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October 25th, 2013: Help for people on Debian testing/Linux Mint Debian, OS X 10.9 Maverics and OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

Today we are providing installation and patching help for McStas 2.0 on certain platforms, where there are specific issues we have recently become aware of. Three scripts/packages are provided on the "download share":

Further, we will soon release a set of beta packages for the forthcoming McStas 2.1 release.

September 24th, 2013: McStas (and McXtrace) daily builds available as binaries

For those interested in trying out the development version, our daily builds are now available for Debian, OSX and Windows systems, see the nightly build webpage.

September 18th, 2013: Greetings from Berlin!

This week the McStas and VITESS teams are running a joint school in Berlin.

The material presented in the school is available here.

September 18th, 2013: Fix to the offline Perl module install for Windows!

A bug was found in the "offline Perl module installation" below, please try again with the updated PPD zip file

September 18th, 2013: Greetings from Berlin!

This week the McStas and VITESS teams are running a joint school in Berlin.

The material presented in the school is available here.

September 3rd, 2013: Workaround for installing McStas on Windows without an active internet connection

What is not completely clear from the McStas install docs is that on the Windows platform, an active internet connection is required during installation.

To work around this, perform these steps before installing McStas itself:

  • Download and install a Strawberry Perl 5.16 for your system from
  • Download this zip file (rightclik, save as)
  • Unzip the Zip file and using a command window, cd to the folder
  • Run the enclosed
After these steps, install the McStas packages in this order:
  • McStas core package (mcstas-NSIS-2.0-*.exe)
  • McStas component package (mcstas-comps-NSIS-2.0-*.exe)
  • McStas Perl tool package (mcstas-tools-perl-NSIS-2.0-*.exe)
  • - then the optional Python packages if wanted
Once everything is installed, use the new links on your desktop for either starting mcgui directly or starting a "mcstas environment shell" with mcrun, mcplot, mcgui etc.

July 4th, 2013: Joint Vitess and McStas School and Workshop in Berlin, September 18th-20th

Dear simulators!

The joint Vitess and McStas teams are planning a common simulation school and workshop this fall - scheduled for

September 18th-20th in the Berlin area.

A rough program of the three-day school is:

  • Day 1: Introduction and tutorials for the two packages, intended mainly for new users. Hands-on exercises.
  • Day 2: Advanced features demonstrated by examples and talks. Hands-on exercises.
  • Day 3: Users have an option to present their own work, give feedback and suggestions for new features.
To have an estimate of the number of participants, please send us a short email to indicating this, preferably before the end of July. If you are already experienced with the packages and hence would like to skip the first day, please also indicate this.

Sending us the email does not oblige you to participate. :-)

All the best from the combined Vitess and McStas teams!

May 2nd, 2013: Updated ESS source components for McStas 1.12c and 2.0

An set of updated ESS source components for use with McStas 1.12c and 2.0 have been put in the download share.

The zip archive includes the following:

  1. Updated ESS source components for McStas 1.12c and 2.0 with
    • Cold and thermal moderators
    • Cylindrical cold source geometry
    • Flat thermal wing geometry
    • Geometry close to that from MCNPX
    • 2012 cold brightness
    • A much easier-to-use definition of geometry, allowing to specify the instrument position within a 60-degree sector
    • A couple of bug fixes
  2. Updated Brilliance_monitor.comp for McStas 1.12c and 2.0
  3. ESS_moderator_long_2001.comp for McStas 1.12c (same as included in McStas 2.0)
  4. Test instruments set up for estimating the (cold) source brilliance of ESS in 2012 and 2001 versions
  5. PDF plots of average and peak brilliance as produced by the new McStas source, overlayed on the officialcurve from ESS target division and the corresponding curve from VitESS.

We hope to soon release McStas either a 2.0a or 2.1 which will include these as well as other improvements.

April 6th, 2013: Ubuntu-based Live-DVD with McStas 2.0, 1.12c and iFit available

An updated Ubuntu Live-dvd is available on the Ubuntu page. It includes:
  • McStas 2.0 and all needed dependencies for Perl- and Python-based tools
  • McStas 1.12c and all needed dependencies
  • iFit 1.3.1
Use it to try McStas without installing it to your system, to run McStas in a virtual machine or as an easy way of evaluating differences between 1.12c and 2.0.

March 21st, 2013: Supplemental mcdisplay / Python package available

As of today, our Python-based mcdisplay package is available via either
  • apt-get install mcstas-tools-python-mcdisplay-2.0 on debian-like systems (if you added our .deb repository)
  • yum install mcstas-tools-python-mcdisplay-2.0 (if you added our .rpm repository)
  • - Or for manual download from our Download share

To make use of the package, you need an x3d browser on your system - we recommend Instant Player developed by the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft.

