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Monofree Helps Remove and Block Mono, Just Like Mononono

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 3:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

sudo apt-get remove mono-common

Summary: Guy Van Sanden releases Monofree to help address the ‘Microsoftification’ of GNU/Linux

Mono boosters have been agitating this Web site (and your truly) quite a lot recently. They must be worried or scared. It is with great pleasure that we announce the release of Monofree, going back just a few hours:

A while back, I wrote a post on how to clean mono from your system, my information was gathered from blogs arround the net.

But that information was quite outdated and a lot of it did not apply to mono 2.0 which is in Ubuntu now. I also recommended mononono to prevent mono from being pushed back on your system, but that too is outdated.

That’s why I used the list of low-level packages Jo Shields pointed out to create my own version of mononono called monofree that will clean Mono 2.0 and it’s applicaions from your system.

This is the type of software that Ubuntu should have installed by default in 11.04. It’s what Jeremy Allison has suggested.

Trash sign with Mono

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  1. mario said,

    January 20, 2011 at 9:53 pm


    I don’t think this is entirely sufficient. Removing Mono can be done with the package manager already. It should install some traps that automatically crashes the browser if you come across a website that mentions Mono or .NET

    But we shouldn’t stop intimidation Ubuntu into removing the packages entirely. User choice is a very very very bad thing, because bitches don’t know about the non-freedoms of Mono.

    Mikko Reply:

    what if one day you can’t uninstall mono ?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I suppose it’s better asked as, what if GNOME becomes dependent on Mono one day (or Linux even, or the GNU utilities)?

    twitter Reply:

    Intimidation of Ubuntu? That’s Microsoft’s job and what Mono is all about. Distributions that use mono in default packages put themselves at risk of lawsuits, which is why Microsoft payed Novell to develop and push it in the first place. Microsoft has been very clear about their temporary and exclusive “protection” of Novell against their lawsuits. Every other distribution and user is currently threatened by Microsoft’s lawyers. Disruptive trolling of Ubuntu forums is another part of their work.

    Users are advised to avoid mono for several reasons. The first is technical – mono performs poorly and is bloated like all things Microsoft. The second reason is to avoid the inevitable jerk around that will come when mono vanishes along with Novell. It would be foolish to rely on such an unstable platform for vital daily tasks. The nomono packages spare the user of a later rude awakening.

    It might come as news to you, Mario, but some people don’t just swallow what others push on them. They think about things and cooperate to help their neighbors. People here don’t like the expensive, intimidating, and deceptive Microsoft/Novell effort to make Gnome and the most popular distribution depend on Microsoft’s framework. Roy has done a good job of documenting this and pointing to practical action to prevent damage.

    At this point, Mario, I have to consider you a troll. The other day you asked for practical solutions to the mono problem. Today, you mock and belittle both the site and a practical solution. Please take your efforts some place they might be appreciated.

    mario Reply:

    Well, I can’t recall talking about Mono the other day. As I remember it was brought up as distraction topic when I asked two dozen times for backing up the wild accusations.

    Anyway, I considered you just another sockpuppet account of the site owner (whose reputation, as you might have noticed, does not help your case).
    But seemingly you are not. And some of your stances do actually make sense. As this, please consider the above satire comment void.

    And maybe you should open up a separate blog and post some *sensible* counter-Mono advises (for example application alternatives, porting C# code to Vala, etc.)

    Forgoing the unproven issues with the Ubuntu forum, I’m still a bit at loss though what the remaining rhetoric is about. Mind you, everyone understands the software patent issue surrounding MSFT and .NET and Mono. Yet the proclaimed threat level seems completely bogus. (The unidirectional Mono bashing looks also unwarranted in light of last years Oracle development.)

    I admit it’s a bit different from my viewpoint, because any such retarded triviality patents don’t apply to me. Microsoft has no patents as far as I’m concerned. And that’s because US-only *software* patents are void and/or illegal over here in Europe. – And even if they weren’t, even real (non-software) patents are not applicable to private users; we are exempt from any such patent reparations.

    So, besides explaining why I should care about the fucked up US legal system, you also must elaborate where you actually see an endangerement of the core plattform. I have no Mono installed, since it’s mostly used by fringe userspace tools which I have no use for. That’s why your sentiment and alarmism makes even less sense to me. What’s the difficulty in simply not installing Mono or Java?

    Also please don’t advise me to read through *this* site. Not useful, too much noise. Is there some *objective* analysis where and how Mono corrupts the baseline Linux functionality, is it in any really indispensable components? (And no, the FSF is likewise failing the objectivity test.)

