Chapter 1: Introduction
1-3: Running Electric

There are two ways to run Electric:

Downloading the Electric JAR file is explained here. Electric is written in the Java programming language and so the JAR file is typically called "electric-version.jar" where version is 8.09, 8.10, 9.00, 9.01, etc. There are two variations on the JAR file: with or without source code (the version without source code has the word "Binary" in its name). Either of these files can run Electric, but the one with source code is larger because it also has all of the Java code.

Electric requires OpenJDK, Apache Harmony, or Oracle Java version 1.6. It is developed with Oracle Java, so if you run into problems with other versions, try installing Java 1.6 or later from Oracle.

Running Electric varies with the different platforms. Most systems also allow you to double-click on the JAR file. If double-clicking doesn't work, try running it from the command-line by typing either:
    java -jar electric-version.jar [libraries]
    java -classpath electric-version.jar com.sun.electric.Launcher [libraries]

There are a number of options that can be given at the end of the command line:

Memory Control

One problem with Java is that the Java Virtual Machine has a memory limit. This limit prevents programs from growing too large. However, it prevents large circuits from being edited.

If Electric runs out of memory, you can request more. To do this, use the General Preferences (in menu File / Preferences..., "General" section, "General" tab). The "Memory" section has two memory limit fields, for Maximum memory and Maximum permanent space. Changes to these values take effect when you next run Electric. Note that any request to expand Electric beyond the default Java sizes will cause Electric to re-launch itself at startup so that the JVM has access to more memory. To prevent relaunching of Electric, set the memory fields back to zero.

The Maximum memory size is the most important because increasing it will offer much more circuitry capacity. Note that 32-bit JVMs can only grow so far. On 32-bit Windows systems you should not set it above 1500 (1.5 Gigabytes). On 32-bit Linux or Macintosh system, you should not set it above 3600 (3.6 Gigabytes).

Permanent space is an additional section of memory that may need to be increased. For very large chips, a value of 200 or more may enhance performance.

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