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Installing MVC3 on Mono with Ubuntu

April 22, 2013

I managed to get the wiki engine I spend a lot of more spare time writing, Roadkill working on Ubuntu with Mono this weekend. Unfortunately for me, a lot of the documentation is patchy which meant it took a few hours to get it up and running by scouring Stackoverflow, blogs and news groups. It is infact very simple to get MVC3 working with Apache on Linux, provided you have the right Apache config settings and are willing to add a few hacks into your code to cater for the gaps (NotImplementedExceptions) in the Mono framework.

Below are two snippets for getting Mono and MVC3 going with Ubuntu. The majority of the credit goes to:

Copy the second snippet into /var/www/default.txt and save the first snippet as “” into your user directory, running it using “sudo sh”. The full Roadkill bash script can be found here. I started making EC2 AMIs for the installation, and then found a few issues that made me eventually abandon my dreams of a cheap $5 Roadkill Ubuntu server, as it would be a lot of effort maintaining both Windows and Mono tests for Roadkill.

Don’t take that as criticism of Mono + MVC3 though - Roadkill does a lot with the framework that most apps wouldn’t. If you are running data-driven MVC apps, then using a database like MongoDB would work very well with Mono on Ubuntu.

sudo apt-get -y update
# Install Apache, Mono and mod_mono.
# mod_mono may freeze here. If it does, open a new shell and restart apache 2:
# sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
sudo apt-get -y install apache2
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 stop
sudo apt-get -y install mono-devel mono-runtime
sudo apt-get -y install mono-apache-server4
sudo apt-get -y install libapache2-mod-mono
# update permissions for r,w,exec for user + group
sudo chgrp -R www-data /var/www
sudo chown -R www-data /var/www
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www
# Replace the default apache site settings
sudo mv /var/www/default.txt /etc/apache2/sites-available/default
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
# Install UFW (uncomplicated firewall)
sudo apt-get -y install ufw
# Allow SSH and HTTP traffic
sudo ufw enable
sudo ufw allow 22
sudo ufw allow 80
sudo ufw allow proto tcp to any port 135
sudo ufw allow proto udp to any port 137
sudo ufw allow proto udp to any port 138
sudo ufw allow proto tcp to any port 139
sudo ufw allow proto tcp to any port 445
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<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
AddHandler mono .aspx ascx .asax ashx .config .cs asmx .axd
MonoDebug default true
MonoSetEnv default MONO_IOMAP=all
MonoApplications "/:/var/www"
MonoServerPath default /usr/bin/mod-mono-server4
DocumentRoot /var/www
<Directory />
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride None
<Directory /var/www/>
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
AllowOverride None
Order allow,deny
allow from all
SetHandler mono
<DirectoryMatch "/(bin|App_Code|App_Data|App_GlobalResources|App_LocalResources)/">
Order deny,allow
Deny from all
# remove this section if you don't need it
ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /usr/lib/cgi-bin/
<Directory "/usr/lib/cgi-bin">
AllowOverride None
Options +ExecCGI -MultiViews +SymLinksIfOwnerMatch
Order allow,deny
Allow from all
ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
# Possible values include: debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit,
# alert, emerg.
LogLevel warn
CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
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I'm Chris Small, a software engineer working in London. This is my tech blog. Find out more about me via GithubStackoverflowResume