Linux and Macintosh
The information below is useful to those interested in running Open Dental in a Linux or Mac OS environment.
Open Dental on the Server
Your Open Dental server can always be Linux (tested) or MacOS-X (not tested); this has never changed. The server
needs to be able to host the MySQL server and the image files, but
does not need to be able to run Open Dental itself. If you are thinking about Linux just to get around the 10 computer limit in Windows, you should know that unlimited computers can connect to the MySQL database on an ordinary Windows workstation in spite of the 10 computer limit. To get around the 10 computer limit for the A to Z folder, simply get a network attached hard drive. Windows 7 and 8 also get around the 10 computer limit because they have a higher limit of 20 computers. See Install Linux on a Server.
Running the Open Dental Client on Workstations
At times in the past, the Open Dental client program has been run successfully on Linux clients. We have largely abandoned efforts to maintain the Linux compatibility, and current versions do not run on Linux or Mac OS. If someone was interested in making it work with Linux, it would probably only take a few months of programming effort. We are not interested in doing this programming. So it will either require using our plugin framework, or possibly a fork. There are significant disadvantages to forking as discussed here on the Programming Resources page.
Mac users may be interested in these tools that run Windows.
Parallels : Run Windows in a virtual machine inside Mac OS.
Bootcamp: Boot up your Mac with either Mac OS or Windows.
The most recent version on which Open Dental was running on Linux was 5.6. The information below is from that time period and has not been updated. It only remains here for programmers who might be interested in Linux development.
Open Dental runs on the dotNet Framework, a Microsoft technology. It will also run on the Mono framework, an adaptation of dotNet for Linux. So you will need to install Mono before installing and using Open Dental. The flavor of Linux shouldn't matter, but we tested it on Suse 10.3 with Mono 1.2.6. You will need to use that version of Mono or later. See http://www.mono-project.com/Downloads, or you can use the instructions here for a different way of updating Mono: mono.doc.
Installation of Open Dental itself simply involves copying
all files in C:\Program Files\Open Dental from a Windows
computer directly into a folder on a Linux computer (we used /usr/local/opendental/).
Launch Open Dental like this:
$ mono OpenDental.exe
Try these tricks:
* Make sure FreeDentalConfig.xml is present in the same folder as
OpenDental.exe. You might have to edit this file manually to define
* Use an ip address at the choose database window if the computer name isn't working.
* It won't be able to find the A-Z folder on a remote computer. Your
1. Use Samba, mount a local directory, and point it to
the real A-Z folder (at least that's the theory). You'll need
to put two paths in the
Path box, separated by ;
2. Check the box to not use the A-Z folder at all. This applies
to all computers for now.
3. Use a dummy A-Z folder. Add that path to the Path box.