:


Configuring Additional Android Emulators

You can run the Android Simulator in a variety of configurations to simulate different devices. Each one of these configurations is created as a Virtual Device. By default, the Mono for Android installer will create a virtual device for each of the Android platforms registered by the installer. However, we can create our own custom virtual device configuration.

Virtual devices are configured via the Android Virtual Device (AVD) Manager. The AVD Manager can either be launched from the Android SDK Manager, or directly from MonoDevelop (if we’re using it).

Launching the AVD Manager from MonoDevelop

If we’re using MonoDevelop and have an open project, the AVD Manager can be launched directly by selecting Tools > Managed AVDs from the menu bar:


Launching the AVD Manager from the Android SDK Manager

We can launch the Android SDK Manager from the Start menu like this:


Once we have located and opened the Android SDK Manager, we can launch the AVD Manager by navigating to the top menu bar and then selecting Tools > Manage AVDs...


Creating a new Virtual Device

Once the AVD Manager is open, we can create a new virtual device by clicking New…


This should open the Create new Android Virtual Device dialog and allow us to configure our device by using this dialog:


Once we’re finished configuring the device, we can select Create AVD. We can then see that the device was created successfully with the hardware configuration options we specified by checking the dialog shown below:


That’s it! Now we’re all set up to use Mono for Android to create Android applications!


In this article, we examined how to set up and install the Mono for Android platform on Windows. We also looked at some different ways to configure our platform installation in MonoDevelop and in Visual Studio. And we showed you how to use the Android Virtual Device Manager to define your Android SDK Emulator configurations.

In the next tutorial, we’ll use Mono for Android to create our first Android application.


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