Installing Helios

When using Windows, the simplest way is to download the installer file, which you can find on the release page. Just follow the instructions of the installation wizard.

Alternatively, you can install Java and the needed libraries from the original sources, see next section.

Installation from the Original Sources

Please note that for some steps you might need admin rights.

  1. Install the Java Development Kit (JDK). First, you need an appropriate version of Java. Please go to the web site of Oracle, download the JDK of Java SE 7 Update 51 (or higher) and install it. You can find the direct download link here. In the following the installation path is referred to by JAVA_HOME. On Windows systems the path is by default c:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_51.
    Furthermore, you have to download the "Demos and Samples" which can be found under the same above mentioned link.
    Note: Actually, the corresponding version of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) would be sufficient, because you just want to run Java programs but not to develop them. The standard installation path (JAVA_HOME) for the JRE on Windows systems is c:\Program Files\Java\jre7. If the bandwidth of your internet connection is limited or if you want to save space on your harddrive disk, you may install the JRE only (possibly it is already installed). However, the "Demos and Samples" are needed in any case.
  2. Make JNLP services available. When Helios is started via Java Web Start, it uses the JNLP services to access, among other things, the file system. The needed file is found in the downloaded "Demos and Samples" zip file, in the path sample\jnlp\servlet\jnlp.jar. This file must be copied to the path JAVA_HOME\jre\lib\ext\jnlp.jar (resp. to JAVA_HOME\lib\ext\jnlp.jar, if you have installed the JRE in the previous step).
  3. Install Java 3D. In order to display a 3d scene you need the Java 3D library. You need version 1.5.2, which you can download here. Download the installation file suitable for your operating system and proceed according to the instructions.
  4. Create directory. Create a directory into which you move the following files. In the following it is assumed that the directory is c:\UserApps\helios.
  5. Download Helios. Go to the release page and download the desired version of the Helios jar file.
  6. Optional: Employ the Helios icon. If your desktop link shall display the Helios icon, you can download it here (click on the link with the right mouse button and choose "Save target as...").
  7. Create link. Download the Helios link here and save it on the desktop. The settings of the link have to be edited as follows: Click on the link with the right mouse button and choose "properties". Click in the dialog on the tab "link" (if not shown alreay). You have to edit three settings:
    (1) In the field "target" you must specify the command to execute Helios which could look like as follows: "C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_51\jre\bin\javaw.exe" -jar Helios.jar. If you use a different version of Java or JRE instead of JDK or have Java installed in a different path, you have to specify the corresponding path of javaw.exe. If there are spaces in the path, you have to enclose it in double quotes. The name of the jar file has also to be adapted: Either you change Helios.jar in the command given above to the name of the jar file which you downloaded or you rename the downloaded jar file in Helios.jar.
    (2) In "Execute in" you have to specify the working directory where the jar file of Helios is located (in this example, it is c:\UserApps\helios).
    (3) If you want to employ the logo of Helios, click on the corresponding button, then on "search" and specify the path of the downloaded icon.
  8. Done! By doubleclicking the link Helios will start. The user settings are saved in a ini file (helios.ini) in the working directory (in this example c:\UserApps\helios) and restored at the next start.

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