Difference between revisions of "Start up and Configuration"

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(added "run as python module" section)
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This page summarizes the most important configuration features of FreeCAD.
+
This page shows the different ways to start FreeCAD and the most important configuration features.  
=== Startup ===
 
Here the most common ways to start FreeCAD.
 
  
 +
== Starting FreeCAD from the Command line ==
  
=== Command line parameter ===
+
FreeCAD can be started normally, by double-clicking on its desktop icon or selecting it from the start menu, but it can also be started directly from the command line. This allows you to change soem of the default startup options.
  
The command line options are subject of frequent changes right now. There fore its a good Idea to check the actual possible options by typing:
+
=== Command line options ===
 +
 
 +
The command line options are subject of frequent changes, therefore it is a good idea to check the current options by typing:
 
  FreeCAD --help
 
  FreeCAD --help
  
Line 14: Line 15:
 
  FreeCAD [options] File1 File2 .....
 
  FreeCAD [options] File1 File2 .....
 
  Allowed options:   
 
  Allowed options:   
 
+
 
  Generic options:
 
  Generic options:
 
   -v [ --version ]      print version string
 
   -v [ --version ]      print version string
 
   -h [ --help ]        print help message
 
   -h [ --help ]        print help message
 
   -c [ --console ]      start in console mode
 
   -c [ --console ]      start in console mode
 
+
 
  Configuration:
 
  Configuration:
 
   -l [ --write-log ] arg    write a log file
 
   -l [ --write-log ] arg    write a log file
Line 27: Line 28:
 
   --response-file arg      can be specified with '@name', too
 
   --response-file arg      can be specified with '@name', too
  
==== Response and config files ====
+
=== Response and config files ===
  
FreeCAD can read some of the options from a config file. The file has to be in the bin path and have to be named FreeCAD.cfg. Options specified in the command line override the config file!
+
FreeCAD can read some of these options from a config file. This file must be in the bin path and must be named FreeCAD.cfg. Be aware that options specified in the command line override the config file!
  
Some operating system have very low limits of the command line length. The common way to work around those limitations is using response files. A response file is just a configuration file which uses the same syntax as the command line. If the command line specifies a name of response file to use, it's loaded and parsed in addition to the command line:
+
Some operating system have very low limit of the command line length. The common way to work around those limitations is using response files. A response file is just a configuration file which uses the same syntax as the command line. If the command line specifies a name of response file to use, it's loaded and parsed in addition to the command line:
  
 
  FreeCAD @ResponseFile.txt  
 
  FreeCAD @ResponseFile.txt  
Line 39: Line 40:
 
  FreeCAD --response-file=ResponseFile.txt
 
  FreeCAD --response-file=ResponseFile.txt
  
 +
=== Hidden options ===
  
 
+
There are a couple of options not visible to the user. These options are e.g. the X-Window parameters parsed by the Windows system:
 
 
==== Hidden options ====
 
There are a couple of options not visible to the user. This options are e.g. the X-Window parameters parsed by the Windows system:
 
 
* -display display, sets the X display (default is $DISPLAY).
 
* -display display, sets the X display (default is $DISPLAY).
 
* -geometry geometry, sets the client geometry of the first window that is shown.
 
* -geometry geometry, sets the client geometry of the first window that is shown.
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* -cmap, causes the application to install a private color map on an 8-bit display.
 
* -cmap, causes the application to install a private color map on an 8-bit display.
  
=== The Config set ===
+
 
 +
== Running FreeCAD without User Interface ==
 +
 
 +
FreeCAD normally starts in GUI mode, but you can also force it to start in console mode by typing:
 +
 
 +
FreeCAD -c
 +
 
 +
from the command line. In console mode, no user interface will be displayed, and you will be presented with a python interpreter prompt. From that python prompt, you have the same functionality as the python interpreter that runs inside the FreeCAD GUI, and normal access to all modules and plugins of FreeCAD, excepted the FreeCADGui module. Be aware that modules that depend on FreeCADGui might also be unavailable.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
== Running FreeCAD as a python module ==
 +
 
 +
FreeCAD can also be runned as a python module inside other applications that use python or from an external python shell. For that, the host python application must know where your FreeCAD libs reside. The best way to obtain that is to temporarily append FreeCAD's lib path to the sys.path variable. The following code typed from any python shell will import FreeCAD and let you run it the same way as in console mode:
 +
 
