GENESIS Neural Simulator Install (Linux)

GENESIS simulator Squid menu on Linux

Recently, GENESIS Neural Simulator was requested to be installed on a few machines in an education environment. Techmoto quickly found that there has not been any updates to the official GENESIS documentation since 2009 and none of the details lined up.

After a few days of testing various solutions, Techmoto found a working configuration and documented it to share to those in need. Without further ado, the following guide details the steps on how to install the GENESIS Neural Simulator software on a Debian-based Linux computer.

Let’s get started!

Confirmed Operating Systems (OS)
OS Name Bit Note
Debian Desktop 9.6 64 Need 32 bit Linux libraries
Debian Desktop 9.6 32 n/a
Lubuntu Desktop 18.10 64 Need 32 bit Linux libraries
Lubuntu Desktop 18.10 32 n/a
Ubuntu Desktop 18.04 64 Need 32 bit Linux libraries
Ubuntu Desktop 18.04 32 n/a


  • If you need GENESIS on a Windows computer, see our other guide: GENESIS Install Guide for Windows
  • GENESIS 2.3 includes the pre-compiled Genesis.exe, GENESIS 2.4 does not
  • Genesis.exe will only properly execute on a 32 Bit OS
    • You can use a 64 bit OS but you must install the 32 bit architecture libraries


  • GENESIS 2.3 Source Files: Link

Linux Preparation (for 64 Bit OS only)

Use the following commands to install the 32 bit libraries if your operating system is 64 bit:

  1. Open a Terminal window
  2. Execute:
    $ sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install libc6:i386 libncurses5:i386 libstdc++6:i386
  3. Reboot the computer

GENESIS Installation

  1. Install any debian-based Linux distro with a GUI such as: Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Debian, etc.
  2. Open a Terminal window
  3. Using the default browser (usually Firefox), download the GENESIS 2.3 source files from the Downloads section above
  4. Copy the GENESIS source files to the proper folder:
    $ sudo cp ~/Downloads/genesis-2.3-Linux-bin.tar.gz /usr/local/
  5. Extract the GENESIS source files:
    $ cd /usr/local
    $ sudo tar xvsf genesis-2.3-Linux-bin.tar.gz
  6. Prepare the GENESIS environment:
    $ cd /usr/local/genesis-2.3/genesis
    $ sudo ./binsetup
    $ sudo cp .simrc ~
  7. To allow Genesis.exe to be ran from any directory, perform the following:
    $ cd ~
    $ sudo nano .bashrc
    • Add this to the bottom of the file:
    • Save the file by pressing CRTL + X then pressing Y
  8. Reboot the computer


  1. Open a Terminal window
  2. Navigate to the Squid tutorial:
    $ cd /usr/local/genesis-2.3/genesis/Scripts/squid
  3. Execute the Squid test:
    $ genesis Squid.g

If the GENESIS installation was successful, you should see colorful graphs / menus appear on the screen. Otherwise, see the Troubleshooting section below


Q: I receive an error mentioning “genesis” command does not exist.

A: This occurs because the PATH environment variable is not properly set. See Step 7 from the GENESIS Installation section above.

  1. Official GENESIS Simulator README: Link
  2. Official GENESIS 2.3 Repository: Link
  1. Rob Stevenson
    Rob Stevenson
    January 2, 2019 at 11:12 AM

    Wow thanks for the guide! Helped out our classroom in a pinch!

  2. Joe Martinez
    Joe Martinez
    December 22, 2019 at 9:46 AM

    This is an excellent guide; however, after following the “Windows” installation instructions, the black GENESIS launch window automatically closes/crashes with no teal window appearing. This happened exactly the same way on two separate Windows computers. I noticed my Cygwin package versions (step 5, e.g. ‘x-org’, ‘xinit’) were more new, maybe that can lead to improper configuration? Any help would be very much appreciated!

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