Downloading and Installation

GEDCOM Viewer is distributed as an executable JAR file. Download this file, save it to your desktop or other convenient place, and launch the installer by double clicking on it. (On Unix-like systems, launch the installer with the command "java -jar gvinstall.jar".)

When the installer starts, it asks you to choose an installation folder, which is where the GEDCOM Viewer program files and license key files will be stored. Select any convenient empty folder on your system, but remember what you chose, because on non-Windows systems you will need to access that location to launch the application. (This could also occur on Windows systems if for some reason a desktop shortcut is not created.) The installation folder you select will be created if it does not already exist.

Once you have selected the installation folder, the installer will offer to install the program files. When you click on "Install" the program files will be unpacked into the installation folder you chose, and the location of the installation folder will be registered with the system. On Windows systems, you will be asked whether you want to create a desktop shortcut. Click "YES" unless you have a good reason why you don't want to do this.

When installation is complete, you can either exit the installer or launch the product directly. Once you have exited the installer, the application is launched by double-clicking either on the desktop shortcut you created, or on the file gv.jar that will be located in a sub-folder of the installation folder you specified. (On Unix-like systems, launch the program with the command "java -jar gv.jar".) The installer puts each release of GEDCOM Viewer in its own sub-folder of the installation folder, so that you can update to a later version of the program without affecting the installation of previous versions.

The first time you run GEDCOM Viewer, the program will report that it cannot find any valid license for the product, and it will ask if you want to try to obtain a demo license. Click on "Yes" to have the program contact the server to request a license. If successful, the license key file will be saved as the file LICENSE in the release sub-folder where the gv.jar JAR file is located, and the application will start. Since the license key files are required in order to run the program, it is important to safeguard them and keep backup copies of them together with backup copies of the program itself. Never attempt to edit the contents of a license key file, or you will render it invalid.

When you launch the program under a demo license, it will display a screen that gives you the opportunity to purchase a standard license. A standard license gives you the ability to use the program for an unlimited period of time, and it will also remove any restrictions in functionality that may have been imposed when the program is running under a demo license. For more information about purchasing a standard license, see here.

Periodically, when you launch the program, it will attempt to contact the server to see if any updated versions are available. If so, it will inform you and give you the opportunity to download and install an update. You can also manually cause the program to check for updates using the "Check for Updates" item on the "Updates" menu.