 +
<code python>
 +
import sys
 +
sys.path.append("path/to/FreeCAD/lib") # change this by your own FreeCAD lib path
 +
import FreeCAD
 +
</code>
 +
 
 +
Once FreeCAD is loaded, it is up to you to make it interact with your host application in any way you can imagine!
 +
 
 +
 
 +
== The Config set ==
 +
 
 
On every Startup FreeCAD examines its surrounding and the command line parameters. It builds up a '''configuration set''' which holds the essence of the runtime information. This information is later used to determine the place where to save user data or log files. It is also very important for post postmortem analyzes. Therefore it is saved in the log file.
 
On every Startup FreeCAD examines its surrounding and the command line parameters. It builds up a '''configuration set''' which holds the essence of the runtime information. This information is later used to determine the place where to save user data or log files. It is also very important for post postmortem analyzes. Therefore it is saved in the log file.
  
 
+
=== User related information===
==== User related ====
 
  
 
{| border="2" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin-top:1em; margin-bottom:1em; background:#f9f9f9; border:1px #aaa solid; border-collapse:collapse;"
 
{| border="2" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin-top:1em; margin-bottom:1em; background:#f9f9f9; border:1px #aaa solid; border-collapse:collapse;"
|+ User config entrys
+
|+ User config entries
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Config var name      !! Synopsis                        !! Example M$                !! Example Posix (Linux)     
 
! Config var name      !! Synopsis                        !! Example M$                !! Example Posix (Linux)     
Line 76: Line 98:
 
|}
 
|}
  
==== Command line argument triggered ====
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=== Command line arguments ===
  
 
{| border="2" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin-top:1em; margin-bottom:1em; background:#f9f9f9; border:1px #aaa solid; border-collapse:collapse;"
 
{| border="2" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin-top:1em; margin-bottom:1em; background:#f9f9f9; border:1px #aaa solid; border-collapse:collapse;"
|+ User config entrys
+
|+ User config entries
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Config var name      !! Synopsis                        !! Example                 
 
! Config var name      !! Synopsis                        !! Example                 
Line 100: Line 122:
 
|}
 
|}
  
==== System related ====
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=== System related ===
  
 
{| border="2" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin-top:1em; margin-bottom:1em; background:#f9f9f9; border:1px #aaa solid; border-collapse:collapse;"
 
{| border="2" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin-top:1em; margin-bottom:1em; background:#f9f9f9; border:1px #aaa solid; border-collapse:collapse;"
|+ User config entrys
+
|+ User config entries
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Config var name      !! Synopsis                        !! Example M$                !! Example Posix (Linux)     
 
! Config var name      !! Synopsis                        !! Example M$                !! Example Posix (Linux)     
Line 112: Line 134:
 
|}
 
|}
  
Some libraries trigger on system environment variables. If a FreeCAD installation has a problem, sometimes environment variables are responsible for it. Therefore some important variables get duplicated in the Config and saved in the log file.
+
Some libraries need to call system environment variables. Sometimes when there is a problem with a FreeCAD installation, it is because some environment variable is absent or set wrongly. Therefore, some important variables get duplicated in the Config and saved in the log file.
  
 
'''Python related environment variables:'''
 
'''Python related environment variables:'''
Line 137: Line 159:
 
* PATH
 
* PATH
  
==== Info about the Build ====
+
=== Build related information===
The table below shows the availible informations about the Build version. Most of it comes out of the Subversion repository. This stuff is needed to exactly rebuild a version!
+
 
 +
The table below shows the availible informations about the Build version. Most of it comes from the Subversion repository. This stuff is needed to exactly rebuild a version!
  
 
{| border="2" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin-top:1em; margin-bottom:1em; background:#f9f9f9; border:1px #aaa solid; border-collapse:collapse;"
 
{| border="2" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin-top:1em; margin-bottom:1em; background:#f9f9f9; border:1px #aaa solid; border-collapse:collapse;"
|+ User config entrys
+
|+ User config entries
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Config var name      !! Synopsis                        !! Example                   
 
! Config var name      !! Synopsis                        !! Example                   
Line 161: Line 184:
 
| BuildScrMixed        ||      || Src not mixed
 
| BuildScrMixed        ||      || Src not mixed
 
|}
 
|}
 +
 +
=== Branding related ===
  
 
 
==== Branding related ====
 
 
These Config entries are related to the branding mechanism of FreeCAD. See [[Branding]] for more details.
 
