Archis recommends at least a 500mhz Pentium-class (Pentium, AMD Athlon, etc.) CPU
or equivalent with at least 256mb of system memory. It does not require much
hard drive space unless you wish to log the results of long simulation runs.
Java version 1.4.0 or later is required. If you have a MacOSX system, you already have Java
installed. If not, you may have to download and install it. To check your
Java version, go to your command prompt and type "java -version".
Most people will want to use the Sun Java Standard Edition runtime environment which is
and is easy to install. (It can be installed with only a few clicks under
Microsoft Windows.) If you are running Linux, Sun also has a standard JVM
available. However, you may experience better performance (especially on
multiprocessor SMP systems) using IBM's JDK for Linux which is
(Find the link for "IBM Developer Kit for Linux.") Last time I tested it,
the open-source Kaffe virtual machine was not capable of running Archis.
If you can't find a JVM for your operating system or hardware, try
searching the Internet
or contacting your vendor.
Download the Archis JAR File
(you may have to right-click to save if your browser tries to launch the jar file)
On Windows and MacOSX, you may be able to run Archis by simply
double-clicking on the JAR file. However, running Archis this way will
not permit you to control how much memory it has available. On most systems,
Java limits applications to 128mb of memory by default. Most of the time if
you are running smaller simulations this should be enough. If you want to give
Archis more memory, you will have to run it from a command prompt (or create
a special run link if you want to stay GUI :) to specify the maximum memory
option for the Java virtual machine.
To run Archis from the command prompt type:
java -XmxNNNm archis-x.x.x.jar
Here NNN is the amount of memory in megabytes to give the Java VM and
archis-x.x.x.jar is the JAR file that you downloaded from here. For example,
you could use -Xmx512m to allow Archis to use 512mb of system memory.
Check the resources page for some sample
genomes to seed the universe with if you don't want to wait for random
If you are interested in hacking or simply want to see what the source code
to an artificial life simulator looks like, you can download Archis source
The core classes (everything outside of the gui package) are fairly clean
and well-documented code. The GUI code is fairly messy, and a copy of
is highly recommended to make sense of it. JBuilder
Foundation is free for non-commercial use and contains the GUI designer, and you can download it from
Borland's site by following the link. JBuilder is by far the best Java
development environment and is among the best development environments I've
ever seen for any language, so I highly recommend it.