Quick start

Basically, download from releases, unzip, copy ASCIIGenome and ASCIIGenome.jar to a directory of your liking and that’s it.

For example, in the commands below replace version number with the latest from releases:


cd ASCIIGenome-x.y.z/
chmod a+x ASCIIGenome
cp ASCIIGenome.jar /usr/local/bin/ # Or else in your PATH e.g. ~/bin/
cp ASCIIGenome /usr/local/bin/     # Or else in your PATH e.g. ~/bin/

With conda

ASCIIGenome is available as a bioconda package and it can be installed with the conda package manager:

conda install -c bioconda asciigenome

With Homebrew

ASCIIGenome can also be installed through brew / Linux Brew, although it is still not an official package:

brew install

A little more detail

ASCIIGenome.jar requires Java 1.8+ and this should be the only requirement. There is virtually no installation needed as ASCIIGenome is pure Java and should work on most (all?) platforms. Download the zip file from releases, unzip it and execute the jar file with:

java -jar /path/to/ASCIIGenome.jar --help

To avoid typing java -jar ... every time, you can put both the helper script ASCIIGenome and the jar file ASCIIGenome.jar in the same directory in your PATH and execute with:

ASCIIGenome [options]


This part below has nothing to do with ASCIIGenome specifically. These are just general instructions to add executable files to your PATH.

For Unix users: If you have administrator rights and you want to make ASCIIGenome available to all users, a popular choice of installation directory is /usr/local/bin/, e.g.:

cp ASCIIGenome.jar /usr/local/bin/
cp ASCIIGenome /usr/local/bin/

If you don’t have administrator rights (i.e. you get a Permission denied error) you can instead copy to a directory that you have on your PATH and where you have permission to write. A popular user directory for executable files is $HOME/bin (e.g. /home/myName/bin or /Users/myName/bin or short ~/bin). e.g.:

cp ASCIIGenome.jar ~/bin/
cp ASCIIGenome ~/bin/

If ~/bin does not exist or is not on your PATH create it with:

mkdir ~/bin/

And to add to it to your PATH edit your profile file to add the new directory. E.g. edit ~/.bash_profile to:


Then reload the profile file or log off and log back in to make the changes effective.

Note the helper is a bash script. To set the amount of memory available to java use the -Xmx option as e.g. java -Xmx1500m -jar ....

If for some reason the text formatting misbehave, disable it with the -nf option.

Compiling the source code

From version 1.13 ASCIIGenome is built using the gradle build tool. If you want to edit the source code and re-compile it to an executable jar, all you need to do is:

# Get source
git clone
cd ASCIIGenome

./gradlew clean
./gradlew build -x test

The executable jar file will be in build/libs/ASCIIGenome.jar. The -x test option builds the code without running the tests.