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Installing the binaries

  1. Download the 32-bit or 64-bit zip file.
  2. Drag and drop the downloaded and unzipped folder to the location of your choice, and rename it "Open Ephys."
  3. Run FrontPanelUSB-DriverOnly-4.4.0.exe to install the acquisition board driver. This driver should be compatible with Windows 7, 8 and 8.1, but seems to work well on Windows 10 as well.
  4. Double-click the "open-ephys" executable to run the application.
  5. (Optional) If you need a debug output to troubleshoot, run the executable with --console as parameter.

Building from source

  1. Create a GitHub account if you haven't already.
  2. While logged into your account, go to and click the "Fork" button in the upper right. You now have your own copy of the GUI repository. Any changes you make will only affect this copy. (More info on forking here.)
  3. Make sure you have GitHub for Windows installed.
  4. Install Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 if you haven't already.
  5. Direct your browser to, where "yourusername" is replaced by your actual GitHub user name.
  6. Click the "Clone in Desktop" button.
  7. Run GUI/Resources/DLLs/FrontPanelUSB-DriverOnly-4.4.0.exe to install the acquisition board driver. This driver should be compatible with Windows 7, 8 and 8.1, but seems to work well on Windows 10 as well.
  8. In Visual Studio, select the open-ephys.sln file from the GUI/Builds/VisualStudio2013 folder.
  9. Hit the "Debug" button to build the GUI from source.
  10. Copy GUI/Resources/Bitfiles/rhd2000.bit to the Debug/bin folder created by Visual Studio
Building the plugins
  1. The GUI must be compiled prior to the plugins, as the plugin build process needs the open-ephys.lib file created by doing so in its default directory.
  2. Open the VS solution file Builds\Visualstudio2013\Plugins\Plugins.sln
  3. Select the appropiate architecture and release mode that matches the one the GUI was built with.
  4. Either build the complete solution to generate all plugins or build specific projects to compile individual plugins. Installing the eCube API will allow you to build the eCube plugin without errors. Depending on the version of Windows, you may still see some errors that can be fixed by manually registering the DLL in a command prompt with admin rights:
    • cd \Windows\SysWOW64
    • regSvr32 "C:\Program Files (x86)\EcubeAPI\ecubeapi32.dll"
    • regSvr32 "C:\Program Files (x86)\EcubeAPI\ecubeapi64.dll"
  5. If you would now like to have a "built and unchanging" version of the GUI, e.g. for other users of the machine/rig, copy the contents of the "Release" or "Release64" folder to an appropriate spot on your Desktop, in the Program Files folder, etc. You will also need to copy over the "Resources" folder from the source download, which includes things like the bitfile that needs to be downloaded to the FPGA.


Now you can both use the GUI and make changes to the source code. We recommend reading through the developer documentation before doing so.

NOTE: The debug version of the GUI runs really slowly on Windows. If you're doing any actual data acquisition, you should build the release version instead, which runs smoothly.

Any changes you commit can be synced with your GitHub repository through the GitHub application or from the command line. If you change something that you think would be useful for others, you can submit a pull request to the Open Ephys version of the GUI.

64bit Build Notes

 To build the 64 bit Windows version of the GUI

  • Either of the 64bit configurations (Debug64 or Release64) must be selected. "Release|x64" will build, but then the Plugins will not. "Release64|x64"  will.
  • BUT, when building the Plugins, "Release64|x64" will not be available, and you will choose "Release|x64" instead.
  • x64 architecture must me selected either from the configuration manager or the "Solution Platforms" combo box (if enabled in your workspace).
  • The binaries will be placed on a different folder than their 32bit counterparts


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