Managing Packages

Packages (previously known as add-ons or plugins) can be installed through BEAUti or from the command line.

Desktop machines

The easiest way to Manage packages and install/un-install them is to start up BEAUti and select the menu File/Manage Packages. A window pops up where you can select the add-ons in the list to (un)install.


BEAST 2.1.2

In the example above, BDSKY, BEAST_CLASSIC, BEASTlabs, MODEL_SELECTION, RBS and SNAPP are installed, and the rest are not.


older versions of BEAST

In the example above, SNAPP and RB are installed, and the rest are not.

Installation directories

To see where add-ons are installed, click the button with question mark in the dialog’s right left corner. A new dialog is shown with the information where you can find add-ons. Different operating systems have different locations where the add-ons are installed. There is a local add-on directory and a system wide add-on directory. Add-ons installed through the AddOnManager dialog in BEAUti are saved in the user’s local add-on directory. To install in the system wide directory, just move the directory with the add-on to the system wide add-on directory OR use the command line version (see below).








Server machines

For computers without GUI, like high performance clusters, add-ons can be managed through the command line. An application called ‘addonmanager’ is part of the Linux distribution of BEAST, and has the following options:

 Usage: addonmanager [-list] [-add ] [-del ] [-useAppDir] [-dir ] [-help] 
   -list List available add-ons
   -add Install the  add-on 
   -del Uninstall the  add-on 
   -useAppDir Use application (system wide) installation directory. Note this requires writing rights to the application directory. If not specified, the user's BEAST directory will be used.
   -dir Install/uninstall add-on in direcotry . This overrides the useAppDir option
   -help Show help
 addonmanager -list
 addonmanager -add SNAPP
 addonmanager -useAppDir -add SNAPP
 addonmanager -del SNAPP

Alternatively the add-on manager can be launched as

   java -cp beast.jar beast.util.AddOnManager

Install by hand

If for some reason you cannot install a package through BEAUti or the package manager, you can always install the package by hand. First, get the zip file you want to install. For example, to install the VSS package, download Then, create a VSS subdirectory

for Windows in UsersBEAST2.XVSS
for Mac in /Users//Library/Application Support/BEAST/2.X/VSS
for Linux /home//.beast/2.X/VSS

Here is the username you use, and in “2.X” the X refers to the major version of BEAST, so 2.X=2.1 for version 2.1.3.

Next, unzip the file inside the VSS directory

Trouble shooting

To install packages you need internet access.

Some software prevents access to the internet by programs like BEAUti. In that case, either tell the software to grant access to BEAUti, or install packages by hand.

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