What Java Runtime Environment should I install to get Icy working ?

Current version of Icy requires Java 8 at least to work, see the download page to pick up the appropriate Java version.
If your system is limited to Java 6 then you can try to use Icy which is the last version supporting Java 6.
If your system is limited to Java 7
then you can try to use Icy which is the last version supporting Java 7.

I installed Icy on my mac but it doesn’t work. How to fix it ?

First, you need to have java installed on your system (refer to the first FAQ entry to get the instructions), then be sure that Icy is installed in the Applications folder.
The first time you try to launch the application it may not work because of the default Security preferences.
You can force its execution by doing right click on the application icon (or Ctrl+click) and use the Open command, then confirm / validate the operation. You should now be able to use Icy normally 🙂

How to fix the – Cannot load VTK library – or – VTK unsatisfied link – error ?

Sometime you just need to add the bin directory of your JRE (Java Runtime Environment) in the PATH environment variable (instructions for Ubuntu here). If it still doesn’t work, you may try the following solutions:

  • Unix / Linux: You may need to install VTK 6.3 library (with the java wrapper) by yourself depending your system distribution then add the installation path (ex : /usr/local/lib/vtk-6.3.0) to the LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable. Also  be sure to launch Icy from its installation folder (for instance by using the terminal, going to Icy installation folder and type ./icy or java -jar updater.jar)
  • Windows 64: Sometime VTK 64 bit library is not loading correctly (work with java 32 bit), in this case you need to install the VC++ 2013 redistributable to fix it.
  • OSX: VTK is supported only for OSX > 10.7

How can I have more than 1 GB of memory available in Icy ?

A 32 bit Java Virtual Machine (JVM) limits you to 1 GB of memory maximum. To bypass this limit you should have a 64 bits OS and you explicitly need to install a 64 bits JVM. You can now fully use the available memory ! Memory settings are automatically set up at the first run of Icy, depending on your system and the memory available, you can change it afterwards in the preferences panel.

General update and plugins update fails, what is the problem?

Be sure the application have write permissions in the folder where Icy is installed.

  • Windows users: It is strongly discouraged to install it in the Program Files folder as it may not have write permissions in this folder, prefer something as C:\\Applications\\Icy or just C:\\Icy
  • OSX users: It is strongly encouraged to install Icy in the Applications folder (unlike on Windows)

How can I cite Icy in a publication? How can I cite Icy plugins?

To cite Icy:
de Chaumont, F. et al. (2012)
Icy: an open bioimage informatics platform for extended reproducible research, Nature Methods, 9, pp. 690-696

Please mention the version of Icy you used (bottom right corner of the GUI or first lines of the Output tab.

To cite a plugin: go to the documentation page of the plugin (search the plugin name in the search bar of Icy and left click on it, or search directly on the Icy website) and look if there is a citation at the top of the documentation.If there is none, please contact the authors of the plugin to see how to cite it. Worse case, give at least its name, its version and a link to its documentation on the Icy website.

To cite a protocol: same as for plugin.

I want to submit a plugin, but without source code: is it possible?

Yes and no: ICY is dedicated to an open community where knowledge is shared. If you want to publish a plugin on this website, its code has to be GPL.
More generally we strongly encourage people to distribute source code in theirs plugins.
You can still use private repositories to distribute your plugins (with or without source code) to a closed group of people.

Icy cannot connect to the internet, why?

Make sure the proxy settings are correct (Preferences > Network).

VTK rendering is wrong, all i get is a blank canvas, how fix it?

VTK use heavyweight component for rendering, sometime it can mess up with java Swing lightweight components. Sometime you have to disable special effects ou your Operating System, for instance on Unix / Linux you can fix blank rendering problem by disabling Compositing within KDEs desktop effects.

Can I disable VTK warning messages (developer) ?

Yes, you can disable them by adding this line of code before using VTK functions :


Can I run an ImageJ plugin in Icy ?

Yes, ImageJ is integrated in Icy. Just click on the ImageJ tab and convert your Icy image in ImageJ image, this way you can use ImageJ with almost 100% plugin compatibility.