Running SD software on linux

"Alexander (Sasha) Lubyansky"
Junior Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2002 3:39 am

Running SD software on linux

Post by "Alexander (Sasha) Lubyansky" »

I have not heard this mentioned on the list before, so I thought I would
mention it.

You can run Vensim on linux very easily by using the popular emulator
known as WINE ( The site I just mentioned has
instructions on how to install, configure, and use wine. There are also
mirror sites where wine can be downloaded. I have successfully run Vensim
PLE from several different linux distributions, but have unfortunately not
been able to successfully run any of the other main types of SD software.

I use both windows and linux at home. I find that on windows, an outdated
interface, sluggish performance and crashes are the norm.
Also, windows is exorbitantly expensive. I am lucky to be in college and
thus have a site license for some windows software, but many others are
not as fortunate. The annoying thing is that windows has many good
applications, like SD software, which are not available for purchase for

Linux has fewer killer apps and is far more complex than windows. On the
other hand, it has better stability (in some distributions), more power,
faster speed, and a set of better GUIs than windows. You can also download
most linux applications free of charge, or buy cheap linux CDs at So, anyway, Ive always wanted to run SD software from
the comfort and stability of linux.

Heres how to get Vensim to run on linux through wine. I am sorry for any
computer jargon below, but it is necessary.

The easiest way to get wine is to download a "stripped" wine .RPM file.
The site will have links to placed where wine can be
downloaded. "stripped" means that that particular wine package has only
the code inside necessary to run and nothing extra. Then you run the wine
RPM you just downloaded from linux. All you have to do after that is put a
copy of the wine config in a .wine directory under your user home
directory. The best way to run wine is as the superuser, root. There
should be a copy of the config file in the directory /etc/wine if I am
not mistaken. The file is actually called config. Then, you have to edit
the config in order to make sure wines default directories for the
location of your floppy, cdrom, and windows drives are the same ones that
your linux distribution uses.

I have a dual-boot system, and Vensim PLE is installed on the windows
partition of my hard drive, so I have to mount the windows partition in
linux before I can run Vensim PLE on wine. Hypothetically, you could use
wine to install Vensim directly to your linux partition, but I have yet to
try this. To run Vensim PLE from wine, command line is simply "wine ..."
where the ... is the full path to the file you have to run. For me, the
command is
"wine /windows/C/Program Files/Vensim/Venple.exe"

Then, as a reward for all that fuss, vensim comes up with virtually no
glitches. The only thing that I have noticed not to work is the help menu.
Aside from that, you can do all the useful work of building and running
vensim models right from the comfort of linux.

I hope this post helps someone who may be considering trying to get sd
software to run on linux.

Alexander (Sasha) Lubyansky
SDClub website

"Michael Bean"
Junior Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2002 3:39 am

Running SD software on linux

Post by "Michael Bean" »

Hi Sasha,

Nice write-up on the SD list today. I too work in a similar dual-OS environment,
though I havent tried to run Vensim from Linux. Forio makes SD server software
for running web simulations. The software is written using server-side Java
which works well for running both on Windows and Unix. For development we use
Win 2000 and our web server is a Linux box. So far we havent had any problems
working between the two environments.

Recent moves by IBM, Sun, and Microsoft make it seem like Linux could become
vastly more popular in the next couple years. It seems like the SD audience,
being fairly technical, would be a good candidate for using Linux instead of

BTW, my colleague, Will Glass, wrote an article about our approach for SD server
software on our website that you might be interested in:

Have you tried running Powersim or Ithink on Linux using WINE?

Forio Business Simulations

Michael Bean