Stack Deprecation: please switch from Xamarin Studio to Visual Studio for Mac

Xamarin Studio stacks are now deprecated, please switch to the Visual Studio for Mac stack.

The Xamarin Studio installer is no longer available on, and even the previously downloaded Xamarin Studio installer will now install Visual Studio for Mac instead of Xamarin Studio, so we’re now deprecating the Xamarin Studio stacks and replacing it with the new Visual Studio for Mac one.

We’ll slowly move projects to the Visual Studio for Mac stack and keep an eye on the error rates. We’ll remove the Xamarin Studio stacks early September, if everything goes as planned (will keep it longer if required of course).

The two stacks (Xamarin Studio (stable) and Visual Studio for Mac) are almost the same right now, other then the Xamarin tool change, so the switch between the two should cause no issues for most Xamarin projects.

We auto-migrated every app from the Xamarin Stable stack to the Visual Studio for Mac (Stable) stack.

The Xamarin Stable stack is still accessible for everyone, so if you need it you can switch back to it.

Additionally, new cross platform projects which previously got the Xamarin Stable stack by default (including Ionic, Cordova, … projects) will now have the Visual Studio for Mac (Stable) stack selected by default.

Migration notes:

  • If the Xamarin User Management step would fail on the Visual Studio for Mac stack, please upgrade the step to the latest version, that should work on the VS for Mac stack.

We’re considering the removal of the Alpha channel completely.

If someone needs the Visual Studio for Mac Alpha channel stack please let us know! Otherwise we’ll most likely provide only Stable, Beta and LTS (Long Term Support) stacks.

We’re still using the alpha stack as our build requires Mono 5.4 to run.

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Thanks @samueldebruyn - we’ll keep that in mind and will not remove the Alpha option until Mono 5.4 lands on Beta or Stable.

Just a quick question: did you test with the latest Beta/Stable? I mean, are you sure that the bug is only fixed in Mono 5.4 and was not backported for 5.2?

We build some of our apps on both alpha stack weekly after (potential) stack updates over the weekend as an early warning system for breaking changes that are forthcoming from xamarin. It’s not critical but it is a useful thing to have.

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Good point @tomcurran!

Do you think that Alpha is crucial for your setup? Or would Stable + Beta work too for this early warning system?

Alpha is not crucial for this, Stable + Beta would work. Using Alpha extends the amount of time from knowing about an issue prior to needing to fix it. Over the last year Xamarin seems to have added substantially different features to Alpha channel.

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Thanks for the info @tomcurran! :wink: