Last update: Dec-9-1999
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Official Homepage: Spain (SLOW)
Mirror 1: Maryland, USA (FAST)
Mirror 2: Maryland, USA (FAST)
Mirror 3: Illinois, USA (FAST)

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What is Ssystem?

    Ssystem is an OpenGL Solar System simulator. It will let you visit the Sun, the nine planets and a few major satellites (catalog based background stars are also supported) with four different camera modes. Although it's not 100% accurate, planets' positions in a given date are within a range of the real positions (Dates closer to 8/20/1997, date of primary elements, are supposed to be more accurate).


12/9/99: Ok, time for an update. v2.0 is almost done (99%), as soon as Mesa 3.1 and GLUI 2 are out of beta i'll release a beta. I've also decided to change the name (won't tell you the new name until i register the domain :-) and set up a site with new pages, mailing list and CVS. I hope more developers will join the project (if you're interested drop me a line). STAY TUNED!!!

BTW, my ICQ # is 43311049 ... just in case you want to talk about ssystem

10/10/99: Four new screenshots. A new link.

9/13/99: More v2.0 screenshots. This time featuring real shape asteroids.

8/1/99: More screenshots of the v2.0, featuring the GUI and new spaceships.

6/17/99: I'm still alive! For those of you wondering when the next version will be released i've set up a page with some info and screenshots of the v2.0

3/20/99: I've updated Mesa DLLs to the latest Glide SDK. I hope this will solve the problems some of
you are having. I've only been able to test it on a Voodoo1 card so if you own a Voodoo2, Banshee or
a Voodoo3 give'em a try and let me know whether they work or not.

2/27/99: It's here!!! Download the new v1.6 and let me know what you think about it. Click here to see CHANGES in v1.6

2/24/99: v1.6 will be released in a few days (i'd have released it last week but there's always a last-minute bug, you know) ... stay tuned !!!

12/2/98: If you are having problems to make HIGH-RES maps work read the instructions in the texture section

12/1/98: v1.5 released !!!. Last minute bug has delayed this baby a few days. Hope you like it. Updated pages also, take a look at the new textures section.

Hardware/Software Requeriments
- Linux/Unix or Windows95/98
- 3D card (not required but strongly recommended)
      ssystem has been reported to work on the following hardware:
             - Voodoo Graphics, Voodoo2 and Voodoo Rush
             - Riva 128
             - Riva TNT
             - Permedia 2
- Mesa 3.0 or above (Other OpenGL 1.1 compliant libraries should work)
- GLUT 3.7 (included in Mesa 3.0 Demos distribution)
- Independent JPEG Group's JPEG library



      A few samples captured from ssystem running at 640x480 and 1024x768. Just click on the images to see a full size screenshot.



Ssystem 1.6 for Linux (source code)*    Site 1    Site 2    Site 3

Ssystem 1.6 for Windows 95 (binaries, source code and screensaver) **  Site 1  Site 2  Site 3  Site 4

FreeBSD port

DLLs for Windows95 with 3dfx support (Mesa 3.0) Glide 2.46 and above (if unsure get this)    Glide 2.43

Previous versions

* You need Mesa 3.0 and GLUT 3.7 (you don't need glut if you've downloaded MesaDemos), see Links section

** You must have OPENGL32.DLL and GLU32.DLL installed (with Microsoft ones runs fine, slow but fine). If you have a Voodoo, Voodoo Rush or Voodoo2 card (Banshee not tested but should work) download the DLLs in the link above and get ready for hyperspace. The OPENGL32.DLL file must be a full OpenGL 1.1 or above implementation, GLQuake miniport and Direct 3D Wrappers won't work.


    Starting with v1.5, ssystem defaults to high resolution maps. However, maybe some of you (especially those owning new generation 3D cards) are interested on HIGHER resolution maps. In this section i'll be posting VERY HIGH RESOLUTION MAPS. Be aware that these maps are memory (I've included a required memory field to the table below so you may guess whether a map is for you or not) and bandwidth hungry so, please, don't download a map unless you're sure it will work for you.

Image size
File size
Required memory
Earth (no clouds)
986 KB
24 MB
Earth (no clouds)
646 KB
6 MB
Cloud map*
349 KB
2 MB
1913 KB
8 MB
825 KB
24 MB

*You'll have to adjust atmosphere parameters, especially "cut level" (this map will requiere low cut levels, about 50 or so).

    If you're about to download the first Earth map, you may want to do it from this page. I'll show you where i live using HTML layers ... ;-)

    To install these high-res maps just copy them to the hires directory and then edit the ssystem.conf file. To install the Earth map you have to do this:

IF YOUR SYSTEM IS NOT POWERFUL ENOUGH TO HANDLE THESE MAPS, DOWNSAMPLE THEM TO A LOWER POWER OF TWO (a 2048x1024 map takes four times less memory than a 4096x2048 map).

    If you're wondering where i've found all these maps i'll tell you most of them are modified versions of stuff found in one of the following sites:


Mesa Homepage The best choice for your OpenGL programs
GLUT Homepage A must have for the beginner.
Independant JPEG Group ftp archive There you'll find the latest version of their JPEG software
Microsoft OpenGL for Windows 95 Software only OpenGL DLLs
JPL Solar System Dynamics A nice source of planetary data
Views of the Solar System Images and more images
The Nine Planets Even more images
A Space Library Map projections and ... a GREAT Solar System Simulator (don´t miss this one)
Solar System Simulator for Windows 95 (very customizable)
XEphem X-Windows ephemeris program
Approximate astronomical positions Keith Burnett's homepage
Hitchhiker  GNU/Linux application to display the relative motions of the planets in our Solar System.
Shuttle A shuttle simulator


    Thanks to all the people who had help me since i started this little project (in late 1997), but i'm especially grateful to:

    Although ssystem is far from what I'd like, I think the program is quite interesting, especially with 3D hardware acceleration. If you have ideas to improve it, comments, suggestions or whatever drop me an email.

Raúl Alonso
ICQ# 43311049