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Getting ICE

This page describes the process by which users can download and use the binary version of ICE. We recommend most users use the binary, however, for those who are adventurous at heart, detailed instructions on building ICE from the source code are available on the ICE Build Instructions page.

ICE requires the Java Development Kit version 8 to build and run.

Installing ICE from Binaries

Downloading ICE

ICE binaries are now available on the ICE website: From the main menu, select Downloads and then choose the desired binaries (stable nightly builds or unstable nightly builds). Upon selection, the user will be taken to a mirror site to download the binary for their operating system.

The user should select the appropriate binary for their application. In the naming scheme ice-*, * is the operating system and processor architecture, and X and Y are the major and minor version numbers.

For example, would be the appropriate choice for 64-bit Windows, and would be the appropriate choice for 64-bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL6). The table below shows the available binaries and their respective operating systems.

Binary version Operating System 64-bit versions of Windows, including most installations of Windows Vista, 7 and 8 32-bit versions of Windows, including most installations of Windows XP 64-bit Mac, including most OS X installations (10.4.7 "Tiger" and newer) 64-bit Linux running GTK (most flavors of Linux) 32-bit Linux running GTK

The binary distributions are fully-functional, full-featured, executable versions of ICE that include everything except for the Java Virtual Machine, third-party libraries, and plug-ins that are currently in development. If you have any questions, please contact us at <at> gmail <dot> com or join one of our mailing lists.


ICE requires a Java Development Kit (JDK) with Java 1.8 or greater. Sun's version of Java can be used on Linux, Windows, or Mac, and OpenJDK can also be used on Linux and Mac. The ICE development team prefers OpenJDK for Linux systems. Some tools in ICE also require the installation of third-party libraries. While it is not necessary to install these libraries to run ICE, the Reactors and Visualization perspectives will not work correctly without them.

For Mac OS X users, ICE developers also recommend installing the Homebrew package manager.

VisIt (Optional)

To visualize 3D data, ICE requires the installation of VisIt (minimum version 2.8.2) on a local or remote machine.

VisIt is available for download from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory website, and doesn't require any additional configuration to use with ICE.

ParaView (Optional)

As an alternative to VisIt, ICE is also capable of using ParaView instead, also on either a local or remote machine.

ParaView is available for download from the official ParaView website, and also doesn't require any additional configuration to use with ICE.

3D Graphics

ICE also requires that your system has 3D rendering enabled to edit geometries and visualize 3D data, which is normally done by installing the 3D graphics drivers from the vendor of your graphics card. You should consult your IT specialist if you do not know how to enable this feature on your machine.

Certain features in ICE, currently including the Geometry and Mesh editors, also require JavaFX. This is included in most versions of the JDK, but default distributions for some Linux operating systems (including Fedora and CentOS) do not. In that case, you will need to download the official nightly build from the Java website. Then in the terminal, run

alternatives --install /usr/bin/java java /path/to/the/jdk installation/jre/bin/java 3

or some number other than 3 if you already have multiple jdk installations. Then run

alternatives --config java

And type in the number you assigned to the new JDK in the previous step.

Running ICE

Once you download the appropriate zip file for your operating system, extract it to a directory of your choice. No additional installation steps are required because ICE is executed directly from this directory.

In the file browser, navigate to the folder where you extracted ICE. In the ICE folder, double-click ICE.exe. On Linux and Mac systems, you may follow the same procedure, but the ICE executable is only called ICE on those systems.
Mac OS
You may get a message that says that ICE is from an unidentified developer and cannot be opened. Workaround: in the file browser right-click (or control-click) the ICE executable, click Open in the context menu, and then click OK when prompted again. Alternatively, ICE may be executed from the command line on Linux and Mac systems.
ICE may be executed from the command line on Linux systems by navigating to the folder where ICE was extracted, and then issuing the command ./ICE.

When ICE is executed, it will display data and debug information in the console window as the environment runs. You may safely ignore this window while you are working by keeping it minimized or in the background.

What if ICE fails to run?

If you feel you've followed all the above directions for configuring ICE and its dependencies, and ICE still fails to run, email us directly at ice-dev <at> If you believe that you have identified a bug, please report it to our GitHub bug tracker.

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