FORCES IR&D Software Installation Guide

The crib notes for installing JFORCES


Get a Computer

FORCES currently runs on Intel machines with Linux, Suns or SGI.

Recommended Linux configuration:

Requirement Type




Multi-CPU or multicore

Faster is better. Currently our development team uses Intel Core I7s. We've had excellent results from the AMD CPUs. Dual CPUs are recommeded in realtime and/or distributed sim situations



4+ GB

Hard Drive

10+ GB

100+ GB. Fast access is very important - often more important than CPU speed. Remember that the fast drives (e.g. SATA3) must either be supported by the motherboards or special interface cards must be aquired; otherwise you won't reap the benefits.

Graphics card

It is very important to get a good graphics card for interactive execution. About 90% of runtime horsepower is consumed by the graphics, so improvements in this area tend to pay high dividends

Minimum requirement is 64+ MB with Nvidia chipset. Note that large map images will fail if less than 64MB is used. Some installations use as little as 8 MB, but they must limit themselves to small map images; In these installations the maps die when users attempt to load large images.

Currently the development team is using Nvidia 550GTX for desktops and NVidia GT540M in laptops. We recommend at least this performance leve l.


17"+ with resolution of at least 1600 x 1050

21"+ with resolution of 1600 x 1200 or higher (1920x1440)

Other recommendations

3 button mouse - we use all three buttons

Standard configuration with DVD RW, floppy, keyboard

USB3 or other high-speed external port recommended for results archival

Hi speed LAN

USB3 or other high-speed external port recommended for results archival

Hi speed LAN with intelligent LAN card (offloading comm processing from CPU)

Installation Configuration

FORCES currently runs on OpenSuse 11.4

Quick notes for installing Linux

Use the defaults until you get to the final checklist prior to actual installation. You can just choose the defaults and JFORCES will run fine, but if you make the following changes you'll have a more complete system to support new JFORCES development. This list will include a section on software to install. Click this option, and then click "details" on the presented interface. Click on the "Servers" section and the available server packages will appear in the detail section. Click on "LAMP" server in the main section to get the standard package for web-based databases, and then add any packages related to "postgres" or "postgresql" in the detail section.

Next, go to the "Development section. Select at least the core developmenti (C/C++), Kernel development, Java development, and TCL development options from the main area. Typically users add more development options - feel free. I personally also add all TCL options in the detail section.

Let 'er rip!

 Detailed JFORCES Software Installation Notes

First off, none of the rest of this is necessary if you're doing a binanry installation from a JFORCES baseline CD. If you're installing from the CD just login as root, put the CD in the CD drive, wait for the CD drive to be mounted (this is confirmed when you see the CD directory window), and double click on the "forces-install.tcl" icon. But please review the "README" file on the CD for latest information The defaults will create a forces user, load the required user files, install the RDBMS if required, load sample databases, and make all required graphics software updates (assuming you're using the recommended graphics card). Then you'll need to login as the forces user and to double click and double-click the "" icon on the installation CD to finish the securie shell login that is used to execute JFORCES across networks (everybody needs this installed, even if you don't plan on making multi-computer JFORCES runs).

To install a development system, first install the binary system through this utility, change the CVSROOT specification in the ~/.cshrc file,, log onto the CVS server, checkout all desired modules, and run "Make" to compile and link all packages locally.

If you don't want to use the installation script but instead want to install manually for some reason, you'll have to examine the forces-install.tcl script on the installation CD and perform the individual operations manually. We no longer maintain documentation on doing it manually since nobody was doing so. If you're smart enough to install manually you're smart enough the reverse-engineer the script.