Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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All the libraries required to run SAFAS are included in the distribution.

  • You should have the latest graphics card driver for your machine;
  • You should have the correct SAFAS distribution for your platform;
  • In order to use the SAP simulator structural evaluation, you will need a VT account setup by the SAFAS team.
Here are some tips on how to extract and install SAFAS. Please, make sure you follow these instructions carefully before emailing the SAFAS team.

  1. Before downloading the SAFAS, make sure you have the latest version of Java installed. 
    - If you have Windows or Linux, just go to
    - If you have Mac OS X, run Software Update.
  2. If you're using Windows, make sure you have the most up-to-date drivers for your video card.
  3. Make sure you EXTRACT the files before you try to run SAFAS. If you have Windows and you simply double-click the zip file, you will not extract the files. To do so, follow these instructions:
    - Download and install 7-zip from
    - Choose the version based on your operating system: if you have windows vista/7 32-bit, download the 32-bit version; if you have windows vista/7 64-bit, donwload the 64-bit version.
    - After installing it, right click the safas file, go to '7-Zip' -> 'Extract files...'.
    - Once you do that, you will be able to select the location of the extracted files, say "C:\Users\<YourUserName>\Desktop\SAFAS_1.3_Windows_32-bit\".
    - Click 'Ok' and you're set. This should work. Once you do that, go to (using the same location as example)
    - C:\Users\<YourUserName>\Desktop\SAFAS_1.3_Windows_32-bit\ SAFAS_1.3_Windows_32-bit\
    and double click SAFAS.jar

Issue: I have the 64bit version of Windows XP/Vista/7, and I downloaded the 64bit version of java. When I double-click on safas.jar, nothing happens.

Solution: The default version of java is 32bit even if you have a 64bit version of windows installed, which means you will need to download the 32bit version of SAFAS.

If if is not working, you can try to follow these steps before contacting the SAFAS team:

1 - Press the windows key + the r key to open the 'Run' window.

2 - Once you do that, type 'cmd' and click ok.

3 - Now you will need to change the directory to the one that contains safas. To do that, you will use the 'cd' command.
To find out what the folder/directory path to get to safas is, click on the address bar (the bar itself, not the drop-down menus) on windows explorer when you're in the folder containing SAFAS.
Say for example you have the safas.jar file in a directory 'C:\Users\<YourUserName>\Desktop\SAFAS'. All you need to do then is type 'cd \Users\ <YourUserName>\Desktop\SAFAS' (no quotes) and hit enter/return and you will change the directory to that one.

4 - Now, type in the following:
   java -version
and hit enter/return. It should print out something like this:

java version "1.6.0_26"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_26-b03-384-10M3425)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 20.1-b02-384, mixed mode)

5a - If it does print out something like the above, do the following:

- After you do that, what I need you to do is type the following command (with quotes this time)

   java -Xmx1024m -jar safas.jar

jump to step 6

5b - If it doesn't print out and instead says something like this:
  'java' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable or batch file.
do the following:

5c - If you already installed java, you need to find the location of the file 'java.exe'. Usually, it is located in:

assuming Windows and Java 32bit or Windows and Java 64bit, it should be in:
   "C:\Program Files\Java\jre7\bin\"
if it's windows 64bit, with the java 32bit version, it should be in:
   "C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin\java.exe"

5d - If you have Windows 7, do this first - Click on the start menu, right-click on 'Computer' and click on 'Properties'. Select 'Advanced System Settings' and click on the 'Advanced' tab.

If you have Windows XP, do this first - Click on the start menu, right-click on 'Computer' and click on 'Properties', or go to the control panel and select 'System'. Click on the 'Advanced' tab.

The figure below shows the windows you must have open by now.

5e - Now, select the 'Environment Variables' button, and search for the variable named 'Path' in the 'System Variables'. Now click on edit, and add the directory path that you found in step 5c to Java to the beginning of the 'Variable value' field with a semi-colon at the end (MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT DELETE ANYTHING, JUST ADD), just like highlighted in the figure below. If you start this tutorial from step 1 again (opening up the cmd window again), you should be able to run java now as in step 4.

6 - If it works and SAFAS shows up, you are good to go!

Issue: I have MacOS X 10.5, and have downloaded the MacOS X (intel) version of SAFAS. When I double-click on safas.jar, nothing happens.

Solution: First, open up the terminal (click on spotlight, type in 'terminal' and it should be the first hit). 
Once it's launched, just type in 'java -version' and hit enter.

The output for it to work should be similar to:

java version "1.6.0_24"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_24-b07-334-10M3326)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 19.1-b02-334, mixed mode)

If it says java version "1.5.0_xx", like in this example:

java version "1.5.0_28"
Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build 1.5.0_28-b04-382-9M3326)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 1.5.0_28-157, mixed mode, sharing)

Follow these steps1

Mac OS X 1.5 (Tiger) uses J2SE 5.0 by default, even though Java SE 6 has been available for nearly two years.

1. In the /Applications/Utilities/Java directory, there's a Java Preferences application that can be used to determine which Java version is used by default. I fired it up and got this:

2. Oh, there's Java 6! Right behind the 32-bit version of Java 5, for some reason. Let's fix that with a little drag & drop so that Java SE 6 is at the top :

3. Let's check java- version from the command prompt again:

java version "1.6.0_07"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_07-b06-153)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 1.6.0_07-b06-57, mixed mode)

4. Now launching SAFAS should work!

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