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Best of .NET Open Source/Freeware

Here's the best C# and VB.NET freeware & open source software that I'm aware of.  If you think you've found another gold nugget, post us a URL and your short product summary/review.  It must have a permanently free fully working version (no demos or trials thanks) and preferably open source.
   Cheers, Tony.

These lists will now be maintained in the .NET Freeware discussion forum.
Post details of us your favourtite .NET Freeware!   Freeware authors welcome.

Open Source/Freeware .NET Frameworks

  • Mono Project - Open source .NET framework for Linux, Unix and Windows.
  • DotGNU - Free Software Foundation's answer to .NET
    • Portable .NET - suite of free software tools to build & execute .NET applications, C# compiler, assembler, disassembler, and runtime engine. Targeted platforms: GNU/Linux, Windows, Solaris, NetBSD, FreeBSD, and MacOS X.
    • Execution Environment for Web Services with Portable .NET
  • Rotor - "Shared source" of .NET Framework released by Microsoft for
                 Berkley BSD and Mac OSX.

Best of .NET Open Source/Freeware

  • WebMatrix - Free IDE for ASP.NET Web applications
  • #Develop - Free IDE for C# & VB.NET.
  • NUnit - Unit Testing Framework (port of Java's popular JUnit)
    • Excellent & free kit for C# and VB.NET API library testing.
    • Every .NET Developer needs this essential test development aid.  Master it today!
  • NUnitAsp - Unit Testing for ASP.NET Web UI apps
    • Brilliant! Extends ASP.NET's GUI object model to the web test client so you can drive the web GUI like an object-oriented API.
  • NAnt - Port of Java's Ant project builder (portable Makefile/VS Project replacement).
  • NDoc - Generates Windows Help files, HTML & Java docs from compiled C#/J# XML docs.
    • Forget the Visual Studio .NET 2002/3 documentation generator. This is the tool of choice for C# & J#.
  • Documentation generators for VB.NET:
  • Reflector - Excellent class browser, disassembler & C#/VB decompiler!
    • Get which has all the disassembler/decompiler add-ins configured.
    • Get add-in to edit / view C# XML docs.
    • Learn how to navigate the hyperlinked decompiled code. Even shows private/protected members.
    • Use to assess your code obfuscation tool.
  • .NET Resourcer - Resource Editor
  • Log4Net - Port of Apache's Log4J logging framework.
  • NProf - Performance Profiler alternative to
  • OpenSMTP - SMTP client API and SMTP web service. Supports non MS IIS Mail servers.
  • #ZipLib - .NET Zip, GZip, Tar and BZip2 library.
  • #CVSLib - .NET CVS client API library.
  • Draco.NET - Automated continuous CVS repository builds.
  • CodeSmith - Freeware automated code generation for any language.
  • ADO.NET Managed Providers for MySql and Postgres databases
  • Abstract ADO - Provides JDBC-like vendor independent interfaces to databases.
     (Currently alpha.)
  • XGrid - ASP.NET Grid control supports client side sorting/filtering/pagination
  • ASP.NET Chart control
  • ScPI - free (GPL license) plotting library for use with C#, VB.NET
    • Winforms & ASP.NET plotting/charting supported.
  • Source Forge C# Projects (Heaps more open source systems and code samples)

Maths Libraries

  • Mapack - .NET Matrix and Linear Algebra library (Open Source)
  • Math.NET - C# framework for symbolic mathematics (Open Source)
  • NMath - .NET mathematical and financial library (Commercial product)


  • SVG# - SVG Vector Graphics (Open Source) for use with SVG web browser plugins.
  • CsGL - C# Wrapper for OpenGL library (Open Source)
  • FastBitmap - Speeds up GetPixel()/SetPixel for C# and C++


Feedback: tohagan at pobox dot com

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