Getting Started with Cyclus

To model fuel cycles, you will need to install two things: first the main codebase (called Cyclus), and then a set of fuel-cycle specific archetypes (called Cycamore).


In the cyclus ecosystem, only versions whose micro or patch number (the third and last number) are zero are considered stable. Other releases where the version number is greater than zero are bugfix and maintainence releases and are considered unstable. For example, a release number of 1.42.0 is stable, while 1.42.3 is unstable.

1. Install Cyclus and Cycamore

The following methods of installation are listed in order of increasing sophistication, choose the option that best fits your needs. If you feel like none correspond to your needs please feel free to contact us using the Cyclus User mailing list, we will identify the best approach for you.

  • Cyclist and the Cloud:
    • Requires few computational skills
    • Recommended for:
      • users wanting a graphical interface to build or analyze simulations
      • users wanting to run simulations in the cloud
      • quick introduction to the Cyclus capabilities
  • Binary installation on Linux (via Debian package or Conda):
    • Requires familiarity with Linux
    • Recommended for users wanting to run simulations locally (without internet)
  • Virtualbox:
    • Requires familiarity with Linux
    • Required for Windows users
  • Install Stable From Source (via Tarball):
    • Requires programming skills/familiarity with compiling code
    • Recommended for users wanting to modify existing archetypes or write new archetypes (aka developers)
  • Install Develop from Source (via Repository):
    • Requires programming skills/familiarity with compiling code, basic understanding of Git/GitHub
    • Recommended for developers or users who require the bleeding edge version of Cyclus
    • Required for developers who wish to contribute to kernel development of Cyclus

2. Run Cyclus with a Sample XML File

(Cyclist users skip this step)

Try running Cyclus for yourself. The result will be a database named cyclus.sqlite. Use the drop down menu to load the sqlite file into Cyclist for data visualization, or use your favorite sqlite browser to peruse.

$ cyclus ~/path/to/cycamore/input/recycle.xml