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SPIDER Installation

SPIDER is the SICStus Prolog IDE, based on Eclipse.


When you have completed the installation you can continue with the Getting Started page, or the overview page.

Quick Start

Minimal instructions for installing SPIDER:

  • Install SICStus Prolog.

  • Install a recent version of Eclipse (details).

  • Tell Eclipse to install SICStus Prolog IDE (SPIDER) from the update site at (details).

  • Tell SPIDER about the location of SICStus Prolog (details).

  • Open the SICStus Development “perspective” is Eclipse.

if the above instructions were enough, you should now be ready to develop Prolog code with SPIDER. If not, read on for detailed installation instructions.


Install SICStus Prolog.

No special steps are needed when installing SICStus for use by SPIDER, an ordinary install will work fine.

SPIDER tends to work best with the latest version of SICStus. SPIDER works with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of SICStus Prolog.

Install Eclipse.

SPIDER is based on Eclipse so you need to install and configure suitable versions of Eclipse. This step needs to be done only once.

Follow the instructions on the Eclipse download page for how to download and install using the Eclipse installer.

Eclipse comes in many configurations. We recommend “Eclipse IDE for Java Developers”, which has support for developing Java programs, but any variant of Eclipse should work fine.

Note: (Linux only) Do not attempt to use the Eclipse that comes with your Linux distribution, since it is most likely much too old to be useful.

Install the SICStus IDE feature into Eclipse.

This is done by telling Eclipse about the SPIDER Update Site, See below for details.

Configure the SICStus IDE.

The final step in setting up SPIDER is to tell it about the location of the SICStus Prolog binaries. If it cannot determine this automatically, it will prompt you at start-up and offer to open the relevant Settings page. See below for details.

Note: You should change the Settings every time you update SICStus Prolog, so that SPIDER always uses the latest version of SICStus Prolog.

Keep up-to-date.

We expect to release new versions of SPIDER more often than of SICStus Prolog itself. For this reason, it is a good idea to let Eclipse check for updates occasionally.

You can check for new versions of SPIDER by selecting “Check for Updates” in the Eclipse Help menu. It is also possible to tell Eclipse to check for updates automatically.

Every time you install a new version of SICStus Prolog you need to change the SPIDER preferences to tell it about the new version.

The setup of SPIDER is now complete. Continue at Getting Started.

Install the SICStus IDE feature into Eclipse

These are the detailed steps for telling Eclipse about SPIDER.

Once you have Eclipse up and running you need to tell it to download and install the SICStus specific features.

Eclipse has a concept of “Update Site” which is a web location with special content. It does not contain any interesting human-readable content.

Select the “Install New Software” menu item from the Eclipse Help menu.

(The screenshots are from an old version of Eclipse, it should look similar in current versions of Eclipse).

Install SPIDER step 1

Then fill in the update-site address,, and click the Add button, as shown in the screenshot.

Install SPIDER step 2

You can give the update site a name, e.g. SICStus Prolog IDE.

Install SPIDER step 3

Eclipse should now present a list of the features available at the update site.

Select the SICStus IDE Feature and click Next. Accept the license terms and click Finish.

Install SPIDER step 6

Eclipse may warn about “… unsigned content.”, this can safely be ignored in this case.

Allow Eclipse to restart itself.

Install SPIDER step 7

There should now be a Prolog-specific entry on the Eclipse Welcome Page (you can open the Welcome Page from the Help menu). You should close the Welcome page, e.g. by clicking on the “Workbench” button in the upper right corner.

If SPIDER could not automatically select the SICStus Prolog to use, it will prompt you to set things up in the preferences, as shown below.

Install SPIDER step 8

Setting up the SICStus IDE

These are the detailed steps for telling SPIDER about the location of SICStus Prolog.

Once SPIDER has been installed into Eclipse you need to tell SPIDER about where the SICStus program, e.g. sicstus.exe is located. Typically SPIDER will prompt you to to open the preferences, but you may also do this manually, e.g. after you have installed a more recent version of SICStus Prolog.

The SPIDER preference page “Installed SICStus Prologs” lets you search for available SICStus Prolog installations and select which one to use. If you installed SICStus Prolog in the default location, it will typically be found automatically. It is also possible to use the Search button to search for all installations within a folder tree on disk.

(The screenshots are from an old version of Eclipse, it should look similar in current versions of Eclipse).

Installed SICStus Prologs

Once you have selected a SICStus executable, and closed the preferences dialog, a “Prolog Reference” project should be created (or updated) automatically. This is a project that refers to the library files that come with SICStus Prolog. You should not modify this project (but you can use it to browse the library files and their example code).

The setup of SPIDER is now complete. Continue at Getting Started.