The ABS modeling language and surrounding tools
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ABS Tools Build Status

Inside this repository we develop the core tools of the ABS modelling language. Further information can be found on The current language manual is at


  • frontend - the ABS frontend as well as several backends (Erlang, Maude, Java)

  • abs-docs - a markdown-flavored ABS manual, currently being written. It is available online at

    • abs-docs/ReferenceManual - an older LaTeX ABS reference manual, slowly being phased out

    • abs-docs/Ott - a formal grammar for ABS, written in Ott

  • eclipse, emacs, bbedit - Editor support for ABS

    • eclipse/eclipse-plugin: ABS IDE and compiler support plugin

    • eclipse/costabs-plugin - The COSTA plugin for ABS

    • eclipse/apet-plugin - The aPET plugin for ABS

    • eclipse/sda-plugin - Bologna Deadlock-checker plugin for ABS

    • eclipse/sdedit-for-abs - a modified version of sdedit ( for the visualization of UML sequence charts

  • maven-support - Maven plugin for generating Java/Maude from ABS, testing and packaging ABS codes

  • org.abs-models.releng - Files used by Jenkins and Buckminster for continuous integration at

  • abs-packages - demonstration and description of how to use ABS packages (with Maven dependencies management)

  • abs-unit - demonstration, description and initial ideas about the ABSUnit (a unit testing framework for ABS) (with Maven dependencies management)

  • various leftovers from previous projects, to be evaluated and reactivated or pruned

Using Docker

To run the collaboratory locally using Docker, execute the following commands after cloning the repository:

make frontend
docker build -t easyinterface .
docker run -p 8080:80 --rm easyinterface

Then connect your browser to http://localhost:8080/. See the docker documentation for information on how to start the container in the background and other options.

Using Vagrant

To develop the ABS tools without installing additional software, you can use Vagrant. Vagrant will start a Linux virtual machine and install the needed dependencies.

First, install Vagrant from and VirtualBox from

To create the ABS virtual machine, run the command vagrant up in this directory. Run vagrant ssh to login to that machine (login vagrant/vagrant), or open http://localhost:8888/ to connect to a local version of the collaboratory. Currently supported browsers include Firefox, Chrome, recent IE (no Safari).

Within the VM, this directory is accessible as /vagrant.

Note for Windows Users

Please clone the archive without line ending conversion (unfortunately activated by default on Windows). Use -c core.autocrlf=false as argument for the initial git clone command, i.e.,

git clone -c core.autocrlf=false

Otherwise, running the tools inside Vagrant or Docker will fail with obscure error messages.

Working with the repository

Consider rebasing instead of merging your changes:

git pull --rebase

This avoids spurious "merge branch to master" commits.

git pull --rebase will, in case both you and the remote repository have new commits, replay your local commits on top of upstream changes instead of adding a new local commit that merges the master and origin/master branches. Conflicts have to be resolved per patch (via git add + git rebase --continue) instead of in one go, but we get a cleaner history.