Portable Class Library (PCL) now available on all platforms

This post announces a standalone release of the .NET portable class library reference assemblies that can be used on any operating system. It was written by Rich Lander, a Program Manager on the .NET Team.

Update: Read PCL and .NET NuGet Libraries are now enabled for Xamarin for later information on this release.

You can build .NET apps across a wide variety of platforms, and the Portable Class Library (PCL) helps you share your code and libraries across .NET platforms.  Specifically, the PCL provides a set of common reference assemblies that enable .NET libraries and binaries to be used on any .NET based runtime – from phones, to clients, to servers and clouds.

Prior to today’s release, there was a license restriction with the PCL reference assemblies which meant they could only be used on Windows. With today’s release we are announcing a new standalone release of the PCL reference assemblies with a license that allows it to be used on any platform – including non-Microsoft ones.  This enables developers even more flexibility and to do great things with .NET.

Here is a screenshot of the installer.


If you are using VS 2013 you can compile your apps using the portable reference assemblies that are automatically installed as part of it.  Today’s standalone release of the PCL provides a ZIP file that includes the same portable reference assemblies that are available in the latest Visual Studio 2013 RC – and which you can use on other platforms (or within other tools). The ZIP file is installed to: %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft .NET Portable Library Reference Assemblies 4.6 RC.

Today’s announcement is just the start of a conversation we’d like to have with developers about the PCL and even more things you can do with .NET.  Please try out the PCL, and tell us what you think and how you’re using these assemblies/PCL, either in the comments to this post or on UserVoice.