Installing MESA on Windows

This page describes two options for installing MESA on Windows.

Option 1: MESA-Docker

MESA-Docker provides a pre built version of MESA inside a Docker container. This simplifies the setup as MESA and all its dependencies are already installed.


Option 2: WSL2

WSL2 enables installing Linux inside your Windows operating system.


You must install version 2 of WSL and not version 1. WSL1 does not work with MESA.

Follow the instructions from Microsoft for installing WSL2


We recommend you choose to install Ubuntu as your Linux distribution.

Once this is set up, follow the instructions for Installing MESA on Linux.

Enabling pgplot

To enable pgplot to work you can install VcXsrv. You must have VcXsrv running before you start a Linux terminal for it to work.


Sometimes VcXsrv is flaky and does not work well. This does not impact your science, only whether a pgplot window appears. If VcXsrv does not work you can always set your pgstar inlists to save plots instead of displaying them. Saving works whether you have a working VcXsrv or not.

Once installed launch VcXsrv. Accept the default choices except that you should select the option Disable access control. The first time you run VcXsrv you may get a firewall prompt, in which case you should allow it access to public and private networks.