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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 Java 1.8 to build and run.

The Quick Way: Our Installers

We recommend that you use our installers. They are the fastest way to properly install ICE and its dependencies. They install everything except for 3D graphics drivers and Java 1.8, which must be installed separately.

We an installer for Windows, Mac and Linux that you can download and execute without administrator privileges to install ICE on your machine. It requires Python, which may not be available by default on Windows. This installer is not distributed by the Eclipse Foundation and are available instead at the old project page on, which is maintained by the Jay Jay Billings, the ICE project lead.

The Long Way: Manually

Downloading ICE

ICE Binaries are not yet available via an download site because the project is still in incubation. You may download binaries that are built by Oak Ridge National Laboratory at the old NiCE project page on We recommend that users download the nightly version to get the latest updates and to help us identify bugs. If you have any questions, please contact us at <at> gmail <dot> com or join one of our mailing lists.

The latest stable version of ICE is version 2.1.6. The binary distribution is a fully-functional, full-featured, executable version of ICE that includes everything except for the Java Virtual Machine, third-party libraries and plug-ins currently in development.

You should select the appropriate file named ICE2.x.y-*.zip where the * is the correct operating system and processor architecture for your system, and x and y are major and minor version numbers. For example, is ICE version 2.1.6 for 64-bit Windows. The choices are as follows:

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) 32-bit Mac, including some OS X installations (10.4.4 "Tiger" to 10.6.8 "Snow Leopard") 64-bit Linux running GTK (most flavors of Linux) 32-bit Linux running GTK

On a 64-bit installation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL6), the version of ICE is the appropriate choice.


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 the OpenJDK can also be used Linux and Mac. The ICE Development Team prefers the OpenJDK on Linux systems. Some tools in ICE also require the installation of third-party libraries. While it's not necessary to install these libraries to run ICE, the Reactors and Visualization perspectives will not work correctly without them.

HDF-Java/HDFView (Optional)

To use the Reactor Analyzer tools, ICE requires HDF-Java libraries installed locally. These libraries are bundled into a product called HDFView, which is available for download from the HDF Group website. We recommend you install HDFView in the default installation directory. On Windows you will need to run the HDFView installer and on Linux you will need to run the HDFView .sh script.

Assuming the default installation location is used, Windows systems do not require any further configuration once HDFView is installed. However, Mac and Linux require a little extra jiggery-pokery.

To configure HDFView on Mac systems so that ICE may use its libraries, add the following line to your ~/.bash_profile:

export DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH=$DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH:<path_to_hdfjava_libs>

For Macs, <path_to_hdfjava_libs> is /Applications/ by default.

To configure HDFView on Linux systems so that ICE may use its libraries, add the following line to your ~/.bashrc:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:<path_to_hdfjava_libs>

Some flavors of Linux do not have ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile files by default. You can copy them from /etc/skel/ if they are not available in your home directory.

For Linux systems, there is no default installation location, but rather, you will be asked where you would like to install HDFView. Thus, <path_to_hdfjava_libs> will correspond to {install location}/HDF_Group/HDFView/2.10.1/lib.

If you are unsure how to add these paths to your system properties, below are scripts you can run to accomplish the same tasks. If you make a mistake, you can restore your old ~/.bash_profile or ~/.bashrc by replacing it with the back-up file that was created by the script. In addition to this, you may need to add these files in your file. Speak to your system administrator if you do not know how to do this.

cp .bash_profile .bash_profile.backup
echo "DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH"=<path_to_hdfjava_libs>:$DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH 

For example, if your HDF-Java libraries are stored in /Applications/, the script would be as follows:

cp .bash_profile .bash_profile.backup
cp .bashrc .bashrc.backup
echo "LD_LIBRARY_PATH"=<path_to_hdfjava_libs>:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH 

For example, if your HDF-Java libraries are stored in /home/some_user/HDFView-2.10/HDF_Group/HDFView/2.10.1/lib, the script would be as follows:

cp .bashrc .bashrc.backup 
echo "LD_LIBRARY_PATH"=/home/some_user/HDFView-2.10/HDF_Group/HDFView/2.10.1/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH 
Using Custom Locations

If you'd like to install HDF-Java libraries in a location other than the default, you will need to take a few extra steps to ensure ICE knows where to find them.

For Windows and Linux users, begin by finding the ICE.ini file in the directory where you extracted the zipped ICE binary.

Open this file with a text editor and find the line that begins with "-Djava.library.path". For example, on a Windows machine, this would look something like:


Change the filepath to match the location of your custom HDFView installation. For example, if I installed HDFView in the location C:\Users\Someone\HDFGroup\HDFView\2.10.1\lib on my system, then I would change the line in my ICE.ini file to:


You might notice filepaths in the ICE.ini file look a little funky. As long as you follow the above instructions, you don't need to worry about this. If you are still curious as to why this is, see our explanation in our ICE FAQ.

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.

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 on your own.

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.
You may get a message that says that ICE is from an unidentified developer and cannot be opened. In the file browser, you can right-click the executable, click "Open" in the context menu that appears 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 runs, it will stream data to a console window that displays debug information as the environment is used. 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 bug tracker.

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