Falaise  4.0.1
SuperNEMO Software Toolkit
Falaise C++ Library and Applications for the SuperNEMO experiment

Build Status

Falaise provides the main computational environment for the simulation, processing and analysis of data for the SuperNEMO double beta decay search experiment. The three main components are

  • libFalaise: the core library.
  • flsimulate: the main detector simulation application.
  • flreconstruct: the main reconstruction application.

A pipeline architecture is used in which the pipeline stages may be configured and added to at runtime via a plugin system. Code for pipeline stages is stored in the modules subdirectory with each module (or set of modules) having its own directory.

Additional modules from external sources and individual contribution can be used too.

Getting Falaise


We recommend installing Falaise and its requirements as documented on our fork of Homebrew. Build-from-source and Docker/Singularity Image installs are available, both providing a complete suite of software and tools for using and developing Falaise and extension modules.

We strongly recommend Docker/Singularity Images on systems which support these tools, especially on institution systems/clusters such as CC-IN2P3, as these provide the most reliable and reproducible environments. For both systems, we strongly recommend that you run and develop Falaise from within the snemo-shell environment provided, which is started and exited by running:

$ brew snemo-shell
Homebrew >=1.7.1 (shallow or no git repository)
Supernemo-dbd/homebrew-core (git revision 15b2f; last commit 2019-02-27)
Type "brew ls --versions" to list available software
Type "exit" to deactivate the session
snemo-shell> flsimulate --version
snemo-shell> exit

Once installed and setup, consult the online documentation for a full guide to running flsimulate, flreconstruct, and writing new plugin modules.

Building, Testing and Installing from Source

To get the source code, either download a release tarball or to get the latest development, do

$ git clone https://github.com/supernemo-dbd/Falaise.git Falaise.git

To build Falaise, do

$ mkdir Falaise.build
$ cd Falaise.build
$ cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/where/you/want/to/install ../Falaise.git

If you wish to enable make test after building, add the following option to cmake.


Errors at this stage are likely to be due to missing/unfound packages. If this is the case, cmake can be directed to look in specific places using the CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH variable (If you are running in an snemo-shell session, this is preset for you). For example, if Boost is installed in $HOME/boost and GSL in $HOME/software/gsl, cmake would be run as:

$ cmake -DCMAKE_PREFIX_PATH="$HOME/boost;$HOME/software/gsl" -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/some/path ../Falaise.git

The CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX variable tells CMake where the products of the build should be installed. Ensure you have write permissions to this location.

After configuration is successful, the build is run by:

$ make -j<N>

Adjust <N> to the number of cores on your machine for a faster build. After a successful build, unit tests can be run using the test target:

$ make test

On completion of the build, the Falaise programs, libraries and documentation are available for use under a POSIX-style hierarchy under the BuildProducts subdirectory of the directory in which you ran the build. For example,

$ ./BuildProducts/bin/flsimulate --help

Documentation for the build is viewable by opening the main page in your browser. On macOS, the open command can be used:

$ open ./BuildProducts/share/Falaise-<VERSION>/Documentation/API/html/index.html

where <VERSION> is the current Falaise version (simply use tab-complete if you are unsure of this) which should open a new tab in your browser populated with the documentation frontpage. On Linux, you can generally do the same by running

$ xdg-open ./BuildProducts/share/Falaise-<VERSION>/Documentation/API/html/index.html

though xdg-open may not always be present (gnome-open may be used instead, for example).

If you need to install Falaise, you can run

$ make install

to install everything in a standard POSIX style hierarchy under the directory passed as CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX.

Full Prerequisites

To build and run Falaise on your machine, the following OS and Software must be present:

  • Linux or macOS System
    • Supported Linux systems: CentOS7, Ubuntu 16.04/18.04LTS
    • Other Linux distributions are known to work, but are not officially supported. However, patches are welcome to resolve encountered issues!
    • Suported macOS systems: 10.12/13/14 (Sierra/High Sierra/Mojave)
  • GCC (>= 7), Clang (>=6) or Xcode >= 9
  • CMake 3.12 or higher
  • Doxygen 1.8 or higher
  • Bayeux 3.3.1 or higher
  • Boost 1.63.0/1.69.0 only
    • Must provide program_options, thread, serialization, filesystem and system components
  • Camp 0.7.1 or higher
  • GSL 2 or higher
  • CLHEP only
  • Geant4 9.6.4 only
    • with GDML support enabled
  • ROOT 6.10 or higher

Falaise requires use of the C++11 or higher standard, so all of the above packages and their C++ dependencies must be built/installed using this standard. This is to ensure binary compatibility.

The SuperNEMO brew system can install the above, either as build-from-source or as Docker/Singularity Images.

Getting Help

If you have problems, questions, ideas or suggestions on Falaise or any of its submodules, raise an issue.

Contributing to Falaise

Please see the Contribution Guide


Falaise is named thus because Falaise is the town in Normandy where William the Conqueror was born. Note this has nothing to do with SuperNEMO software!


Please study the file LICENSE.txt for the distribution terms and conditions of use of Falaise.


Many thanks go to Falaise's contributors