Some assignments will require to use the software package XPP/AUTO by Bard Ermentrout. The following video list shows how to install, start, and use XPP with a sample problem (Goldbeter model).  

Some XPP users have experienced problems that prevent XPP 6.00 from running (in Linux and Windows). Some Windows users get the error message Failed to open X-Display when executing xppaut.bat or xppaut.exe. Some Windows and Linux users get the message Failed to load font: 9x15. There are three solutions:

Solution 1: Communicated by Bard Ermemtrout himself: "edit the xpp batchfile adding xpp .... -smallfont fixed -bigfont fixed or whatever fonts you happen to have and like. xpp allows you to set the fonts when you start up". I document it as the top solution, but I have not tested it.

Solution 2: In Windows installations, unzip the file 9x15.zip in the folder C:\Program Files\Xming\fonts\ That is, after unzipping, you will have the folder C:\Program Files\Xming\fonts\9x15 which will contain all 9x15 fonts XPP seems to need. I am not sure about the proper location for the font files of an X server in Linux systems, but in principle it should suffice to unzip the file in the proper location.

Solution 3: Use a Linux virtual machine with XPP pre-installed. It has been tested in Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.5. To use it, follow the instructions below:

  • Download and install Oracle's VirtualBox. This software allows you to run an operating system, i.e. another computer, in a window.
  • Download the VirtualBox image with XPP from here (1 GByte). Unzip this file. Then start Sun VirtualBox and select the menu option File > Import Appliance. Select the file XPPAUTO.ovf.
  • Start the virtual machine from VirtualBox. username/password: xubuntu/reverse. All files are in the folder XPP located in the desktop. There is an icon named "Start XPP". Execute it. Have fun!!!
  • Finally, a disclaimer: Executing a virtual machine is an act of faith. As far as we can tell, the virtual machine used as the foundation for this XPP installation is clean. The base OS is: 
    Xubuntu 9.10 codename Karmic Koala
    Size (compressed/uncompressed):1 GByte
    Link: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/virtualboximage/xubuntu-9.10-x86.7z
    Active user account(s) (username/password): xubuntu/reverse
    Notes: from standard ISO image, Guest Additions installed.