Building and testing

Visual Studio (Windows)

Noda Time is developed on Visual Studio 2015. All versions of Visual Studio 2015, including the community edition, should be able to build Noda Time. You may need to download additional platform packs, however.

To fetch the source code from the main GitHub repository, you'll need a git client. You may also want a Git GUI, such as SourceTree.

To run the tests, you'll need NUnit version 2.5.10 or higher.

Unfortunately though we target .NET 3.5 for running Noda Time on the desktop, the unit test library targets .NET 4. This is mostly so that we can easily run the tests against the PCL build. We would like to run the desktop build tests against .NET 3.5 and the PCL build tests against .NET 4, but that sort of subtlety seems to cause problems with the ability of test runners to autodetect which version they should load. We don't use any .NET 4 features in our tests though; if you hack at the project file to make it only target .NET 3.5, you should be able to test the desktop build that way, if you really need to.

For Noda Time 2.0, it's reasonably likely that we'll target .NET 4.5 for everything for simplicity and compatibility with other libraries such as System.Collections.Immutable.

Fetching and building

To fetch the source code, just clone the GitHub repository:

> git clone

To build everything under Visual Studio, simply open the src\NodaTime-All.sln file. To build with just the SDK and msbuild, run

> msbuild src\NodaTime-All.sln /property:Configuration=Debug

Execute the tests using your favourite NUnit test runner. For example:

> nunit-console src\NodaTime.Test\bin\Debug\NodaTime.Test.dll

(Include the other test DLLs should you wish to, of course.)


Building Noda Time 2.0 requires a C# 6 compiler.

As of March 2015, no released version of Mono supports C# 6, though built-from-source versions of what will become Mono 4.0.0 do.

While not intended to be a complete guide to installing Mono from source, on Linux, you probably want to do something approximately like the following:

$ sudo apt-get install autoconf automake libtool-bin  # etc

$ PREFIX=$HOME/mono/4.0.0  # or wherever
$ git clone mono-git
$ cd mono-git/
$ git checkout mono-4.0.0-branch
$ git submodule init
$ git submodule update
$ ./ --prefix=$PREFIX
$ make get-monolite-latest
$ make EXTERNAL_MCS=${PWD}/mcs/class/lib/monolite/basic.exe
$ make install
$ export PATH=$PREFIX/bin:$PATH
$ mono --version | head -n1
Mono JIT compiler version 4.0.0 (mono-4.0.0-branch/b7bcd23 Tue 24 Mar 16:03:12 GMT 2015)
$ mozroots --import --sync  # otherwise NuGet will fail with SSL errors later
Mozilla Roots Importer - version
Download and import trusted root certificates from Mozilla's MXR.
Copyright 2002, 2003 Motus Technologies. Copyright 2004-2008 Novell. BSD

Downloading from
Importing certificates into user store...
140 new root certificates were added to your trust store.
Import process completed.

(More generally, see the Mono documentation for more details about building from source on Linux.)

Noda Time 1.x

We have tested Mono support using Mono 2.10.5 and 2.10.8.

To build Noda Time under Linux, you typically need to install the following packages:

  • mono-devel
  • mono-xbuild

(These will add the other dependencies you need.)

Note that for Ubuntu specifically, you'll either need Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric) or later, or work out how to install an unofficial backport; earlier versions of Ubuntu do not include a suitable version of Mono.

To build Noda Time under OS X, download the latest stable release of Mono. Be sure to choose the developer package, not the smaller runtime-only package. To use the provided Makefile, you'll either need to install Xcode or obtain make separately (for example, using osx-gcc-installer to install just the open-source parts of Xcode).

Fetching the source

To fetch the source code from the main GitHub repository, you'll need a git client.

$ git clone
$ cd nodatime

Building is performed with make, using the included Makefile. (If you don't have a working make, you can also run xbuild by hand; see Makefile for the commands you'll need to run.)

Fetching dependencies

Building Noda Time requires a small number of third-party packages. These can be most easily obtained via NuGet.

To fetch NuGet.exe locally, download and run (using mono) the (auto-updating) NuGet.exe command-line tool.

You can then fetch the NuGet packages locally (into src/packages/):

$ make fetch-packages NUGET=/path/to/NuGet.exe

(NUGET= can be omitted if NuGet.exe is in the current directory.)


$ make

This will build all the Noda Time main projects. The main assembly will be written to src/NodaTime/bin/Debug/NodaTime.dll; this is all you need to use Noda Time itself.

Other build targets are also available; again, see Makefile for documentation.


To run the tests, you'll need NUnit version 2.5.10 or higher. (The version that comes with Mono doesn't support everything used by the unit tests of Noda Time.) Version 2.6.1 or higher is recommended on non-Windows platforms due to an NUnit bug that causes tests to fail with a "Too many open files" exception when running some of the larger suites.

To build and run the tests, run:

$ make check

to use the default (from PATH) version of NUnit, or something like the following to override the location of the NUnit test runner:

$ make check NUNIT='mono ../NUnit-2.6.1/bin/nunit-console.exe'

Source layout

All the main source code is under the src directory. There are multiple projects:

  • NodaTime: The main library to be distributed
  • NodaTime.Benchmarks: Benchmarks run regularly to check the performance
  • NodaTime.Demo: Demonstration code written as unit tests. Interesting Stack Overflow questions can lead to code in this project, for example.
  • NodaTime.Serialization.JsonNet: Library to enable Json.NET serialization of NodaTime types.
  • NodaTime.Serialization.Test: Tests for all serialization assemblies, under the assumption that at some point we'll support more than just Json.NET.
  • NodaTime.Test: Tests for the main library
  • NodaTime.Testing: Library to help users test code which depends on Noda Time. Also used within our own tests.
  • NodaTime.TzdbCompiler: Tool to take a TZDB database and convert it into the NodaTime internal format
  • NodaTime.TzdbCompiler.Test: Tests for NodaTime.TzdbCompiler

The documentation is in the www directory with the rest of the website: www/developer for the developer guide, and www/unstable/userguide for the latest user guide.

There is also experimental source code for Roslyn code diagnostics (under src) and various tools for the build process under build.