Rocrail is provided for Windows as a ZIP file with - among others - the following advantages:
Rocrail runs on Windows versions starting with Windows XP.
The following chapters refer to the current Windows 10 and 11.
The following two points must be observed:
This chapter describes how to download and install Rocrail for the first time.
If switching from an existing old installation created with setup.exe to the ZIP installer, there is a separate guide available, see Change to ZIP installer under Windows
The daily updated ZIP file can be downloaded from the Rocrail Daily Builds page.
On the left side below Rocrail ZIP click on either
Rocrail-WIN64.zip (for a 64bit system) or
Rocrail-WIN32.zip (for an older 32bit system).
Depending on the browser used, a left click will either save the file in a central download directory or open a dialogue box to specify the desired location. Alternatively, by right-clicking and selecting Save target as… any desired location can be specified. Remember or write down the storage location.
Locate the downloaded ZIP file in the file system at the previously noted location - here it was saved on the desktop.
Open the context menu of the file (right click on the file) and select the item Extract All….
Note: The following steps are described using the unpacker included in Windows. If third-party software for unpacking has been installed, it is the user's responsibility to perform equivalent operations with that software.
The following dialogue opens:
This dialogue shows the current location of the file in the field below
Files will be extracted to this folder:.
Check the box next to
Show extracted files when complete if this option is not already checked.
Instead of the displayed folder the folder where Rocrail should be installed has to be selected. First click on the button Browse….
|The folder can be created (almost) anywhere on the PC. However, it must not be created in protected areas of Windows! This includes the Program Files folder and the system folders of Windows.|
| It is recommended to create the folder
After clicking on Browse… Windows opens the dialogue Select a destination:
As shown in the figure, the Documents folder should now be opened. Then a new folder is created by clicking on the button New Folder. It should be named
Rocrail. Finally the folder is set as destination by clicking on the button Select folder.
Windows will then return to the Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders dialogue, which should now look like shown in the following section.
| Dialogue Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders with destination folder
Click on Extract.
The files are now extracted. This process may take a while, depending on the operating system settings, Windows Defender and computer performance. In the meantime, Windows will show the progress:
When the extraction is complete, Windows displays the contents of the newly created folder as the result:
| Typical result after extraction.
The exact folder content may change from time to time as Rocrail evolves.
This completes the installation as such. Finally, a shortcut has to be created on the desktop.
If the extraction of the files was done with the above settings, the folder Rocrail was opened automatically6):
|It is mandatory to start Rocrail using this shortcut!|
Note: If the desktop shortcut cannot be created on the system with this procedure, the shortcut created in the
Rocrailfolder with the name
Rocview(indicated by the icon shown above) must be copied manually to the desktop.
Tip: The shortcut can be pinned to the taskbar or to "Start", for example, if required.
When creating the shortcut, the first start of Rocview and the first start of the Rocrail server, warnings of the Windows Defender can be displayed. This also applies after updates. The warnings should be handled as follows:
| Click on "More Information". |
The dialogue changes as shown on the right
|In the second step, click on the button "Run anyway".|
|Important: To update a very old (older than approx. May 2020) installation that was created with a setup file (rocrail-xxx-win32.exe or rocrail-xxx-win64.exe), follow these instructions once: Change to ZIP Installer on Windows.|
Rocrail is constantly evolving and should always be kept up to date. For regular, for example monthly updates, complete updates are recommended, see the following section.
In some cases it is useful to follow the current development with more frequent updates, for example once or twice a week or even daily. Such updates can be limited to essential parts of the program, see section Quick update.
Note: Quit Rocrail completely before each update!
Show extracted files when complete(optional).
Dialogue Select a destination opens:
In this dialogue the folder where Rocrail was installed has to be selected. Normally this is the folder
The folder is selected as shown in the figure and the Select Folder button is clicked.
After all files have been extracted, Windows will ask how to handle existing files:
In this dialogue, click on Replace the files in the destination.
The update is now complete.
bin folder for extraction by right clicking on it and selecting Extract All….
Attention: The right click must be done to the right of the text
bin, not on the text and not on the folder symbol, otherwise a different context menu will be shown. The folder must not have been activated beforehand (e.g. by a left click), otherwise the context menu with Extract All… is not available either.
The dialogue Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders opens.
Show extracted files when completecan be removed (optional).
Find the folder
Rocrail into which the installation has been unpacked (in the example of this page:
C:\Users\<Username>\Documents\Rocrail). Open the folder with a double click. Mark the contained folder
bin as shown in the following figure and click on the button Select folder.
Windows jumps back to the dialogue Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders, in which
C:\Users\<Username>\Documents\Rocrail\bin should now be displayed as the target.
Rocrail ZIP installations can be moved easily by moving the folder where Rocrail has been unzipped to the desired location. In the example on this page Rocrail was unpacked into the folder
Tip: It is just as easy to copy a Rocrail ZIP installation e.g. to a mobile data medium (hard disk, USB stick, etc.) for backup or for use at another location.
Notes: It is essential that all files and data belonging to Rocrail are stored in the Rocrail folder. This applies for example to workspaces, loco pictures, self created SVG theme folders etc.
Subsequently inserted absolute paths8) (recognisable by the fact that they start with a drive letter, such as
C:\Users\…) must usually be adjusted after moving/copying, as these references are lost / become invalid.
Documentsto the desired location on the computer, for example a second internal drive.
Note: An existing shortcut on the desktop is updated by executing
desktoplink.cmdand is therefore valid. If the old shortcut was pinned to the taskbar and/or to "Start", these pinned shortcuts must be renewed, because they are not updated: Right-click on the pinned shortcuts and select Remove from taskbar or Remove from Start. Then, if necessary, pin the new desktop shortcut back to the taskbar and/or "Start".
Moving the ZIP installation to another computer is done in the same way as described above.
Note: However, a 64bit installation only runs on a 64bit machine! Rocrail 32bit can be used on both a 32bit and a 64bit machine.
When connecting hardware, e.g. command stations, it must be ensured that the connection settings (e.g. COM ports, IP addresses, etc.) are adapted to the new conditions. Adjustments may also be necessary within the command station or hardware in general, if for example the IP address of the Rocrail server has to be entered there.
Documentsand open the folder
imagesand not as an absolute path like