Run Gaia Sky
This section contains information on how to run the software depending on the install method.
Run regular installation
If you installed the software using an installer or a package manager
deb, aur), you just need to use the standard running
procedures of your Operating System to run the application.
gaiasky in a terminal or use your favourite desktop
environment search engine to run the Gaia Sky launcher.
In windows, this means clicking on
Start and then browsing the start
Gaia Sky. You can run the executable from there.
Locate the launcher in your install directory (usually
/Applications) and double click on it.
Code and pakcage
However, if you are a maverick and do not like installers, you can also
run the Gaia Sky directly from the source code in
If you installed the flatpak from flathub, you can run it by using the application menu in your distro, or by firing up a terminal and writing:
$ flatpak run de.uni_heidelberg.zah.GaiaSky
In order to run the Appimage, just download the file, give it execute permissions, and run it.
You can also run the software using the
tar.gz package without need for
an installation. To do so, extract the archive to your desired location and
gaiasky script (Linux, macOS), or the
gaiasky.cmd batch file (Windows).
$ tar -xzvf gaiasky-[version].tar.gz $ cd gaiasky-[version] $ gaiasky #Linux/macOS $ .\gaiasky.cmd #Windows
Run from source
If you want to compile the source code, you will need the following:
Java Development Kit (
JDK, version 17 or above should suffice, we recommend using the latest LTS available)
Please, be aware that only
tags are guaranteed to work
branch holds the development version and the configuration files are
possibly messed up and not ready to work out-of-the-box. So remember to
tag version if you want to run it right away from source.
First, clone the repository:
$ git clone https://codeberg.org/gaiasky/gaiasky.git
Getting the catalog data
As of version
2.1.0, Gaia Sky provides a self-contained download manager to get all the data packs available.
base-data pack is necessary for Gaia Sky to run, and contains the Solar System, the Milky Way model, etc. Catalog files are optional but recommended if you want to see any stars at all. You can bring up the download manager at any time by clicking on the button
Data download in the preferences window, data tab. More information on the download manager can be found in Dataset manager.
You can also download the data packs manually here.
Compiling and running
To compile the code and run Gaia Sky run the following.
$ gradlew core:run
If you want to pass CLI arguments via gradle, just use the gradle
--args argument (
gradlew core:run --args='-vr').
Tip: Gaia Sky checks that your Java version is compatible with it when you run the build. Skip this check by setting the
GS_JAVA_VERSION_CHECK environment variable to false in the context of gradle:
$ export GS_JAVA_VERSION_CHECK=false
In order to pull the latest changes from the remote git repository:
$ git pull
Gaia Sky offers a few command line arguments. Run
gaiasky -h for more information.
$ gaiasky -h Usage: gaiasky [options] Options: -h, --help Show program options and usage information. -v, --version List Gaia Sky version and relevant information. Default: false -i, --asciiart Add nice ascii art to --version information. Default: false -s, --skip-welcome Skip the welcome screen if possible (base-data package must be present). Default: false -p, --properties Specify the location of the properties file. -a, --assets Specify the location of the assets folder. If not present, the default assets location (in the installation folder) is used. -vr, --openvr Launch in Virtual Reality mode. Gaia Sky will attempt to create a VR context through OpenVR. Default: false -e, --externalview Create a window with a view of the scene and no UI. Default: false -n, --noscript Do not start the scripting server. Useful to run more than one Gaia Sky instance at once in the same machine. Default: false -d, --debug Launch in debug mode. Prints out debug information from Gaia Sky to the logs. Default: false -g, --gpudebug Activate OpenGL debug mode. Prints out debug information from OpenGL to the standard output. Default: false -l, --headless Use headless (windowless) mode, for servers. Default: false --safemode Activate safe graphics mode. This forces the creation of an OpenGL 3.2 context, and disables float buffers and tessellation. Default: false
Packaging the software
Gaia Sky can be exported to be run as a standalone app. Right now, doing so is only supported from Linux. You need the utility
help2man in your path to generate the man pages. Remember to restart the gradle daemon after installing it. Then run:
$ gradlew core:dist
This creates a new directory
releases/gaiasky-[version].[revison] with the exported application. Run scripts are provided with the name
gaiasky (Linux, macOS) and
Also, to export Gaia Sky into a
tar.gz archive file, run the following:
$ gradlew core:createTar
In order to produce the desktop installers for the various systems you
need a licensed version of
Install4j. Additionally, you need a certificate for signing the Windows packages in
$GS/assets/cert/cert.pfx. Then, just run:
$ gradlew core:pack -PwinKeystorePassword=PASSWORD
PASSWORD is the password of the certificate. This command produces the different OS packages (
.rpm, etc.) of Gaia Sky and stores them in the