Developer Prerequisites

This guide describes the main requirements to develop for Rhino.

There are a number of prerequisites required to do Rhino development. Broadly speaking, these can be divided into three categories, ranked in ascending order of difficulty:

  1. Hardware prerequisites
  2. Software prerequisites
  3. Programming Knowledge

Hardware

If you are reading this guide, you likely already have a computer that can run Rhino. (If not, Rhino has some minimum System Requirements that you should review before acquiring any hardware). Generally speaking, any computer that can run Rhino ought to be able to run the developer tools outlined in the Software section.

If you are a Windows user and wish to develop plugins for Rhino for Mac, you will need an Apple Mac computer. Conversely, if you are an OS X user and you wish to develop for Rhino for Windows, you will need a computer that can run Rhino for Windows (however, virtual machines running Windows under OS X can potentially work just fine).

Software

Depending on what you want to do, the software prerequisites vary. However, in general, you will need:

  • Rhinoceros
  • A code editor. There are many options…here are a few:

See the SDK-specific guides for the software prerequisites…normally found in the “Installing Tools” guides.

Programming Knowledge

Acquiring programming knowledge is the most labor intensive prerequisite. However, learning to program - even trying out a new language - is fun and enriching. Learning to program using Rhino is a great way to begin…

Learning C# .NET

If you wish to write plugins with RhinoCommon, you will need to understand a .NET compatible programming language like C# (or VB). We recommend C# (C Sharp) because it is modern, safe, and easy to learn - and you can develop in C# on both Windows and OS X.

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Learning C/C++

To write plugins for Rhino using the C/C++ SDK, you first need to learn the C++ programing language itself. C/C++ is sometimes considered an “advanced” programming language.

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Learning Python

Python is a fantastic first language and an amazingly flexible additional language to add to your toolkit.

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Learning RhinoScript

RhinoScript is a scripting tool based on Microsoft’s VBScript language. RhinoScript runs in Rhino for Windows.

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