System overview
Future plans
Mailing lists
Email us


System Requirements for the Knowbot Software

Required Hardware

The Knowbot software requires a fairly powerful Unix workstation with an Internet connection. (See note below for Windows.) To meaningfully demonstrate program migration, at least two such systems (not necessarily with the same configuration) are required. These systems may be connected over a fast local network; alternatively, they may be individual Internet sites. (For demonstration purposes, we also support running multiple copies of the software on a single host.)

Communication through a firewall is not supported at this time.

We recommend using systems with at least 64 Megabytes of RAM (128 Megabytes if you wish to run other software at the same time). Disk space requirements are modest: 5 to 10 Megabytes.

Required Software

The prototype depends on the following other pieces of software:

  • A modern Unix implementation, e.g., Solaris 2.6, which is what we use (on Sparc and Intel hardware). We expect that Solaris 2.5 or 2.5.1 will also work. Linux can be used too. We haven't been able to check other Unix implementations, but we encourage you to try them: the Knowbot software and the required support software are all designed to be portable.
  • Python 1.5.1 or newer. The Knowbot software is currently written in Python.
  • ILU 2.0, Xerox Parc's Inter-Language Unification system. We currently require ILU version 2.0alpha12, with the standard Xerox patches applied and additional patches applied that are provided by CNRI.
  • For components that present a graphical user interface, Tcl/Tk (version 8.0 or newer preferred) is needed. (Tk is used as the GUI library for Python.)
  • For some web-related demos, you need to run a web server with CGI capability, such as Apache.
  • If you don't already have the above components installed, you will need a C compiler to build them. If your Unix doesn't come with a C compile bundled, GCC should work.

Assuming you are using Linux, all required (and optionally required) support software is freely available open source software!

(Note:) While there are no immediate plans for a port to Windows, we will consider one if there is sufficient demand. All the required support software runs on Windows (95/98 and NT), but the Knowbot software itself uses certain Unix features that are not supported by Windows; replacing these would require some redesign of the system.