Tips and tricks

This is the main content page for a collection "tips and tricks" for using Simile. Ranging from installation to model editing and model simulation. This collection is of tips that make using Simile easier to use but generally can be done without. This differs from the "How to" pages that give more solid, required information on how to do things using Simile.

The content is organised as a Drupal "book". (Drupal is the content management system used to build and manage this site.) Any registered user can add a tip or trick. Use the "Add child page" link below.

Change units of variable

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Find the version of glibc on your Linux installation

As of Simile version 5.0, glibc version 2.4 is required to run the Linux Simile build available from (If you have an earlier version we may be able to build Simile for you. Let us know the version of glibc you have and other details of your Linux distribution.)

To find the version of glibc on most systems, including Debian, call the library as a program:

(uiserver)::~ > /lib/
GNU C Library stable release version 2.3.6, by Roland McGrath et al.

On Debian-based systems:

Open up a command prompt and enter
>>$ sudo aptitude show libc6

NB the sudo assumes that you need root permissions to run the aptitude command and have the password.


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Loading data from an Excel (.xlsx) spreadsheet

Simile on Windows can load file parameter values straight from an Excel spreadsheet, but to do so you must first install and register a compatible driver, otherwise you will see the warning dialogue headed "ODBC driver not found".

The driver is AccessDatabaseEngine_X64.exe (or ..._X86.exe if you are using 32-bit Simile) and is downloadable from Microsoft here.

There are commercial drivers available to do the same thing on Linux.


Undoing a mistake or unwanted automatic operation when editing a model diagram

Use undo/redo

When editing a model it can be easy (as is often the case with diagram editors) to make an addition or change you immediately wish you hadn't made. Returning the diagram to how it was before the change manually can be a nuisance involving several mouse manipulations and/or key clicks. Any change can be undone by using the undo button on the toolbar or pressing Ctrl z. You can undo changes incrementally by repeated undo operations and if you change your mind there is a redo button.

Undo/redo can make your diagram editing more fluent, saving time and patience when you are up against a deadline.

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Trouble shooting

The aim of this section is to provide workarounds for problems you may encounter in using Simile. Where an error message is given, this is quoted here. Please contact us if you have any suggestions to add to this list.

Error deleting model dll

Sometimes when trying to save a model an error message will appear, similar to,

Simile encountered an unexpectected  problem: error deleting modelpath/model.dll permission denied

This happens when

  1. a model that had already been built was loaded (and so an executable model had been saved with the model specification), 
  2. a change was made to the model
  3. and then the modeller tried to save  the model without rebuilding an executable (i.e. selecting run on the model window Model menu).

This not a severe error, the model specification will be saved. When the model  is next loaded the executable can be rebuilt from the specification. (Model executable is only saved as a convenience to save rebuilding each time the model specification is loaded.)

Work around:

Rebuild the model by selecting run on the model window Model menu before saving the model.

File called something .002 requested when installing Simile

Your download was incomplete. Occasionally, downloads appear to be complete when actually they are not. Try downloading it again and check that the two files are the same size.

Killing Simile: Windows

If it becomes necessary to kill Simile this can be done from the Task Manager. Inside the Processes end the Simile.exe, sprt.exe and relay.exe processes.