Getting Started

There are various ways of running ABS models.

Use On-Line Tools

The simplest way to use the ABS tools is on-line, in the collaboratory. This means you only need a modern browser to start experimenting with ABS. The tools work best with Firefox and Chrome.

An introduction and link to the collaboratory can be found at

  • Installing Command-Line Tools
  • Many of the tools can be run from the command line. This chapter describes how to run various tools on a local machine. Installing the ABS Compiler To install the ABS compiler, install the Java 8 JDK and Erlang (version 21 or higher). Then, clone the git repository and build the compiler: git clone cd abstools/frontend ./gradlew assemble After a successful build, there is an absc shell script in the abstools/frontend/bin/bash/ directory that invokes the ABS compiler.

  • Running a Browser-Based IDE
  • The collaboratory is a browser-based development environment for ABS. It integrates an editor, the syntax checker and simulator, and the SACO resource analysis tool. Running the Collaboratory using Docker To run the collaboratory, first install docker from Then, run the following command in a terminal window: docker run -d --rm -p 8080:80 --name collaboratory abslang/collaboratory:latest When the command has finished, connect a browser to http://localhost:8080 and start using ABS!

  • Installing Editor Support
  • We provide support for Emacs, Atom and Visual Studio Code. Emacs The abs-mode package provides support for ABS in the Emacs editor. Installation instructions are at Atom The Atom editor support can be found at ABS support for Atom currently cannot be installed from the offical Package repository and has to be installed manually; see for instructions. Visual Studio Code ABS editing support for Visual Studio Code is at https://github.