System requirements

Xamarin products rely upon the platform SDKs from Apple and Google to target iOS or Android, so our system requirements match theirs. This page outlines system compatibility for the Xamarin platform and recommended development environment and SDK versions.

Take a look at the installation instructions for more information on obtaining the software and required SDKs.

Development environments

This table shows which platforms can be built with different development tool & operating system combinations:

macOS Windows
Development Environment Visual Studio for Mac Visual Studio
Xamarin.iOS Yes Yes (with Mac computer)
Xamarin.Android Yes Yes
Xamarin.Forms iOS & Android only (macOS in preview) Android, Windows/UWP (iOS with Mac computer)
Xamarin.Mac Yes Open project & compile only

Note

To develop for iOS on Windows computers there must be a Mac computer accessible on the network, for remote compilation and debugging. This also works if you have Visual Studio running inside a Windows VM on a Mac computer.

macOS requirements

Using a Mac computer for Xamarin development requires the following software/SDK versions. Check your operating system version and follow the instructions for the Xamarin installer.

Recommended Notes
Operating System macOS High Sierra Xcode 9 requires macOS High Sierra or newer.
Xamarin.iOS iOS 11 SDK The iOS 11 SDK ships with Xcode 9
Xamarin.Android Android 6.0 / API level 23 You can still target older Android versions while using the latest SDK, or you can build against older versions of the SDK if required.
Xamarin.Forms
  • Xamarin.Forms apps built on macOS can include iOS, Android, and macOS projects, subject to the SDK requirements above.
  • Xamarin.Forms projects for Windows/UWP cannot be built on macOS.
Xamarin.Mac macOS High Sierra (10.13) SDK The macOS High Sierra (10.13) SDK ships with Xcode 9 and is required to build apps that use the newest macOS APIs.

Note

Xcode can be installed (and updated) on developer.apple.com or via the Mac App Store.

Testing & debugging on macOS

  • Xamarin mobile applications can be deployed to physical devices via USB for testing and debugging (Apple Watch apps are deployed first to the paired iPhone).
  • Xamarin.Mac apps can be tested directly on the development computer.
Testing Notes
Xamarin.iOS
  • The easiest way to get started is using the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV simulators that are included with Xcode.
  • To use a device for testing, follow these instructions.
Xamarin.Android Follow these instructions to configure your device, or use an emulator:
  • The Xamarin installer includes the Google Emulator Manager which lets you configure Google Android emulators for testing.
  • Genymotion also provides a free-for-personal-use emulator for download.
Xamarin.Forms Xamarin.Forms apps for iOS and Android can be deployed to the relevant platforms as described above.
Xamarin.Mac Xamarin.Mac apps can be tested directly on the development computer.

Warning

The upcoming Xamarin.Mac 4.8 release will only support macOS 10.9 or higher. Previous versions of Xamarin.Mac supported macOS 10.7 or higher, but these older macOS versions lack sufficient TLS infrastructure to support TLS 1.2. To target macOS 10.7 or macOS 10.8, use Xamarin.Mac 4.6 or earlier.

Windows requirements

Using a Windows computer for Xamarin development requires the following software/SDK versions. Check your operating system version (and confirm that you are not using an Express version of Visual Studio - if so, consider updating to a Community edition). The Visual Studio 2017 installer includes an option to install Xamarin automatically (Mobile development with .NET).

Recommended Notes
Operating System Windows 10 The minimum operating system version is Windows 7. Xamarin.Forms UWP support requires Windows 10.
Xamarin.iOS iOS 10 SDK (installed on a Mac) To build iOS projects on Windows requires:
  • Visual Studio 2017, and
  • a Mac computer, network-accessible from the Windows computer, that conforms to the minimum requirements for running Xamarin on macOS.
Xamarin.Android Android 6.0 / API level 23 You can still target older Android versions while using the latest SDK, or you can build against older versions of the SDK if required.
Xamarin.Forms
  • Xamarin.Forms apps for iOS and Android can be deployed to the relevant platforms as described above.
  • Using Visual Studio also means you can test apps for the Universal Windows Platform (on Windows 10) directly on the development computer.
Xamarin.Mac Xamarin.Mac projects (macOS desktop apps) can be opened in Visual Studio and compiled to check for errors, but Mac applications cannot currently be built for distribution in Visual Studio. See the release notes on Xamarin.Mac support for more information about the limitations of Mac projects in Visual Studio.

Note

  • Xamarin for Visual Studio supports any Visual Studio 2017 (Community, Professional, and Enterprise).
  • To develop Xamarin.Forms apps for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) requires Windows 10 with Visual Studio 2017.

Testing & debugging on Windows

Xamarin mobile applications can be deployed to physical devices via USB or wirelessly for testing and debugging (iOS devices must be connected to the Mac computer, not the computer running Visual Studio).

Testing Notes
Xamarin.iOS
  • The easiest way to get started is using the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV simulators that are included with Xcode. The simulators can be accessed on the connected Mac while debugging with Visual Studio.
  • To use a device for testing, follow these instructions (performing most steps on the connected Mac computer).
Xamarin.Android Follow these instructions to configure your device, or use an emulator:
Xamarin.Forms Xamarin.Forms apps can be deployed to the relevant devices and emulators as described above. The iOS app can only be tested via the connected Mac hardware; and the Windows tablet/desktop apps for UWP can be tested directly on the development computer.

Installation instructions

The latest Xamarin release for macOS can be downloaded from xamarin.com/download. For Windows, follow the Visual Studio 2017 installation instructions.

A complete list of our current product versions is available on the current releases page. This page also outlines the individual product versions (and links to the release notes) for our beta and alpha channels.

Specific installation instructions for each platform are available here:

There's also additional information about Xamarin.Forms requirements & supported platforms.