.NET Micro Framework 4.4 Getting Started Guide

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With all the current excitement about IoT and Windows 10, does that mean our old friend the .NET Micro Framework is dead?


Getting Started with the .NET Micro Framework 4.4

How to build .Net Micro Framework 4.4 repo and create simple "Hello World" sample with .Net Micro Framework Emulator for Windows.


Some weeks ago, a new version of the .Net Micro Framework was published. It is a very interesting but very specific technology. And, like many open source-projects, it has some problems with documentation. So, it can take much time to run just a simple example.

In this article, I want to correct this deficiency and to talk about how to quickly and easily install everything you need to work with the emulator of .Net Micro Framework on Windows. Russian version of this article is here.



This article focuses on the .Net Micro Framework version 4.4. Starting with this release, the project moved to GitHub. It consists of two branches:

  • llilum — the new platform, which compiles C# code directly to a microcontroller assembly code,
  • netmf-interpreter — .Net Micro Framework interpreter, "classical" branch, which uses realisations of runtime environment for specific hardware platforms.

I will talk about netmf-interpreter, because this branch is best for practical use at the moment.

For a start it should be noted that netmf-interpreter 4.4 only works with Visual Studio 2015 Community, Pro and Ultimate editions.

Start working with .NetMF 4.4

There are three different ways to start working with netmf-interpreter 4.4:

  • Build installation files from the repository,
  • Download installation files from GitHub releases page,
  • Download installation files through Visual Studio 2015 Extensions and Updates.
Build from the repository


Installation from Visual Studio




Downloading from GitHub

MicroFrameworkSDK.MSI and NetmfVS14.vsix files can be downloaded from releases page:


Create and launch first project

Now all libraries and plugins are installed by one of the three ways. So, you can create your first project on the .Net Micro Framework.

The Visual Studio plugin already has some examples. You need only to choose which one you like.

However, there is one important thing. The emulator is installed on the system disk and need to be run in an administrator mode. Otherwise, it will not work correctly. The emulator is started from the Visual Studio, so exactly Visual Studio must be run in administrator mode.

Run Visual Studio as an administrator and create a new project:




Net Micro Framework is a promising open-source technology that allows you to write C# code for microcontrollers. With new IoT ideas and creation UWP concept its development received a new impulse. With time it will cover very small devices that can’t support Windows 10 IoT, but together with this fully support the UWP concept.

Points of Interest

Here are some links about .Net Micro Framework:

[Click through to read the whole thing]

.NET Micro Framework Interpreter

Interpreter, Base Cass Libraries and native code porting layer for the .NET Micro Framework

Welcome to the .NET Micro Framework

The Microsoft® .NET Micro Framework combines the reliability and efficiency of managed code with the premier development tools of Microsoft Visual Studio® to deliver exceptional productivity for developing embedded applications on small devices. The Microsoft .NET Micro Framework SDK supports development of code, including device I/O, in the C# language using a subset of the .NET libraries, and is fully integrated with the Microsoft Visual Studio® development environment.


NOTE: As of v4.4 of the framework (and the move to GitHub) the Porting Kit is no longer necessary so there isn't any porting kit release for V4.4 or later. If you wish to use the digital signature support in TinyBooter and MFDeploy, you will need the legacy Crypto Libs.


The Discussion

  • User profile image

    How to I get to use the RTC on STM32F4? I can see in the device code that it is supported. But it doesnt show up in the managed libraries.

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