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Confused about .NETMF and GHI SDK versions


I’m confused about .NETMF and GHI SDK versions. I want to use .NETMF with VS2010 which means that the latest version I can use is .NETMF v4.2 (QFE2). According to the GHI installation steps ( I shall install “GHI Software Package v4.2”. I downloaded and unzipped this package.

The included document “GHI .NET Gadgeteer Release Notes.rtf” tells me that this is SDK Version 1.6.14 and has been built with .NETMF v4.3 (RTM).

The included document “GHI Premium NETMF v4.2 Release Notes.rtf” tells me that it requires .NETMF 4.3 and VS2012.

Now I am uncertain if this is the right software for use with VS2010 and .NETMF 4.2 (QFE2). If not: Where can I download an older version of the GHI SDK for .NETMF 4.2?


The steps, depending if you want to use VS2010 or VS2012 are here


Hi Gus, thanks for serving the link. I already included the same link in my original post.

In step 3 it advises to install “GHI Software Package v4.2”. This package includes “GHI .NET Gadgeteer SDK v4.2” version 1.6.14 and "GHI Software Package v4.2 " version 1.0.4. The release notes state that these versions require .NETMF v4.3.

According to the release notes the latest versions for .NETMF v4.2 are 1.6.12 (GHI Gadegeteer SDK) and 1.0.2 (GHI Premium SDK).

Is it fine to use the most recent “GHI Software Package v4.2” together with VS2010 and .NETMF 4.2 (QFE2)?


I see what you mean. Yes you can still use the SDK package with NETMF 4.2.


Thanks Gus! I was a bit scary about mixing versions.


It would be good to add somewhere after step 2 on that page, that once you’ve installed EITHER the VS2012/SDK4.3 OR VS2010/SDK4.2, that you proceed to install GHI SDK 4.2… If I was graphically oriented I’d make that page follow a flow chart :slight_smile:


If I were to improve something I would try to better make clear what all the packages inside the GHI SDK are meant for. For example, I still don’t know what “OSHW” stands for and why I have to install both OSHW and the Premium SDKs.


OK, let me help with that one.

OSHW = Open Source HardWare

GHI produce two types of boards, ones that are GHI proprietary, or their “Premium” devices, and more recently have made some that are “open”. What device is what is documented on where you can see graphically the bards that fit in each family, and a list of general features not implemented in the OSHW boards - basically, GHI add a lot of extra value on top of the general netmf framework, and have done so for a lot of years, and the Premium line represent how we as consumers get access to those years of development and intellectual property.

Now really, you only need to install Premium and OSHW if you have boards from both lines. But it’s just easier to install everything in case you end up with a menagerie of Fezzes. Which you will. :wink:


@ Brett -

candritzky - Sorry for butting in but I have a question related to yours…

Are there any special precaution needed to follow if you use both VS2010 and 2012 for Windows Desktop?

"once you’ve installed EITHER the VS2012/SDK4.3 OR VS2010/SDK4.2, that you proceed to install GHI SDK 4.2… "

I read that ALWAYS install GHI SDK 4.2 last? (Or GHI NETMF v4.1 is last if used?)


@ Brett - Thanks for clarifying on OSHW and Premium.

I was confused because the GHI SDK Setup.exe (“installer shell”) doesn’t let me uncheck neither “Premium SDK” nor “OSHW SDK”. This means I always have to install both - at least when I use the Setup.exe installer.


@ willgeorge, no idea. If you stick with one version for netmf and install the correct items for that, you should be good. For example if you want VS2012 to be your netmf home, you’d install the netmf SDK 4.3 and then after that you’d install the GHI 4.2 SDK. Hopefully none of the installers get confused about having two potential targets for adding things like templates etc.

But can I ask, why do you need both?

@ candritzky, the setup program is just leading you to do what I suggested :wink:


@ Brett - Well, I find the setup program is a bit misleading because it enforces me to install the OSHW SDK even though I don’t have OSHW devices.

Why you need more than one .NETMF version: If you have a mixture of devices (e. g. FEZ Spider and Mountaineer) and they only support different .NETMF versions (FEZ Spider: NETMF 4.2 QFE2 or NETMF 4.3, Mountaineer: NETMF 4.2 QFE1). In my case I cannot upgrade Mountaineer to NETMF 4.3 because this firmware version is not yet available.


The setup program technically is a wrapper, so you could not install OSHW SDK but I suspect that this would be untested - is there a problem with you having it?

The challenge of Mountaineer and GHI devices is not simple, and I don’t have a solution for you The GHI team take great pains at making simultaneous releases so all their devices can have the same raw SDK installed. The minimum SDK is 4.2 QFE2 - but the 4.3 SDK is also an option as it also brings with it 4.2 compatibility at 4.2 QFE2 but allows installation onto VS2012 (this is why the netmf SDK install is an OR decision; if you have VS2012 you MUST have 4.3SDK, OR if you have VS2010 you MUST have 4.2QFE2). The Mountaineer firmware is not at the same point, the original firmware requires 4.2 QFE1 - so it’s not really compatible with the installs for GHI devices. But I note there is a 4.2QFE2 firmware so there may be hope there?


@ Brett - No, I don’t really have a problem with the Setup program. I was just confused about OSHW and Premium and when I need what. But it is no problem to have all components installed.

Regarding Mountaineer: They just promised to release a new firmware based on NETMF 4.3 soon. So everything will be fine again. In the meantime I will use a different dev PC for Mountaineer having the older NETMF 4.2 QFE1 installed.

Thanks for your support.