Installing PHYLIP

Let's assume that you have fetched the appropriate executables archive (if any) for your machine, together with the Documentation and Sources archive.

These archives are not simply a single executable for general use. Instead they are a (large) number of files, squished together into one file, and thus called an "archive". You have to go through a step which involves getting all the files out of the archive and into a directory on your machine.

We will give these instructions for three different kinds of systems, Windows, Macintoshes, and Unix systems.


On a Windows NT, Windows95, or Windows98 system you should have three archive files, called phylip.exe, phylip95.exe, and phylip96.exe. These are self-extracting archives, respectively the Documentation and Source Code archive and two Executables archives.

On a Windows 3.1 or Windows 3.0 system you should have four archive files, called phylip.exe, phylipwx.exe, phylipwy.exe, and phylipwz.exe. These are self-extracting archives.

You should place them in a directory, which is best called C:\PHYLIP and then execute them as programs, one after another. A self-extracting archive has a small self-extraction program on its front, and when you run them as programs they extract themselves and write many files into your directory.

You should be able to execute these archives by clicking on their icons, or by using the Run entry in the Start menu in the lower-left corner of your screen.

Or you may want to open an "MSDOS Window" (in Windows95 this is done using the Programs item on the Start menu which is in the lower-left corner of your screen). In the MSDOS window, issue the command CD C:\PHYLIP to get to the directory that has the archives. For Windows95/98/NT, execute them by issuing the commands:
which run the archives as programs.

The documentation and source code archive phylip.exe contains the six font files font1 through font6. So do the executables archives phylip96.exe and phylipwz.exe. The self-extraction code will ask you whether you want to overwrite the copies. You can safely answer "Yes" as the two copies of each file are identical. This is not an indication of any error or failure of the self-extraction.

On some Windows systems if you use an MSDOS Window the system will be unable to run the four archives as programs, claiming it has too little memory. In this case it may help to exit Windows (using the Start menu) and choose the option to "Exit to MSDOS". Then it may have enough memory to carry out these operations.

Once these archives are self-extracted, you will find a file called README.WIN. You should read it, using Windows Notepad, or EDIT, or some word processor, for further hints on installation.

Macintosh and PowerMac

The archives for the PowerMac and Macintosh are BinHexed archives. If you are fetching the files using a Web browser directly from your Mac, it will probably automatically invoke Stuffit Expander to unpack the archives into self-extracting archives. Self-extracting archives are archives with a small self-extraction program on their front, so that when they are run as programs they write a great many files into a folder.

If your system does have Stuffit Expander, two self extracting archives will be created on your desktop, and their file names will have a .sea in them. One has the documentation and sources, and the other has the executables. When you execute these two .sea files as programs, they will open a directory browsing window to allow you to find your way to the folder where you want to put PHYLIP. I recommend that you have an empty folder ready somewhere to put PHYLIP in. One of the two self-extracting archives will create two folders, one for the sources and one for the documentation file. The other will create one folder for the executables. The main documentation file main.doc will also be visible, and a file called README. You should start by reading README, using SimpleText or some word processing program.

If you don't have Stuffit Expander, your web browser will probably instead leave the files phylip.sea.hqx and either phylippmac.sea.hqx or phylipmx.seq.hqx on your desktop. These have to be extracted using BinHex, or you could alternatively use our ftp server and use a MacBinary ftp transfer to get the MacBinary versions of these two archives instead.


The archive for Unix systems is just the Documentation and Sources archive. You can extract the files from the archive by putting it into a directory by itself, getting into that directory, and giving the command

uncompress phylip.tar.Z
This uncompresses the archive so that it will now be bigger and be called phylip.tar. Now it is a "tar archive".

Now just issue the command

tar xvf phylip.tar
The archive will be extracted and 93 different files will be written into the current directory. These include documentation files (the ones that end in ".doc"), six font files ("font1" through "font6") and a lot of ".c" and ".h" files, plus some Makefiles and a file called README. You should read it.

To make executables, use your C compiler. You can probably just make sure there is a directory "bin" within your current directory and type "make install". If there are problems, look into changing the CFLAGS line and/or the CC line of the Makefile.

For some pre-prepared Unix/Linux executable packages and a test suite for Unix/Linux PHYLIP, see our executables page.

[Phylip icon here] ... to the PHYLIP home page