Visual Studio for Mac: now generally available

Visual Studio Blog

Today at the Microsoft Build conference, we announced the general availability of Visual Studio 2017 for Mac.

Visual Studio for Mac is a full-featured IDE built natively for the Mac, to help you develop, debug, and test anything from mobile and web apps to games. Teams across PC and Mac can share code seamlessly by relying on the same solutions and projects. This is all offered in an IDE that is natively designed for the Mac and feels right at home for any Mac user.

Workloads for mobile, web, cloud and gaming

Mobile Development with C# and .NET

Mobile Dev Workload

Visual Studio for Mac provides an amazing experience for creating mobile apps using Xamarin, from integrated designers to the code editing experience to the packaging and publishing tools. It is complemented by:

  • The full power of the beloved-by-millions C# 7 programming language
  • Complete .NET APIs covering 100% of the APIs for Android, iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS development
  • The Xamarin.Forms API abstraction to maximize code sharing
  • Access to thousands of .NET libraries on to accelerate your mobile development
  • Highly optimized native code backed by the LLVM optimizing compiler

Web development with ASP.NET Core and Azure

Since we released the first Visual Studio for Mac preview last November, we’ve been working hard on porting over the web editor tools from Visual Studio on Windows. Now with this release, you have full support to build out rich web-based applications using ASP.NET Core and front-end languages like HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.

Web Editors

And when your web app is perfectly polished and ready for release, you can directly publish to Azure using the new Publish to Azure wizard, without having to leave the IDE.

Add App Service

Building Games using Unity

Newly announced at Build, Visual Studio for Mac now helps you create games using C#, .NET, and Unity.

Unity Photo Enterprise

When paired with Unity 5.6.1 you have full support to build and debug games from within the IDE, including support for:

  • Project support, to easily browse and find your scripts
  • Code completion for methods invoked from the game engine
  • One click debugging support to attach to the Unity editor

Work seamlessly between the Mac and PC

Visual Studio for Mac helps you collaborate with others in your team, regardless of if they’re using a Mac or PC. Solutions and projects work in both Visual Studio for Mac and Visual Studio, making it easy for heterogenous development teams to collaborate on the same projects, across operating systems. This also means that you can easily “round-trip” between machines, without losing any efficiency.

Built for the Mac

Visual Studio for Mac is a new IDE experience built specifically for the Mac, not a direct port of Visual Studio on Windows. This means that the UI is built to feel like you would expect working with a macOS targeted application, from primitive elements like buttons and text to the layout of the application and icons. We’ve also optimized the developer workflow to what developers on a Mac expect, making it feel right at home, without a steep learning curve to adopt.

Visual Studio for Mac IDE Full Screen

A preview of what’s coming up next

With this release, we’re just getting started, so today we also talked about some great new preview features, which we’ll make available in our alpha channel really soon. These are preview features that are not present on the stable release, but ready for you to try once released and give us feedback:

  • Docker support: supporting deploying and debugging of .NET Core and ASP.NET Core in Docker containers.
  • Azure Functions support: use this preview to develop, debug and deploy Azure Functions from your Mac.
  • Target IoT devices: target IoT devices like Android Things with your C# code and Xamarin.

To try out these preview features, you can subscribe to the Alpha channel in Visual Studio for Mac.

Enjoy! And let us know what you think

If you already have Visual Studio for Mac Preview installed, make sure you update to the latest version from within the app. If you haven’t tried out a preview yet, head on over to to download the latest release. To learn more about what’s in this release, check out the release notes.

Note: For everyone who downloads Visual Studio for Mac before May 17th, we’re offering an extended 60-day trial of Xamarin University, free of charge. This includes live instructor-led classes and great content to get you started using Visual Studio for Mac.

We’re very proud of this release and we want to hear what you think – please, send us your feedback! You can use Visual Studio for Mac’s “Report a Problem” or “Provide a Suggestion” dialog (within the Help menu) to provide feedback. Or join the conversation in the Visual Studio for Mac community forums.



Miguel de Icaza, Distinguished Engineer, Mobile Developer Tools @migueldeicaza

Miguel is a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft, focused on the mobile platform and creating delightful developer tools. With Nat Friedman, he co-founded both Xamarin in 2011 and Ximian in 1999. Before that, Miguel co-founded the GNOME project in 1997 and has directed the Mono project since its creation in 2001, including multiple Mono releases at Novell. Miguel has received the Free Software Foundation 1999 Free Software Award, the MIT Technology Review Innovator of the Year Award in 1999, and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 innovators for the new century in September 2000.


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