Cross-Platform Rhino Plugin Development with .NET

Hi Rhino Developers,

I’ve been reading through the forums and came across some useful insights about developing plugins for Rhino. However, I have some questions regarding creating cross-platform plugins that can run smoothly on both macOS and Windows.

From what I’ve gathered, it is recommended to ship plugins for .NET Framework 4.8 for compatibility with Rhino 7 and test the plugins in .NET 7 to ensure everything works as expected. Also, using .NET Core on Mac eliminates a lot of compatibility issues between the Mac and Windows versions of Rhino, making it easier to make plugins work on both platforms. More info here.

I am developing a cross-platform plugin intended to run on both macOS and Windows. Given that macOS does not support .NET Framework 4.8, I am concerned about potential compatibility issues. Specifically:

  • If I ship my plugins targeting .NET Framework 4.8, will they encounter issues on macOS?
  • How is .NET set up on the macOS side?
  • What is the best approach to ensure my plugin runs smoothly on both macOS and Windows?

Many thanks!
Shaoyi Wang

Good morning @Shaoyi_Wang,

Agreed, use the newer dotnet tooling if you can, it’s really nice.

Net48 will not be used unless the plugin is for Rhino 7, then I believe mono will run net48.

With Rhino 8, when you create a multi-targeted plugin (net48 & net7.0), windows allows for switching between both, however only net7.0 will be used on with mac.

Hope that helps! :slight_smile:


How should a multi-targeted plugin be shipped, though? When building a Yak package I need to specify which assembly folder to build it from and hence ship the NET48 version. Is there a way to package both versions and have the runtime decide which one to load?

Indeed there is.

Multi-target Plugin structure

If you put your manifest above the target frameworks and build in the same directory as the manifest, you’ll get a multi-target plugin

│   manifest.yml
│       *.dll
│       MyPlugin.rhp

Single-target Plugin structure

If you put the manifest inside one target framework, you’ll just target that version


Hope that helps

Thanks! Learned something new today!

I guess that R7 on Windows will always choose the NET48 version. What about R8? Will it alternate between plugin versions depending on the runtime chosen by the user?

This format of yak package will only work for Rhino8, but Rhino will pick the correct platform automatically. Rhino 7 packages require a single-target package as described at the lower end of the post.

1 Like