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General Question Regarding Visual Studio 2015 & Mac Mini Build Host Set Up

JayHonJayHon USMember

Alright, so here is the question. I have an INDIE subscription, and currently do all of my development for iOS on my Mac Mini.
I do all of my other, .Net development on a Windows Laptop running VS.

So, my question is.....if I use the FREE Xamarin tools for VS 2015, but use my Mac Mini as my build server, running on my INDIE subscription, would that work? Would it work for large applications, or would the FREE Xamarin tools for VS 2015, limit the size, even though my Build Server has a subscription?

I tried using Xamarin Studio on Windows as my Dev and the Mac Mini as a build host, but Xamarin Studio on Windows doesn't support iOS Development, from what I can tell.



  • DaveHuntDaveHunt USMember ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2015

    You have to have a Business or higher license to use Xamarin plugin for Visual Studio.

    If you're a registered Windows Phone developer, you can get a free Xamarin subscription that includes the Xamarin plugin. See this blog post.

  • JayHonJayHon USMember

    Thanks, two things. First, I thought VS 2015 CAME with the Xamarin Plugin Free?

    Secondly, I think the post you sent would be cool, but it says on the page 'This Offer Has Expired'.

    It apparently expired in August 2015.....

  • JasonAwbreyJasonAwbrey USInsider, University, Developer Group Leader mod

    I think that's mixed messaging from MS. Xamarin support is built into VS2015, but you have to have the appropriate Xamarin license to take advantage of it.

    Xamarin Studio on Windows does not support iOS, you're correct on that one.

  • DaveHuntDaveHunt USMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sorry about the expired offer. I completely missed the whole "for August" thing.

    VS 2015 comes with the plugin. Currently, to use it you have to have a Business license. If you're a student, you can get a Xamarin Student license that also includes use of the VS plugin.

    All of this may change, but until then, there is no free use of the plugin (except the 30-day trial).

  • JayHonJayHon USMember
    edited September 2015

    Uggggg.....And I simply don't like using Macs. I'm about to by a new Dev machine (I travel a LOT) and I'm looking at a Lenovo (again). Seems counter-intuitive, but I would much rather carry my Mini in my luggage, along with my laptop than use a dual-purpose Macbook Pro. Especially since 80% of my work is not iOS stuff.

    Maybe I should just buy a darn Macbook Pro at this point, run BootCamp and Windows 10 on it, and then have the dual boot.

    I really wish I could at LEAST use my Indie license to Development with Xamarin Studio on Windows and a Mac Mini Build host. I can deal with Using Xam Studio, but I can't stand using Mac....

    Anyway, thanks for your help. DaveHunt It's much appreciated!
    Also, Jason (great name) thanks for your help, also. It's as I suspected.

  • AndyFlisherAndyFlisher GBBeta, University ✭✭✭✭

    It is technically possible to run OSX in a VM under VMWare Workstation (on your Windows Laptop) and use that as your build host, so you only need one physical machine. However, it doesn't work out of the box, and is almost certainly against the terms of use for OSX (only run on Apple Hardware).

    Alternatively you can probably use a cloud hosted Mac, or connect up to your Mac Mini remotely (VPN etc) but performance may suffer. There are ways basically, but nothing is as good as a build host sat next to you.

  • JayHonJayHon USMember

    Well, I've already built 2 apps for a customer in Xamarin. We have customers using them as Ad-Hoc deployment and they are going to be in the store soon. Not for public consumption , they are basically front end Payment systems to our back end web systems. Thermal Printer, Barcode Scanner, UniMag Payment for Credit Cards.

    At some point, we WILL upgrade above Indie, but we're a tiny company (only a few people). Indie suits our needs right now, with 1 developer.

    When we started the project, I pushed for 'Droid, but the customer wanted iOS. So, they did buy me an iPad, iPhone & Mac Mini for development, so I'm all good there.

    And, yeah, since this is for a corporate client, I won't risk breaking the terms of Apple.

    And, I don't wanna mess around with cloud Mac or VPN. I should probably just ditch the Mini and buy an 11 inch MacBook air and use that for the iOS dev, and put it in my back pocket when I travel....oh, if I just had an extra $1000 to spend on it!


    Thanks again everyone, this info has been useful.

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