Getting the source code

    You have two ways of getting the most recent source code:

    Using darcs

    This is the recommended way of installing Basilisk.

    This is useful if you want to modify the code (because everything is version-controlled) and also if you want to maintain your version up-to-date.

    On a Debian-like system (i.e. Debian, Ubuntu etc…) installing darcs is as easy as

    sudo apt-get install darcs flex make

    To get the latest Basilisk source code do

    darcs get --lazy

    If later you want to update the source code, you just need to do

    cd basilisk
    darcs pull

    and recompile using

    make clean

    Note that the Basilisk View installation may also need separate recompilation.

    Using a tarball

    If for some reason you can’t use darcs, you can use this instead. You will get exactly the same version as with darcs, but the code will not be version-controlled.

    tar xzf basilisk.tar.gz

    If you don’t have wget, just follow the link, save the file or extract the archive where you want to install it.


    For compilation, the only requirement is a C99-compliant compiler and the make utility (a version of make compatible with GNU make is recommended but not essential).

    If you are using gcc on a UNIX-like system, this should work:

    cd basilisk/src
    export BASILISK=$PWD
    export PATH=$PATH:$PWD
    ln -s config.gcc config
    make -k

    Note that on 32-bits systems you need to use config.gcc.32bits instead.

    If you are using another system/compiler (for example Mac OSX), find a config file which looks close to yours, then try

    cd basilisk/src
    ls config.*
    cp config.[your pick] config

    You can also edit this file to customise things for your system (please also consider sharing your new config file).

    To avoid having to re-type the two export commands above everytime you login, you should also add them to your $HOME/.bashrc file. You can either edit $HOME/.bashrc manually or do

    cd basilisk/src
    echo "export BASILISK=$PWD" >> ~/.bashrc
    echo "export PATH=\$PATH:$BASILISK" >> ~/.bashrc

    Useful additional packages

    • gnuplot (> 4.2)
    • imagemagick
    • libav-tools
    • smpeg-plaympeg
    • graphviz
    • valgrind
    • gifsicle
    • pstoedit

    and also gprof2dot. On a Debian-like system (i.e. Debian, Ubuntu, Mint etc…) you just need to do

    sudo apt-get install gnuplot imagemagick libav-tools smpeg-plaympeg graphviz valgrind gifsicle pstoedit


    Online visualisation with Basilisk View requires a separate installation.

    Offline (interactive) visualisation requires the installation of the Basilisk View servers.

    A short recipe for installation of both the interactive and non-interactive versions of Basilisk View is:

    cd $BASILISK/gl
    cd ..
    make bview-servers

    Using Basilisk with python

    You will need SWIG which can easily be installed with

    sudo apt-get install swig libpython-dev

    You also need to setup the MDFLAGS and PYTHONINCLUDE variables in your config file.

    Getting started

    The best place to start is the tutorial.