These Config entries are related to the branding mechanism of FreeCAD. See [[Branding]] for more details.
  
 
{| border="2" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin-top:1em; margin-bottom:1em; background:#f9f9f9; border:1px #aaa solid; border-collapse:collapse;"
 
{| border="2" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin-top:1em; margin-bottom:1em; background:#f9f9f9; border:1px #aaa solid; border-collapse:collapse;"
|+ User config entrys
+
|+ User config entries
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Config var name      !! Synopsis                        !! Example   
 
! Config var name      !! Synopsis                        !! Example   

Revision as of 00:56, 8 November 2008

This page shows the different ways to start FreeCAD and the most important configuration features.

Starting FreeCAD from the Command line

FreeCAD can be started normally, by double-clicking on its desktop icon or selecting it from the start menu, but it can also be started directly from the command line. This allows you to change soem of the default startup options.

Command line options

The command line options are subject of frequent changes, therefore it is a good idea to check the current options by typing:

FreeCAD --help

From the response you can read the possible parameters:

Usage:
FreeCAD [options] File1 File2 .....
Allowed options:  

Generic options:
 -v [ --version ]      print version string
 -h [ --help ]         print help message
 -c [ --console ]      start in console mode

Configuration:
 -l [ --write-log ] arg    write a log file
 -t [ --run-test ] arg     test level
 -M [ --module-path ] arg  additional module paths
 -P [ --python-path ] arg  additional python paths
 --response-file arg       can be specified with '@name', too

Response and config files

FreeCAD can read some of these options from a config file. This file must be in the bin path and must be named FreeCAD.cfg. Be aware that options specified in the command line override the config file!

Some operating system have very low limit of the command line length. The common way to work around those limitations is using response files. A response file is just a configuration file which uses the same syntax as the command line. If the command line specifies a name of response file to use, it's loaded and parsed in addition to the command line:

FreeCAD @ResponseFile.txt 

or:

FreeCAD --response-file=ResponseFile.txt

Hidden options

There are a couple of options not visible to the user. These options are e.g. the X-Window parameters parsed by the Windows system:

  • -display display, sets the X display (default is $DISPLAY).
  • -geometry geometry, sets the client geometry of the first window that is shown.
  • -fn or -font font, defines the application font. The font should be specified using an X logical font description.
  • -bg or -background color, sets the default background color and an application palette (light and dark shades are calculated).
  • -fg or -foreground color, sets the default foreground color.
  • -btn or -button color, sets the default button color.
  • -name name, sets the application name.
  • -title title, sets the application title.
  • -visual TrueColor, forces the application to use a TrueColor visual on an 8-bit display.
  • -ncols count, limits the number of colors allocated in the color cube on an 8-bit display, if the application is using the QApplication::ManyColor color specification. If count is 216 then a 6x6x6 color cube is used (i.e. 6 levels of red, 6 of green, and 6 of blue); for other values, a cube approximately proportional to a 2x3x1 cube is used.
  • -cmap, causes the application to install a private color map on an 8-bit display.


Running FreeCAD without User Interface

FreeCAD normally starts in GUI mode, but you can also force it to start in console mode by typing:

FreeCAD -c

from the command line. In console mode, no user interface will be displayed, and you will be presented with a python interpreter prompt. From that python prompt, you have the same functionality as the python interpreter that runs inside the FreeCAD GUI, and normal access to all modules and plugins of FreeCAD, excepted the FreeCADGui module. Be aware that modules that depend on FreeCADGui might also be unavailable.


Running FreeCAD as a python module

FreeCAD can also be runned as a python module inside other applications that use python or from an external python shell. For that, the host python application must know where your FreeCAD libs reside. The best way to obtain that is to temporarily append FreeCAD's lib path to the sys.path variable. The following code typed from any python shell will import FreeCAD and let you run it the same way as in console mode:

import sys sys.path.append("path/to/FreeCAD/lib") # change this by your own FreeCAD lib path import FreeCAD

Once FreeCAD is loaded, it is up to you to make it interact with your host application in any way you can imagine!


