To use Ruckus, you will need:
A computer running Linux (preferably) or Mac OS X (if you are brave).
A reasonably beefy GPU, ideally from Nvidia.
A recent version of Racket —
say, at least 6.0.
The Ruckus source code.
Some patience and willingness to experiment.
Ruckus is developed and tested on Linux. It should also work on other Unix-like operating systems, such as Mac OS X or FreeBSD, but you may encounter surprises. I’d be interested in hearing about any problems you encounter.
There’s no clear technical reason why Ruckus wouldn’t work on Microsoft Windows, but:
Ruckus is command-line driven, which may be difficult with Windows’ weak command-line environment.
Ruckus visualizers lean heavily on OpenGL, which has spotty support on Windows.
If you want to give it a shot, go for it. I’d be interested in any fixes you develop for Windows, but I probably can’t help develop them.
Ruckus uses your computer’s GPU to accelerate certain operations. The better your GPU, the faster you’ll get results.
Currently, best results come from Kepler or Maxwell architecture Nvidia GPUs (say, GTX 650 and later) with recent driver versions. You don’t need a fancy Quadro; they’re actually slower for Ruckus than the mass-market cards of similar age.
Intel HD Graphics built into Haswell and later laptops can be used in a pinch. I do a fair amount of development and testing on a Lenovo T440s.
Older Intel graphics will prove quite frustrating; the Lenovo T430s is unusable.
Ruckus is written in Racket, a programming language from the Lisp family. Because Ruckus is distributed in source form, you will need a copy of the Racket tools to run it.
Ruckus is most heavily tested on Racket version 6.3, which is a recent but not bleeding-edge version.
Ruckus is known not to work on Racket version 5.x, the ancient version currently (spring 2016) being distributed with the Ubuntu LTS. You will need to install Racket manually on such computers.
The easiest way to install Ruckus is from the Racket package system:
raco pkg install ruckus
Note that this will install the Ruckus executables in a directory that is probably not in your path, something like:
Note that this depends on your Racket version. I don’t know why the Racket folks want us to edit our .profile every time Racket’s version changes.
You will either need to add this to your PATH, or manually type it in front of every Ruckus command.
Alternatively, you can obtain the source code directly from the Ruckus GitHub repository.
Once you have a copy of the source code, change into the directory and run
raco pkg install
The same warning about the executables not being in your path (above) applies to manual installations.