If you want to run a combination of our Python and Perl tools - have a look at File->Preferences in mcgui (see graphic below)

The allows you to define the commands executed from mcgui for running/compiling (mcrun), visualizing (mcdisplay) or plotting data (mcplot) from your instrument. The naming convention is this one (not completely obvious, sorry):

Unix (Linux / Mac OS):
mcplotmcplot-2.0mcplot-2.0-py (chaco) or mcplot-2.0-matplotlib (matplotlib)

mcplotmcplot.plmcplot-chaco.bat (chaco) or mcplot-matplotlib.bat (matplotlib)

To save your preferences for the next McStas run, use File->Save configuration:

  • On Unix (Linux / Mac OS) systems to your user's $HOME/.mcstas/ folder
  • On Windows directly to the system c:\mcstas-2.0\lib\mcstas-tools-2.0\perl folder

March 15th, 2013: (Re-)enable syntax highlighting in mcgui-2.0 on Ubuntu

If your mcgui editor on Ubuntu is missing it's usual syntax highlighting, either
  • If you installed mcstas via our Debian repository, simply run this command in a terminal:
    sudo apt-get install libtk-codetext-perl
  • If you installed mcstas "manually" by downloading our set of Debian packags from the download page, first download our 64 bit or 32 bit libtk-codetext-perl package. Secondly install it using
    sudo dpkg -i libtk-codetext-perl_0.3.4-1_all.deb

March 15th, 2013: Component docs are back on website, plus an mcdoc hint

As several people have pointed out, the component docs were removed from the website in connection with the release of McStas 2.0.

They are now back at

I have further become aware that the McStas 2.0 distribution - at least in the debian packages - was missing a call to mcdoc for generating the same pages there

To remedy that problem, please:

cd /usr/local/lib/mcstas-2.0
sudo mcdoc -t
- which should bring back the docs on your local machine.

I am working my way down a list of other annoyances and aim to release a McStas 2.0a with various issues fixed in a few weeks. Please let me know if you found any issue that I can correct in the next release.

March 6th, 2013: Building McStas 2.0 (and the dev-tree) from source code using CMake

Several people have reported difficulties in configuring / building / installing McStas 2.0 from source code. Below you can find some information and hints on building McStas this way.

  • The configure scripts in the McStas 2.0 packages are partly broken, they will NOT give you a proper build of McStas.
  • We have made a transition to the CMake build system, and it turns out that you need a CMake > 2.8 for building McStas!
  • Should you not have a recent enough CMake, you can easily build a new CMake one from source-code using:
    • To install Cmake in the default location run
      If you need to install somewhere else run
      ./bootstrap --prefix=/somewhere/else
    • Next run
      to build and
      make install
      to install CMake 2.8 or later.

  • Once you have a CMake > 2.8 you can build each of the provided McStas source packages using e.g.
    • tar xzf mcstas-2.0-src.tar.gz
    • cd mcstas-2.0-src
    • mkdir build && cd build
    • To install in /usr/local as usual use
      cmake ..
      - otherwise use
      cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/somewhere/else ..
    • Afterwards perform
      make install
      as usual

  • The build steps above as minimum need to be performed for the packages
    • mcstas-2.0-src.tar.gz and mcstas-comps-2.0-src.tar.gz
  • For the legacy set of Perl tools you will need to build
    • mcstas-tools-perl-2.0-src.tar.gz
  • For the supplementary set of Python tools you will need to build
    • mcstas-tools-python-mcrun-2.0-src.tar.gz and either
      mcstas-tools-python-mcplot-chaco-2.0-src.tar.gz or mcstas-tools-python-mcplot-matplotlib-2.0-src.tar.gz
TIP: The complete set of sources for building McStas 2.0 can be downloaded by the command
svn co
instead of downloading the tar.gz's from the download page. Afterwards, use one or more of the
scripts downloaded to the top level to build your own local version of McStas 2.0.

Should you ever want to build our current development version, check it out from our SVN at and have a look at e.g. build_debs_mcstas in the top level. If you want a non-standard installation-prefix, please do a

before running the build_ or mkdist scripts.

February 5th, 2013: Neutrons 2.0 workshop in Berlin

Here is a flyer for an interesting workshop in Berlin this march:

Also available here as a PDF.

January 4th, 2013: Experimental deb and rpm mirrors for McStas

As of today we provide package repositories for deb and rpm package driven Linux systems. To allow automatic update of your mcstas, mcstas-components and tools when new revisions are relased, follow these instructions:

On Debian class systems (including Ubuntu, mint etc.):

cd /etc/apt/sources.list.d
sudo wget
sudo apt-get update

On RedHat class systems (including Scientific Linux, CentOS etc.):

cd /etc/yum.repos.d
sudo wget
sudo yum update

After following these steps your package manager should now be aware of mcstas (example from Debian)

mcstas@debian:~$ apt-cache search mcstas
mcstas-2.0 - mcstas built using CMake
mcstas-comps-2.0 - mcstas-comps built using CMake
mcstas-suite - A metapackage for McStas + perl and python tools
mcstas-suite-perl - A metapackage for McStas + perl tools
mcstas-suite-python - A metapackage for McStas + python tools
mcstas-tools-2.0 - legacy-tools built using CMake
mcstas-tools-python-mcplot-chaco-2.0 - python-tools-mcplot built using CMake
mcstas-tools-python-mcplot-matplotlib-2.0 - python-tools-mcplot built using CMake
mcstas-tools-python-mcrun-2.0 - python-tools-mcrun built using CMake

The new meta-packages mcstas-suite, mcstas-suite-perl and mcstas-suite-python allows you to install mcstas with one or both sets of tools (mcrun/mcplot etc.) by simple apt-get or yum commands like


sudo apt-get install mcstas-suite
sudo yum install mcstas-suite-perl

Please report any trouble with the repositories to

Previous news items: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003,2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 12-Jan-2022 14:57:18 CET
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