mkbundle man page

mkbundle, mkbundle2 — Creates a bundled executable.


mkbundle [options] assembly1 [assembly2 ...]


mkbundle generates an executable program that will contain static copies of the assemblies listed on the command line. By default only the assemblies specified in the command line will be included in the bundle. To automatically include all of the dependencies referenced, use the "--deps" command line option.

There are two modes of operation, the default one uses the C compiler to create a bundle and requires a complete C and Mono SDK to produced executables. The simple mode (enabled when using the "--simple") command line option does not require this, and also allows for cross compilation.

For example, to create a bundle for hello world, use the following command:

$ mkbundle -o hello --simple hello.exe

The simple version allows for cross-compiling, this requires a Mono runtime to be installed in the ~/.mono/targets/TARGET/mono to be available. You can use the "--local-targets" to list all available targets, and the "--cross" argument to specify the target, like this:

$ mkbundle --local-targets	
Available targets:
	default	- Current System Mono
$ mkbundle --cross 4.4.0-debian-8-powerpc hello.exe -o hello-debian

The above will bundle your native library into hello-debian for a Debian 8 system running on a PowerPC machine.

Old Embedding

For example, to create a bundle for hello world, use the following command:

$ mkbundle -o hello hello.exe

The above will pull hello.exe into a native program called "hello". Notice that the produced image still contains the CIL image and no precompilation is done.

In addition, it is possible to control whether mkbundle should compile the resulting executable or not with the -c option. This is useful if you want to link additional libraries or control the generated output in more detail. For example, this could be used to link some libraries statically:

$ mkbundle -c -o host.c -oo bundles.o --deps hello.exe

$ cc host.c bundles.o /usr/lib/libmono.a -lc -lrt

You may also use mkbundle to generate a bundle you can use when embedding the Mono runtime in a native application. In that case, use both the -c and --nomain options. The resulting host.c file will not have a main() function. Call mono_mkbundle_init() before initializing the JIT in your code so that the bundled assemblies are available to the embedded runtime.


Produce the stub file, do not compile the resulting stub.
--cross target
Creates a bundle for the specified target platform. The target must be a directory in ~/.mono/targets/ that contains a "mono" binary. You can fetch various targets using the --fetch-target command line option.
-o filename
Places the output on `out'. If the flag -c is specified, this is the C host program. If not, this contains the resulting executable.
-oo filename
Specifies the name to be used for the helper object file that contains the bundle.
-L path
Adds the `path' do the search list for assemblies. The rules are the same as for the compiler -lib: or -L flags.
Specifies that a machine.config file must be bundled as well.
Typically this is $prefix/etc/mono/1.0/machine.config or $prefix/etc/mono/2.0/machine.config depending on the profile that you are using (1.0 or 2.0)
This option will bundle all of the referenced assemblies for the assemblies listed on the command line option. This is useful to distribute a self-contained image.
--fetch-target target
Downloads a precompiled runtime for the specified target from the Mono distribution site.
This is the default: mkbundle will only include the assemblies that were specified on the command line to reduce the size of the resulting image created.
By default mkbundle will delete the temporary files that it uses to produce the bundle. This option keeps the file around.
Lists all of the available local cross compilation targets available as precompiled binaries on the Mono distribution server.
Lists all of the available local cross compilation targets.
--machine-config FILE
Uses the given FILE as the machine.config file for the generated application.
With the -c option, generate the host stub without a main() function.
--config-dir DIR
When passed, DIR will be set for the MONO_CFG_DIR environment variable
By default mkbundle dynamically links to mono and glib. This option causes it to statically link instead.
--target-server SERVER
By default the mkbundle tool will download from a Mono server the target runtimes, you can specify a different server to provide cross-compiled runtimes.
Compresses the assemblies before embedding. This results in smaller executable files, but increases startup time and requires zlib to be installed on the target system.


On Windows systems, it it necessary to have Unix-like toolchain to be installed for mkbundle to work. You can use cygwin's and install gcc, gcc-mingw and as packages.

Environment Variables

Assembler command. The default is "as".
C compiler command. The default is "cc" under Linux and "gcc" under Windows.
Options to be passed to the bundled Mono runtime, separated by spaces. See the mono(1) manual page or run mono --help.


This program will load referenced assemblies from the Mono assembly cache.

Targets are loaded from ~/.mono/targets/TARGETNAME/mono


The option "--static" is not supported under Windows. Moreover, a full cygwin environment containing at least "gcc" and "as" is required for the build process. The generated executable does not depend on cygwin.

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See Also


Referenced By

mono-cil-strip(1), monolinker(1).