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Patents are not the main issue with Mono; control is.

    twitter Reply:

    This site and the FSF are about as objective an opinion as you will find. Neither Roy nor the FSF have financial or emotional motivations to say or think anything about mono. Both have often demonstrated their ability to admit their mistakes. Their only concerns are software freedom. Roy has been a particularly careful researcher.

    Fortunately, mono does not seem to corrupt what you might consider “baseline” functionality. Most distributions do not even install it by default. Results and intentions, however, are separate things and you should thank people like Roy for raising the alarm early and well.

    Roy has documented the push to make popular distributions such as Red Hat and Ubuntu depend on mono. Way back in 2007, Red Hat did have mono problems at the build level that spilled over into desktops. Recently, Ubuntu has considered replacing the GIMP for a mono paint clone and installing Banshee by default. That would be a technically awful decisions and rob users of important and decades old functionality. The mono people could then claim that mono was an accepted part of a popular distribution with millions of users, which would give them the leverage to base yet more on mono. It’s the first packages that are hard for them because they bloat up the install size with little benefit. Once they get that, every mono replacement package will reduce install size. Mono people have also pushed their work into the Evolution email client, which is arguably a baseline functionality package. Roy has also documented placement of mono bindings inside of other packages like Zeitgeist, and GnomeDo.. Roy has traced individuals to show Novell/Microsoft paymasters, such as Gnome board members and Canonical employees. Roy’s research conclusively ties Gnome members to Novell/Microsoft and neatly explains otherwise inexplicable dependence of free software on a patent encumbered and technically ugly Microsoft framework. It also explains the spread of mono in Gnome despite official repudiation. Microsoft entryism at Nokia is now being watched because it gives Microsoft the chance to pollute QT as well as shut down Nokia’s gnu/linux mobile efforts to promote Windows on cell phones.

    As a side note, I just noticed the 2011 Gnome mono hackfest which seems to tout efforts to put .NET into DBus. As Novell crumples, it looks like these efforts are going down the tubes for lack of funding.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Mono development in general has gotten weak, just like Microsoft. It’s about controlling one’s competition, not just with patents.

    mario Reply:

    @twitter: I stopped taking you seriously right after the first sentence. I fail to see how the FSF with a dogmatic agenda can be objective in any form whatsoever, and why Dr. Roy refuses to bash the FSF for funding DotGNU while portraying the other .NET reimplementation as harbinger of unspeakable doom.

    Again the cited articles here likely document factual developments, but I cannot be bothered to read unverified rants with self-citations and circular logic. The adoption and spread of Mono is undisputed, and also obviously disliked here. But I fail to see why the conspiracy theories are rampant. From what I’ve gathered the mentioned projects grew naturally.

    It’s very very very very very plausible to attribute malicious intents to Microsoft, given their history and past beaviour. But there’s no probable motive regarding Mono. Certainly they squeezed Novel for money due to all sorts of compatibility features for network protocols and APIs that actually belong into the public domain for lack of novelty. But Mono all by itself does not seem to qualify as cash cow.

    The applications you’ve cited seem fluff. It’s mostly (multi)media apps, which by nature are optional and redundant. There’s no dependency problem with Banshee for example. Tested it once, did not impress. People can simply uninstall it again, and use any other media player. The only problem such apps typically have are underdocumented binary playlist formats (yes, fuck them, retarded dipshit developers). Otherwise, neither a mid- nor longterm problem where Microsoft could seemingly excert any control.

    The DBUS issue might be relevant. But you’ll need to find a working link and publish your findings somewhere where it’ll be taken seriously. It’s imperative that any found “dependencies” and Mono lock-ins are actually that. Optional language bindings don’t look really worriesome to anybody, and are mostly the result of natural development processes and toying around (maybe Mono actually has a nice embedding API?) or unwarranted featuritis.
    Speculations per se are not a forbidden approach to start a discussion about it. But if there are real Linux userland underminations regarding Mono, you would have to publish provable code dependencies.

    Adrian Malacoda Reply:

    The only “dogmatic agenda” FSF has is promoting software freedom, and you think this makes them not “objective” with regards to Mono? Mr. Stallman explains in his essay that “the problem is not unique to Mono” i.e. the same problem exists with DotGNU. Mr. Stallman warns, essentially, that were Microsoft to go after any C#/.NET implementation using patents, use of free C#/.NET in general (Mono as well as DotGNU) would suffer.

    As Dr. Schestowitz said, though, patents are not the only problem with .NET (including Mono and DotGNU). I personally don’t think the patent threat is that big (but then, perhaps TomTom didn’t either). Many of us are just plain uncomfortable with a major desktop environment and major distributions including, or depending on, a technology platform lead by the company who has shown the most hostility towards free software in general and GNU/Linux (a.k.a. the “cancer”) and Android in specific. There’s a trend across the community for people who say anything bad about Microsoft to be shouted down as a zealot or “blind hater” but there are valid reasons to not like how Microsoft conducts itself with the free software community as well as its proprietary competitors. Given its past history (i.e. “Evangelism is War”, Comes v. Microsoft, Halloween documents) and present behavior, “very very very very very plausible” is a colossal understatement.

