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Installation and Setup

In order to license a Windows host, two pieces of information are needed:

  1. The machine's host name
  2. The Windows Product ID

The recommended way to retrieve this information is to download the licinfo.exe program from the web site. When run, this program generates a file named ``tLicenseInfo'' which should be emailed to Whiteley Research. A pop-up window displays the information, and indicates success or failure.

The distributions are available from the web site, along with the distributions for Linux and OS X. The distributions come in self-extracting .exe files. Simply run the files to do the installation. The programs can later be uninstalled, either from the Control Panel or by clicking the Uninstall icons in the XicTools program group in the Start menu.

The same process can be used to install updated releases - it is not necessary to uninstall first. A more convenient way to keep current is to set up automatic update checking. For this, you need to have a ``home'' directory. The procedure is discussed below. Then, the !passwd command in Xic or the password command in WRspice can be run, and the user/password to the distribution repository entered. This will produce a file ``.wrpasswd'' in the home directory, used to authenticate with the web server at When this is set up, the programs will check for updates on startup. If an update is available, the user is asked (separately) whether to download the update distribution file, and whether to install it. The actual installation will start when the user exits the program.

Before an update, any configuration files in the installation that have been customized should be saved as they may be overwritten.

The programs use an entry in the Windows Registry to find their startup files, license, etc. This entry is created by the installer program. Thus

  1. The correct way to move an existing installation to another location is to uninstall the program, and reinstall to the new location using the standard distribution file. If you just move the files to a new location, the Registry won't be updated and the program won't run correctly.

  2. You can not simply copy files from another machine when creating a new installation. The files must be installed through the distribution files, or the Registry entry won't be set.

The Registry entry used (by the inno installer program) is (for example)

HKLM \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Uninstall \ Xic-4is1

The Windows regedit utility can be used to repair the Registry if necessary. The Windows reg utility can also be used to query and modify the Registry from the command line.

The programs are installed by default under C: \ usr \ local, which can be specified to the program installer. The installation directories will be created if necessary. All of the programs will install under a directory named ``xictools'' under the prefix, (for example, Xic files would be installed by default in C: \ usr \ local \ xictools \ xic). The structure of the tree is exactly that as under Linux, which simplifies compatibility. It is recommended that the default installation location be used, if possible.

The Generation 4 programs all use the GTK-2 toolkit for the user interface. The DLLs and other support files for this toolkit are in the gtk2-bundle distribution file. This must be installed, by executing the file, in the same manner as the program distribution files. You will only need to do this once, or at least very infrequently. The default location is under C: \ usr \ local \ gtk2-bundle.

The installation prefix given to the installer for all programs, and the gtk2-bundle, must be the same.

By default, the actual binary executable is run from a script (.bat) file, which is installed in the same directory as the executables, which by default is C: \ usr \ local \ xictools \ bin. The script takes care of properly specifying the path to the DLLs provided by the gtk2-bundle.

A program group named XicTools is created in the Start menu (or equivalent), from which the programs can be started. The programs can also be started from a command line, in either a Windows Command Prompt window or a Cygwin shell window. One will need to type the full path to the bat file (e.g., type ``C: \ usr \ local \ xictools \ bin \ xic'' to start Xic). There are two ways to avoid having to type the whole path:

  1. Add the directory to your search path. This is the PATH variable in the environment. This can be set in your Command Promptwindow by giving a command like
    PATH=%PATH%;c: \ usr \ local \ xictools \ bin
    or the PATH can be set from the Control Panel (the procedure is described below for Windows 8).

  2. The bat files can be copied from the installation location into a directory that is already in the search path, or to the current directory.

Note that if you know your way around Windows bat scripts, you can avoid the installation location requirement in the warning above.

In early alpha test releases, it was suggested that the gtk2-bundle/bin be added to the system PATH. This is a very bad idea, since this may have an adverse effect on other programs. Unless you really know what you are doing, the gtk2-bundle/bin directory should never appear in a global search path.

next up previous contents index
Next: General Notes Up: Microsoft Windows Notes Previous: Microsoft Windows Notes   Contents   Index
Stephen R. Whiteley 2017-04-09