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RNAstructure Installation and Overview
Installation Instructions for Windows Systems

This page only gives details on how to install the package. For information on how to build the package, please refer to the Building Instructions and Building Requirements pages.

To install the graphical user interface (GUI), follow these steps:

  1. You will need to have JAVA 1.7 or higher installed on your computer. If you need to install JAVA, it can be found at: http://java.com/en/download/.
  2. Download the Windows GUI from the Mathews Lab RNAstructure page. See the note below if you are not sure about whether to use 32-bit or 64-bit.
  3. Double-click the zipped package to view the contents.
  4. Double-click setup.exe and use the Windows installer to install the package.
  5. RNAstructure can now be started from the Start menu.
  6. The complete manual for the GUI can be found here. It can also be found under the help menu item within the program.

Special note about Example Files:

The example files that come with RNAstructure will be installed in your user data folder in a new folder called RNAstructure_examples. This is "My Documents" on Windows XP and "Documents" on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

To install the text interfaces, follow these steps:

  1. Download the text interfaces for Windows from the Mathews Lab RNAstructure page. See the note below if you are not sure about whether to use 32-bit or 64-bit.
  2. Extract the files from the zipped package by double-clicking and dragging the contents to the desired location.
  3. Specify the DATAPATH environment variable as explained here.
  4. The executables are in the exe folder.
  5. Note that the -smp versions of programs (for parallel processing) also rely on libiomp5.dll, which is provided in the exe directory. It needs to be in the same directory a the -smp exe.
  6. The complete manual for using the text interfaces is available here.

A Note about 32-bit and 64-bit:

The 32-bit verions will work on either 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows. The 64-bit will only work on 64-bit versions of Windows. The 64-bit version of RNAstructure can address more memory, and hence longer sequences can be analyzed using the 64-bit version. For the GUI, the 64-bit installer will stop if you have a 32-bit version of Windows. Most recent installations of Windows are 64 bit, so probably installing 64 bit is the best guess if you are not sure.

For JAVA, the default Oracle JRE (needed to run JAVA programs) was 32-bit until recently.  You can specifically install the 64-bit from: https://java.com/en/download/ .
The 64 bit JAVA is needed to run calculations in parallel (to take advantage of multiple core processors). Also, the 32-bit version JAVA is much more limited in the memory it can use.
You can check which JRE is installed by running “Command Prompt” from “Windows System” menu item.  Type the command “java -version".  A typical response is:
java version "1.8.0_241"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_241-b07)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.241-b07, mixed mode)
If this last line does not indicate "64-bit", the installed version of 32-bit.