Chapter 2. Getting Started

General Mission Analysis Tool

Chapter 2. Getting Started


Installers and application bundles are available on the GMAT SourceForge project page, located at

The following packages are available for the major platforms:

  Installer Binary bundle Source code
Windows (7,10)
Mac OS X  


To use the Windows installer, download the appropriate gmat-winInstaller-*.exe file from the SourceForge download page and run it. You'll be asked a series of questions, and GMAT will be installed to your local user account.

By default, GMAT installs to the %LOCALAPPDATA% folder in your user directory, and does not require elevated privileges to install. On Windows Vista and Windows 7, this generally corresponds to the C:\Users\username\AppData\Local folder. You are free to choose another install location during the installation process, but elevated privileges may be required to do so.

Binary Bundle

A binary bundle is available on Windows as a .zip archive. To use it, unzip it anywhere in your file system, making sure to keep the folder structure intact. To run GMAT, run the GMAT\bin\GMAT.exe executable in the extracted folder.

Source Code

GMAT is available as a platform-independent source code bundle. Note that all testing is performed on Windows, so on other platforms it is considered a beta release. See the GMAT Wiki for compiling instructions.

Rather than compiling from the source bundle, however, we generally recommend checking out a snapshot from the Subversion repository:


There are tags available for reach release.

Running GMAT

Starting GMAT

On Microsoft Windows platforms there are several ways to start a GMAT session. If you used the GMAT installer, you can click the GMAT R2018a item in the Start menu. If you installed GMAT from a .zip file or by compiling the system, locate the GMAT bin directory double-click GMAT.exe.

To start GMAT from the command line, run GMAT.exe. Various command-line parameters are available; see Command-Line Usage for details.

Exiting GMAT

To end a GMAT session on Windows or Linux, in the menu bar, click File, then click Exit. On Mac OS X, in the menu bar, click GMAT, then click Quit GMAT, or type Command+Q.

Sample Missions

The GMAT distribution includes more than 30 sample missions. These samples show how to apply GMAT to problems ranging from the Hohmann transfer to libration point station-keeping to trajectory optimization. To locate and run a sample mission:

  1. Open GMAT.

  2. On the toolbar click Open.

  3. Navigate to the samples folder located in the GMAT root directory.

  4. Double-click a script file of your choice.

  5. Click Run ().

To run optimization missions, you will need MATLAB and the MATLAB Optimization Toolbox or the internal libVF13Optimizer plugin. These are proprietary libraries and are not distributed with GMAT. MATLAB connectivity is not yet fully supported in the Mac and Linux, and therefore you cannot run optimization missions that use MATLAB’s fmincon optimizer on those platforms. See MATLAB Interface for details on configuring the MATLAB optimizer.

Getting Help

This User Guide provides documentation and tutorials for all of GMAT's feature. But if you have further questions, or want to provide feedback, here are some additional resources:

  • Homepage:

  • Wiki:

  • User forums:

  • Downloads and source code:

  • Submit bug reports and feature requests:

  • Official contact: <[email protected]>