This page describes the system requirements for installing and running Robocode.
Robocode requires Java
In order to install and run Robocode, JavaTM must be installed on your system. The current version of Robocode requires at least Java 5 (aka Java 1.5.0) or newer. Java can be downloaded for free, and will run on most operating systems. Also note that, when we refer to Java, we mean Java SE (Standard Edition).
Before downloading and installing Java, you should first check if you have a sufficient Java installation already. You can check this from this page: http://www.java.com/en/download/installed.jsp
Java from Sun is preferred
If you must choose between Java versions from different vendors, you should prefer the versions from Sun Microsystems. They are the official Java providers and, in general, have the least buggy Java implementation. If you use Java from other vendors, Robocode might not run stable.
JRE and JDK
You can choose between installing:
- The JRE (Java Runtime Environment), which consists of the Java Virtual Machine used for executing Java programs.
- The JDK (Java Development Kit), which contains a bundle of software for developing Java programs, including the JRE.
The JRE is the core part of Java - it typically takes up less space on your system and is faster to download. Robocode requires just a JRE; if you are new to Java and just want to have a quick look at Robocode, it is recommended that you get this smaller version. If you are already used to programming in Java, you might prefer the JDK. Note that you can always install the JRE first and the JDK later on if you want to. Also, if you have a JRE but no JDK, Robocode will automatically set up the Jikes compiler.
Installation and configuration
Making sure Java is installed and configured properly
95% of the problems people run into when installing and running Robocode are due to a faulty Java installation, wrong Java configuration, bad Java VM implementation, etc. If something went wrong with this instructions please read and follow the installation notes for how to install and configure Java for your specific system.
PATH must be set
Note that it is really important that you point at the 'bin' folder, and not just JAVA_HOME. The PATH must be set so your system knows where to locate
java.exe, which is used to start the Java VM that Robocode requires.
Set path on Windows
Add the path to your PATH environment variable, e.g.
- Find where you installed Java. The default position at:
- Copy all that.
- Right click on My Computer and select Properties. The System dialogue should have appeared. On Vista/7, choose "Advanced system settings" in the sidebar. On XP, choose 'Advanced' tab.
- Now, click on "Environmental Variables" which is a button at the bottom right.
- Under the category "System variables" which is the lower box, scroll down to "Path" and double click on it.
- In "Variable value", go to the end of all that text (Remember to put a semicolon down at the end of the original text first or something bad may happen) and paste in the path of your
java\bindirectory. The one you copied earlier. Then put a semicolon at the end of the java/bin text.
- Here's what an example Path value looks like:
%SystemRoot%\system32;%SystemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\System32\Wbem;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\bin;C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin(The highlighted text is what you may have to put down)
- Find where you installed Java. The default position at:
Set path on Windows 64-bit
Be careful when you install Java on Windows 64-bit the installation by default is
C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin
So you must replace
C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin by
C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin in PATH
Set path on Linux
Many (perhaps most) Linux distributions include java in the path by default, so this is not needed. If it is in your case, add the path to your PATH environment variable
Please consult the manual for your distribution. For Gentoo you can find usefully information at the handbook.
32-bit vs 64-bit Java
If you do not have a 64-bit operating system, you should never install a 64-bit version of Java. If you are running 64-bit, then the normal Java versions will probably run just fine on your 64-bit system. In general, it is recommended that to stick to the 32-bit versions of Java on Windows x64, unless you need install the newest versions of Java 6 Update 12 (64-bit) or never. With older versions you might need to setup additional stuff in order to run Java properly on your Windows x64.
Multiple Java installations
In some cases, people have more than one version of the JRE and/or JDK installed in their system. This is not necessarily a problem as long as your system has been properly configured to handle all of them. So if you (or any of your programs) don't need an older version of Java, then should uninstall it. The less Java Runtime Environments you have installed, the better, as your system is less likely to get confused when it has to choose which Java version to use.
Installation Notes from Sun
- Java Platform Installation: Find installation notes for Windows, Linux, and Solaris.
- Supported System Configurations: Find the installation notes for all supported systems.
- How to download and install Robocode
- The anatomy of a robot
- Getting started with Robocode
- My First Robot Tutorial
- Robocode Game Physics
- Scoring in Robocode
- Using the robot console
- Downloading other robots
- Learning from other robots
- Package your robot
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Articles about Robocode
- Starting Robocode from the command line
- Graphical debugging
- Using Eclipse as IDE
- Creating a project for your robots
- Creating a robot in Eclipse
- Running your robot from Eclipse
- Debugging your robot with Eclipse