The Config set

On every Startup FreeCAD examines its surrounding and the command line parameters. It builds up a configuration set which holds the essence of the runtime information. This information is later used to determine the place where to save user data or log files. It is also very important for post postmortem analyzes. Therefore it is saved in the log file.

User related information

User config entries
Config var name Synopsis Example M$ Example Posix (Linux)
UserAppData Path where FreeCAD stores User Related application data. C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\FreeCAD /home/username/.FreeCAD
UserParameter File where FreeCAD stores User Related application data. C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\FreeCAD\user.cfg /home/username/.FreeCAD/user.cfg
SystemParameter File where FreeCAD stores Application Related data. C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\FreeCAD\system.cfg /home/username/.FreeCAD/system.cfg
UserHomePath Home path of the current user C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents /home/username

Command line arguments

User config entries
Config var name Synopsis Example
LoggingFile 1 if the logging is switched on 1
LoggingFileName File name where the log is placed C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\FreeCAD\FreeCAD.log
RunMode This indicates how the main loop will work. "Script" means that the given script is called and then exit. "Cmd" runs the command line interpreter. "Internal" runs an internal script. "Gui" enters the Gui event loop. "Module" loads a given python module. "Cmd"
FileName Meaning depends on the RunMode
ScriptFileName Meaning depends on the RunMode
Verbose Verbosity level of FreeCAD "" or "strict"
OpenFileCount Holds the number of files opened through command line arguments "12"
AdditionalModulePaths Holds the additional Module paths given in the cmd line "extraModules/"

System related

User config entries
Config var name Synopsis Example M$ Example Posix (Linux)
AppHomePath Path where FreeCAD is installed c:/Progam Files/FreeCAD_0.7 /user/local/FreeCAD_0.7
PythonSearchPath Holds a list of paths which python search modules. This is at startup can change during execution

Some libraries need to call system environment variables. Sometimes when there is a problem with a FreeCAD installation, it is because some environment variable is absent or set wrongly. Therefore, some important variables get duplicated in the Config and saved in the log file.

Python related environment variables:

  • PYTHONPATH
  • PYTHONHOME
  • TCL_LIBRARY
  • TCLLIBPATH

OpenCascade related environment variables:

  • CSF_MDTVFontDirectory
  • CSF_MDTVTexturesDirectory
  • CSF_UnitsDefinition
  • CSF_UnitsLexicon
  • CSF_StandardDefaults
  • CSF_PluginDefaults
  • CSF_LANGUAGE
  • CSF_SHMessage
  • CSF_XCAFDefaults
  • CSF_GraphicShr
  • CSF_IGESDefaults
  • CSF_STEPDefaults

System related environment variables:

  • PATH

Build related information

The table below shows the availible informations about the Build version. Most of it comes from the Subversion repository. This stuff is needed to exactly rebuild a version!

User config entries
Config var name Synopsis Example
BuildVersionMajor Major Version number of the Build. Defined in src/Build/Version.h.in 0
BuildVersionMinor Minor Version number of the Build. Defined in src/Build/Version.h.in 7
BuildRevision SVN Repository Revision number of the src in the Build. Generated by SVN 356
BuildRevisionRange Range of differnt changes 123-356
BuildRepositoryURL Repository URL https://free-cad.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/free-cad/trunk/src
BuildRevisionDate Date of the above Revision 2007/02/03 22:21:18
BuildScrClean Indicates if the source was changed ager checkout Src modified
BuildScrMixed Src not mixed

Branding related

These Config entries are related to the branding mechanism of FreeCAD. See Branding for more details.

User config entries
Config var name Synopsis Example
ExeName Name of the build Executable file. Can diver from FreeCAD if a different main.cpp is used. FreeCAD.exe
ExeVersion Over all Version shows up at start time V0.7
AppIcon Icon which is used for the Executable, shows in Application MainWindow. "FCIcon"
ConsoleBanner Banner which is prompted in console mode
SplashPicture Name of the Icon used for the Splash Screen "FreeCADSplasher"
SplashAlignment Alignment of the Text in the Splash dialog Left"
SplashTextColor Color of the splasher Text "#000000"
StartWorkbench Name of the Workbech which get started automaticly after Startup "Part design"
HiddenDockWindow List of dockwindows (separated by a semicolon) which will be disabled "Property editor"