    Mr. Stallman, by the way, doesn’t seem to share Dr. Schestowitz’s concern about control. Mr. Stallman says “free C# implementations permit users to run their C# programs on free platforms, which is good.” Mr. Stallman’s warning is about patents, which are frivolous and not valid globally.

    The only difference between DotGNU and Mono is motivation. DotGNU was created expressly to allow .NET C# code to be migrated to a free platform. Mono was ostensibly created for that purpose too, but in practice Mono applications are created for Mono and not for Microsoft’s implementation. But regardless, the risks associated with Mono exists with DotGNU too, and I think the DotGNU developers are aware of this (I can’t find any evidence that DotGNU has been in active development all of last year).

    You say that “Mono bashing looks unwarranted in light of last year’s Oracle development” but people (including Dr. Schestowitz) called Oracle out for that too. Oracle’s behavior is also a problem, and it shows a similar disregard to the free software community as Microsoft. Oracle exerts control over Java in the same way that Microsoft controls .NET, only Oracle acts on it more frequently (e.g. its behavior towards Google’s and Apache’s Java implementations). I avoid use of Java in my projects for this reason. I’m also concerned about Oracle’s control over MySQL, so I use a fork maintained by MySQL’s founder instead.

    Adrian Malacoda Reply:

    To get a clear and concise idea of what Dr. Schestowitz means by “patents are not the main issue with Mono; control is”

    See “Effective Evangelism” by Mr. James Plamondon, former Microsoft evangelist, at http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20071023002351958 and note the following:

    “Our mission is to establish Microsoft’s platforms as the de facto standards throughout the computer industry… Every line of code that is written to our standards is a small victory; every line of code that is written to any other standard, is a small defeat.”

    Mr. Plamondon gives “Win32″ (the Windows API) as an example of a platform. Note the sections “Platform Example: Win32″ and later “Win32 API on Unix” where Mr. Plamondon quote rightly suggests that the assumption would be that “MS would try to block WABI [Windows ABI] through legal action” but Mr. Plamondon instead suggests to “Put Win32 on Unix ourselves” through a number of third-party companies. Mr. Plamondon also states that platforms themselves have no value, but that applications written to a platform do.

    Further note that the .NET API is considered a sort of “replacement” for the Win32 API.

  2. mario said,

    January 25, 2011 at 12:40 am


    @Adrian: While I cannot agree completely with all your points, I must say I’m a bit amazed to read such a fair bit of well-reasoned argument on this site.

    While obviously DotGNU is a failed project and thus not very relevant, I’m still not sure what makes Mono so much more dangerous. There is probable involvement from Microsoft via Novell in developing it. But it implements the exactly same .NET APIs and CLR ABI. Apart from software patent code worries (which are effectively voided in Europe), why would an API give Microsoft leverage?

    They lack the developer talent to base even any of their own lock-in and cash cows on it (Office, IE, Windows core). The aging Win32 is going to be their actual plattform for this decade (and there will be no Microsoft past the desktop era). So I’m not sure why it would be problematic with auxillary apps on Linux. If anything, WINE should be the bigger problem for us. To my understanding they are mostly nixed from claiming copyright infringment for an API even under US law. And they didn’t try that yet. (Well, actually except for Lindows. Which however got cash from THEM.)

    Microsoft however already extorted money from HTC, the smart phone vendor, for using the Linux kernel with Android. Same for TomTom. In both cases they probably cashed in with some triviality patents like the UCS2 filename marshalling in VFAT. So it seems Microsoft already makes money in the mobile market (not via WP7, but Linux). Which fuels my question, why Mono is perceived as so overly problematic, if MSF already rips people off using code they don’t own.

    I see that their community whatever promise in regards to .NET and Mono might not be worth much (under European law it could be considered binding) given their history. But in the meantime this is fully hypothetical. Yet at the same time there’s the kernel and other areas (Wine, Java, Office formats) which expose much larger attack surfaces.
    I understand that Mono usage could surge substantially and more apps be based on it. But those could often be ported to Vala or statically compiled or cloud hosted or whatever. But it seemingly should be the least of our worries.
    (Everything is moving to the web anyhow, so desktop APIs might not play a critical role two years from now. I could totally see myself using Android mostly if it matures… and unless Oracle kills it first. )

    Agree with your point about Oracle though. I’m still using Java via Netbeans and Eclipse, but slowly transitioning from VirtualBox back to QEMU, and MariaDB seems to become the better MySQL anyway.

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