Building and installing AvidaΒΆ

We’ll talk about Avida – what it is and what it does – at some length in this course, but the first thing we want to do is get it up and running. For now, for more information on Avida you can visit the Avida development site @ the Devolab.

First, log into the system as detailed in UNIX, ssh, and scp. You should arrive at a ‘%’ prompt.

At this prompt, type:

%% apt-get update

This updates the map of available software. Now install some:

%% apt-get -y install g++ subversion cmake

We’ll talk about what these packages are down the road, but for now – just copy and paste.

OK, this is the minimum necessary to run avida – so let’s go get the avida source code!

%% svn co https://avida.devosoft.org/svn/development avida

It will ask you a question about a dodgy security certificate – type ‘p’ to accept permanently.

This puts the Avida source code into the directory ‘avida’. Now, change into that directory, configure the build system, and build avida:

%% cd avida
%% cmake .
%% make

Assuming success, now we want to install avida in a central location:

%% cp bin/avida /usr/local/bin

Next, make a new directory, change into it, and configure it to be an avida working directory by copying (‘cp’) in a bunch of files:

%% mkdir beacon
%% cd beacon
%% cp ../support/config/{avida,environment,instset-heads}.cfg .
%% cp ../support/config/default-heads.org .

Finally, retrieve a course-specific config file:

%% curl -O http://ged.msu.edu/angus/files/events.cfg

This will take a pre-written ‘events’ configuration file for avida from this course Web site and save it into the local directory.

At this point, double check yourself: if things worked, you should be able to run ‘print working directory’,

%% pwd

and see ‘/root/avida/beacon’. You can also look at the files present with ‘list files’:

%% ls

You should see:

avida.cfg  default-heads.org  environment.cfg  events.cfg  instset-heads.cfg

You should now be able to run ‘avida’ and get a bunch of output.

%% avida

Congrats! You’ve successfully installed & configured avida and run it once!

(Be sure to shut down your Amazon rental machine...)


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