GENESIS Neural Simulator Install (Windows)

GENESIS simulator Squid menu on Windows

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
Windows 10 Enterprise 64 Need Cygwin 32 Bit
Windows 10 Education 64 Need Cygwin 32 Bit

Notes

  • If you need GENESIS on a Linux computer, see our other guide: GENESIS Install Guide for Linux
  • GENESIS 2.3 includes the pre-compiled Genesis.exe, GENESIS 2.4 does not
  • Genesis.exe requires a 32 Bit environment to operate properly
    • Thus we need the 32 bit version of Cygwin

Downloads

  • Cygwin 32 Bit Version: Link
  • GENESIS 2.3 Source Files: Link

Cygwin Installation

  1. Download Cygwin 32 Bit from the Downloads section above and note the location of the installer: setup-x86.exe
  2. Right-clicksetup-x86.exe and select Run as Administrator and proceed to install without additional packages:
    • Click Next to start the Cygwin wizard
      Step by step instruction of Cygwin installation for GENESIS simulator on Windows
    • Select the option: Install from Internet
      Step by step instruction of Cygwin installation for GENESIS simulator on Windows
    • Select the option: Direct Connection
      Step by step instruction of Cygwin installation for GENESIS simulator on Windows
    • Change the Root directory to: C:\cygwin
      Step by step instruction of Cygwin installation for GENESIS simulator on Windows
    • Change the Local Package Directory to: C:\cygwin\Downloads
      Step by step instruction of Cygwin installation for GENESIS simulator on Windows
      • If prompted to create the directory, select Yes
        Step by step instruction of Cygwin installation for GENESIS simulator on Windows
    • Choose whichever mirror you prefer. For this guide, we chose the top-most server
      Step by step instruction of Cygwin installation for GENESIS simulator on Windows
    • Skip the Select Packages menu for now by clicking Next
      Step by step instruction of Cygwin installation for GENESIS simulator on Windows
    • In the Review and Confirm changes menu, click Next
      Step by step instruction of Cygwin installation for GENESIS simulator on Windows
    • If you see a Postinstall script errors menu, click Next
      Step by step instruction of Cygwin installation for GENESIS simulator on Windows
    • Ensure the Create Desktop Shortcut option is selected and complete the Cygwin install
      Step by step instruction of Cygwin installation for GENESIS simulator on Windows
  3. Re-run setup-x86.exe with Admin rights again and click Next until you reach the Select Packages menu
  4. Change the View from Pending to Full, and uncheck Hide obsolete packages
    Step by step instruction of Cygwin installation for GENESIS simulator on Windows
  5. In the search bar, search for the following Package Names and click the word Skip; When clicked, the “Skip” should change to the version number listed below
  6. Search keyword Version Category Package Description
    xorg-server 1.20.2-1 X11 xorg-server: X.Org X Server
    xterm 330-1 X11 xterm: X11 terminal emulator
    xinit 1.3.4-14 X11 xinit: X.Org X server launcher
    nano 2.9 7-1 Editors nano: Enhanced clone of Pico editor
  7. When all the packages are selected for installation, click Next and complete the install

From here, Cygwin is installed with a shortcut on the desktop. Whenever a Cygwin terminal is opened, the root of the environment is C:\cygwin\ and the root of the user account is C:\cygwin\home\username\.

GENESIS Installation

  1. Open a web browser and download the GENESIS 2.3 source files from the Downloads section above
  2. Copy the downloaded genesis-2.3-Cygwin-bin.tar.gz file and copy it to C:\cygwin\usr\local\
  3. Open a Cygwin terminal using the desktop shortcut
  4. Extract the GENESIS source files:
    $ cd /usr/local
    $ tar xvsf genesis-2.3-Linux-bin.tar.gz
  5. Prepare the GENESIS environment:
    $ cd /usr/local/genesis-2.3/genesis
    $ ./binsetup
    $ cp .simrc ~
  6. To allow Genesis.exe to be ran from any directory, perform the following:
    $ cd ~
    $ nano .bashrc
    • Add this to the bottom of the file:
      PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/genesis-2.3/genesis
    • Save the file by pressing CRTL + X then pressing Y and finally pressing Enter
  7. Set the proper cygncurses file for GENESIS to execute:
    $ cd /bin
    $ cp cygncursesw-10.dll cygncurses-8.dll
  8. Close the Cygwin terminal

Launching the GENESIS Environment

  1. Open your Windows Start Menu and scroll down until you find a folder called Cygwin-X (32-Bit)
    • Expand the folder and launch the User script option
      Step by step instruction of Cygwin installation for GENESIS simulator on Windows
  2. After a minute or so, a black screen will appear with an XTerm terminal with an Aqua Green bar
    GENESIS user environment with Xterm and XOrg server

This is how you will start / launch the GENESIS environment. You CANNOT start GENESIS with the Cygwin terminal so make sure the User script program is a shortcut on the desktop.

Testing GENESIS

  1. Launch the GENESIS environment
  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.
Succesful installation of GENESIS simulator on Windows operating on Cygwin

Troubleshooting

Q: My Cygwin install hangs when installing the autobase file

A: It is normal for the installer to hang here for about 5 minutes. If the process hangs for longer, kill the installation process and delete the entire C:\cygwin\ directory. With the directory removed, re-run the Cygwin installer as an Admin and do NOT install extra packages; just install the bare installation. You can install additional packages afterwards.

Q: Genesis errors saying that cygncurses-x.dll is missing.

A: The current Cygwin installer no longer contains the mentioned file so we have to create it based on the cygncursesw-10.dll file that is actually included with the Cygwin install. See Step 7 from the GENESIS Installation section.

Q: Genesis.exe executes without errors, but nothing happens.

A: This occurs when the 64 bit version of Cygwin is installed. Install the 32 bit version. Purge all current directories of Cygwin which should be C:\cygwin_64\ and C:\cygwin_64\Downloads.

References
  1. Official GENESIS Simulator README: Link
  2. Official GENESIS Simulator Cygwin Guide: Link
  3. Official GENESIS 2.3 Repository: Link
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