Created: 2011-07-13 08:56
Updated: 2019-01-30 19:56


Welcome to Portico

Portico is an open source HLA Run-Time Infrastructure (RTI) implementation. It is designed to ensure open and free access to the necessary infrastructure needed to drive HLA federations.

Portico is released under the terms of the Common Distribution and Developer License (CDDL), which means you can repackage and redistribute it with your applications, and you can modify the source as long as changes are submitted back to the project.


You can find all the docs online at http://porticoproject.org.

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Table of Contents

  1. Getting Started - What is in the package

  2. Running Federates - How to use Portico

  3. Writing Federates - How to develop with Portico

  4. Example Federates

  5. Getting Help

  6. Getting Started

This guide gives you some quick heads-up information to help you get started with the Portico open source RTI. Portico supports several of the standard HLA interfaces: - HLA v1.3: Java and C++ - IEEE-1516: Java - IEEE-1516e: Java and C++

For Java Portico ships with a JRE, but you will need a JDK if you are writing federates. Portico support a minimum of Java v1.8.0+.

For C++ Portico provides cross-platform support in 32 and 64-bit. The following libraries are pre-packaged depending on the operating system you download for:

- Windows: VC8, VC9, VC10, 32/64-bit
- Linux: GCC4, 64-bit
- Mac OS X: Apple LLVM 6, 7

When you have installed Portico, you will get a directory structure like so:

  |-- LICENSE.portico
  |-- README               (This file)
  |-- README-examples      (More information about the example federates)
  |-- SOURCE_CODE          (Details about where to get the source code)
  |-- examples
      `-- java
          `-- hla13        (The Java HLA v1.3 example federate)
          `-- ieee1516e    (The Java IEEE-1516e example federate)
      `-- cpp
          `-- hla13        (The C++ HLA v1.3 example federate)
          `-- ieee1516e    (The C++ IEEE-1516e example federate)
  |-- include
      `-- hla13            (HLA v1.3 headers)
      `-- dlc13            (DLC v1.3 headers) [*nix only]
      `-- ieee1516e        (IEEE-1516e headers)
  |-- lib
      |-- portico.jar      (The main Portico jar file)
      `-- gcc4             (GCC libraries for C++ interfaces)  [*nix only]
      `-- vc8              (VC8 libraries for C++ interfaces)  [windows only]
      `-- vc9              (VC9 libraries for C++ interfaces)  [windows only]
      `-- vc10             (VC10 libraries for C++ interfaces) [windows only]
  |-- bin
      |-- wanrounter       (Launchers for WAN Router bat/sh)
      `-- vc8              (VC8 DLLs)                          [windows only]
      `-- vc9              (VC9 DLLs)                          [windows only]
      `-- vc10             (VC10 DLLs)                         [windows only]
  1. Running Federates with Portico

For the most part, Portico is a drop-in replacement for any other RTI. To use Portico at runtime you need to set your environment variables such that the Portico libraries can be found on your path.

Portico also uses the RTI_HOME environment variable as is convention for RTIs. If you are only use Java federates, this is the only variable you need to set. The others are necessary for C++/native federates as listed:

*   (all) RTI_HOME          : This should point to the same directory that this file is in
*  (java) CLASSPATH         : Add RTI_HOME/lib/portico.jar
* (win32) PATH              : Add %RTI_HOME%\bin\[compiler] and %RTI_HOME%\jre\bin\client
* (win64) PATH              : Add %RTI_HOME%\bin\[compiler] and %RTI_HOME%\jre\bin\server
* (mac64) DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH : Add $RTI_HOME/lib/[compiler] and $RTI_HOME/jre/lib/server
* (lin32) LD_LIBRARY_PATH   : Add $RTI_HOME/lib/[compiler] and $RTI_HOME/jre/lib/client
* (lin64) LD_LIBRARY_PATH   : Add $RTI_HOME/lib/[compiler] and $RTI_HOME/jre/lib/server

The JVM Libraries

Portico is a Java-based RTI. The C++ interface is a wrapper around the core Java library. When you start a C++ federate, the Java Virtual Machine is loaded in the background. This is why you must add the second folder to your path as listed above.

  1. Writing Federates for Portico

Portico ships with some example federates (more below) to both show users how to set up their environment correctly, and to provide some sample HLA code to get you started. For complete instructions on writing federates, please see the website:


Writing Java Federates

All Portico code and all its dependencies are located in a single jar file. Just throw RTI_HOME/lib/portico.jar on your classpath and you are good to go.

Writing C++ Federates

The Portico C++ interfaces are binary drop-in compatible with HLA v1.3 and IEEE-1516e federates on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. If you want to compile and link against Portico, you will need the following:

  • Header files: Located in RTI_HOME/include/[HLA-version]
  • Library files: Located in RTI_HOME/lib/[compiler]

Compiling on Windows

When compiling C++ federates on Windows, you will need to have an appropriate version of Visual Studio installed. You can compile through the VS interface, or if you prefer the command line, it is simplest to execute inside a Visual Studio Command Prompt.

64-bit Libraries

Portico provides 64-bit libraries for HLA v1.3 and 1516e. These libraries follow the naming convention as defined in the standards:

  • HLA 1.3: libRTI-NG_64, libFedTime_64
  • IEEE-1516e: librti1516e64, libfedtime1516e64

Debug Libraries

Portico also ships with debug versions of all libraries. These are suffixed with d. For example: librti1516e64d.so.

  1. The Example Federates

For information on the example federates, see the README-examples file.

  1. Documentation and Help

Documentation and open source projects... so how about that ANY OTHER TOPIC.


Luckily, Portico has been around for some time, so we're building up some devent docs. The main website website contains all documentation for the project. This includes guides on deploying Portico with common LVC tools, writing federates with Portico, how to build Portico for yourself, API references, support information and much more.


Bugs and Problems

If you have found bugs or find that Portico is not working as you would expect, you should open an issue via the GitHub project:



Developer support, provided by living, breathing, full-time job having people is provided. This is split into a two tier system: Community Support and Commercial Support.

email: support@openlvc.org

  • Community Support is provided on a best-effort basis. We make no guarantees, but we also want as many people to using Portico and solving their simulation problems, so we do try.

  • Commercial Support is available and you should contact Calytrix Technologies if you wish to obtain a quote. Commercial Support comes with response SLAs and can be accessed via the same email address, or through the dedicated lines provided in your sign-up information pack.

So there you go, we hope you enjoy using Portico :)

--The Portico Development Team

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