Mono(tm) Binary Kernel Support for LinuxΒΆ

To configure Linux to automatically execute Mono-based .NET binaries (in the form of .exe files) without the need to use the mono CLR wrapper, you can use the BINFMT_MISC kernel support.

This will allow you to execute Mono-based .NET binaries just like any other program after you have done the following:

  1. You MUST FIRST install the Mono CLR support, either by downloading a binary package, a source tarball or by installing from Git. Binary packages for several distributions can be found at:

    Instructions for compiling Mono can be found at:

    Once the Mono CLR support has been installed, just check that /usr/bin/mono (which could be located elsewhere, for example /usr/local/bin/mono) is working.

  2. You have to compile BINFMT_MISC either as a module or into the kernel (CONFIG_BINFMT_MISC) and set it up properly. If you choose to compile it as a module, you will have to insert it manually with modprobe/insmod, as kmod cannot be easily supported with binfmt_misc. Read the file binfmt_misc.txt in this directory to know more about the configuration process.

  3. Add the following entries to /etc/rc.local or similar script to be run at system startup:

    # Insert BINFMT_MISC module into the kernel
    if [ ! -e /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc/register ]; then
        /sbin/modprobe binfmt_misc
        # Some distributions, like Fedora Core, perform
        # the following command automatically when the
        # binfmt_misc module is loaded into the kernel
        # or during normal boot up (systemd-based systems).
        # Thus, it is possible that the following line
        # is not needed at all.
        mount -t binfmt_misc none /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc
    # Register support for .NET CLR binaries
    if [ -e /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc/register ]; then
        # Replace /usr/bin/mono with the correct pathname to
        # the Mono CLR runtime (usually /usr/local/bin/mono
        # when compiling from sources or CVS).
        echo ':CLR:M::MZ::/usr/bin/mono:' > /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc/register
        echo "No binfmt_misc support"
        exit 1
  4. Check that .exe binaries can be ran without the need of a wrapper script, simply by launching the .exe file directly from a command prompt, for example:



    If this fails with a permission denied error, check that the .exe file has execute permissions.