Some commonly asked questions about Ecopath with Ecosim are:

What is Ecopath with Ecosim?

Please see our explanation in the About section of this site

Useful links

  • About Ecopath with Ecosim

Is EwE free?

Yes. The Ecopath with Ecosim software is 100% available free of charge.

How is EwE funded?

EwE development and maintenance is 100% funded through its user community. EwE does not receive any core funding. While the software is available free of charge, users can obtain assistance from EwE developers and scientists for which we charge fees. The majority of these fees go towards the person(s) providing assistance, and some overhead is kept to pay for generic costs keeping EwE healthy and sound.

We raise funding for EwE in three ways:

  1. User support contracts
  2. Co-development contracts
  3. Organizing courses

Where does EwE run?

The EwE desktop software only runs on Windows Vista or newer.

The EwE computational core, accessible via the EwE source code, can be deployed on any operating system via Mono.


Steenbeek, J., Buszowski, J., Christensen, V., Akoglu, E., Aydin, K., Ellis, N., Felinto, D., Guitton, J., Lucey, S., Kearney, K., et al. (2016). Ecopath with Ecosim as a model-building toolbox: Source code capabilities, extensions, and variations. Ecological Modelling 319, 178–189. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2015.06.031

Is EwE available on Mac OS or Linux?

No, not yet. We started looking into feasibility in fall 2017 as there is definitely demand for a Mac version (and other operating systems too). We just have to see how feasible it will be to have to manage EwE across different operating systems without any core funding.

You can run EwE on Apple machines via Parallels or Bootcamp. You will still need to install Windows first into one of these virtual environments, after which you install EwE.

Does EwE need Microsoft Office?

Most likely, yes. For legacy reasons EwE uses Microsoft Access as its main file storage format, but another alternative is available.

  • If you plan to construct models in the EwE desktop software then your system will need to support Access drivers through ODBC.
  • EwE can read and execute, but not modify, models stored in the .eiixml format.  This format is very handy when running EwE on Linux computing clusters, where Microsoft Access is a bad, bad word. The EwE desktop software can export Access models to the .eiixml format.

Useful links

Can I run EwE in 64-bit mode?

The 32/64 limitation in EwE is directly imposed by Microsoft Office. However, you can install 64-bit Microsoft Access drivers alongside 32-bit Office. Note to use /quiet instead of /passive for Office 2016 Access drivers.

Useful links

Is the source code of EwE available

Yes, totally. Just follow the instructions in the Ecopath developer site to make sure you have the necessary software installed, and to ask the technical team to provide you with access to our source code repository.

External links

Why is EwE available in different programming languages?

The developers of the four different versions of EwE described this together in this paper. Each version is separately maintained, and the Ecopath development team is only response for the .NET mothership.

Useful links

Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Try one of the following resources: