Any Manifold Release 9 installation, whether it is a pre-release build, Cutting Edge build or officially published build, requires a Release 9 serial number with available activations.   If you do not have a Release 9 serial number with available activations you can procure a serial number on the Manifold Online Store.  All Release 9 serial numbers are x64, fully 64-bit serial numbers and will authorize both 64-bit and 32-bit installations.    Manifold Viewer is a free product based on Manifold Release 9 that does not require any serial numbers.


Manifold Release 9 and/or Manifold Viewer and/or other Manifold products such as Release 8 can be installed on the same machine with Manifold Release 9, Viewer and Manifold 8 being launched at the same time without conflict.   All types of Manifold and/or Manifold Viewer installations can run at the same time.  For example, all at the same time we can launch 32-bit Manifold, launch a 64-bit Manifold session, launch Viewer in 32-bit or 64-bit mode and also launch a Manifold .exe from a portable installation folder, and we can do so at the same time as launching a Manifold 8 session.


To use Manifold in languages other than English, see the Localization topic.

Cutting Edge Builds / Official Builds

Cutting edge builds are published to the Cutting Edge section of the georeference user forum, typically every week or two, and are known as Release 9 Edge or Viewer Edge,.   They are experimental builds that publish the latest bug fixes, try out new ideas and provide an opportunity to beta test proposed new features before they appear in an official build.   Cutting Edge builds are published only as portable installations.


Cutting Edge builds are provided for users who want to work with the latest improvements as soon as they come out.  After a series of Cutting Edge builds add many new features, Manifold incorporates all additions and fixes into the next Official build of Release 9, typically issued every two to four months.   


Most Manifold and Viewer users will use Cutting Edge builds: they have proven to be exceptionally stable and are the first to incorporate bug fixes and new features.  tech_ravi_sm.pngThis documentation tracks Cutting Edge builds and, at times, may include topics and information for features that are found in Cutting Edge builds but not in official builds.


ico_nb_arrow_blue.png  Important:  Cutting Edge builds are time-limited in operation, with a time lock generally aligned to a week or so after the expected date of the next Cutting Edge build.  The time lock ensures that rapidly-evolving builds which quickly become obsolete do not continue in use long past obsolescence.  If a Cutting Edge build fails to launch, download and utilize whatever is the current Cutting Edge build.

Installation Options

Manifold provides two different ways to install Manifold, so we can pick the installation style we prefer: installations that utilize Windows Installer, or so-called "portable" installations.  Both styles have advantages and disadvantage, and both styles of installation can coexist on the same machine at the same time.

Windows Installer Installations

We can download a Manifold Release 9 installation in the form of a pre-packaged .exe file that utilizes Microsoft's Windows Installer facility. Installation .exe files are published for 64-bit Windows systems and 32-bit Windows systems.  Running the .exe installation file will perform an installation that installs require pre-requisites, un-installs older versions of Release 9 or Radian Studio installed with Windows Installer, and then uses Windows Installer to install Release 9 using an .msi file that is embedded within the .exe.


Advantages - Windows Installer is great both for unskilled consumers as well as skilled users in a hurry who want to install an application in the usual Windows way:



Disadvantages - Windows Installer attempts to protect unskilled users from themselves can lead to complications:



For a step-by-step example of installation using a .exe installation, and activation that applies to either an .exe installation or a portable installation, see the Installation and Activation topic.

Portable Installations

We can download a Manifold Release 9 installation in the form of a .zip file that unzips into a set of folders containing both 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Manifold Release 9, ready for immediate launch with no further installation required.  This completely avoids the Microsoft Windows Installer system and has no effect whatsoever on any previous version of Manifold or Radian Studio that has been installed.  Portable installations are published both for the current, official build and also for any Cutting Edge builds that provide open beta-test access to innovative new builds before they are published as official releases.


Advantages - Portable installations do not use Windows Installer.  Portable installations thus avoid all of the complications that can occur when measures intended to protect unskilled consumers from themselves go astray.  Unzip the portable installation to whatever location we want, even a portable USB drive, and then launch from that location and Manifold is running.



Disadvantages - Portable installations are unsuited for totally unskilled users, and they require more effort.



Video: To learn how to install and run a portable installation, see the Manifold Viewer - Install and Run video.   Using a portable installation is the same basic procedure for either Viewer or Manifold Release 9.   Using a portable installation is easy.  Avoiding Windows Installer hassles is such a delight that many people, once they learn how to use portable installations, will prefer portable installations.


Activation of a portable installation is the same as activating an .exe installation.  See the Installation and Activation topic.

For Radian Studio Users

ico_nb_arrow_blue.png  Important:  Installing or activating Release 9 will remove and de-activate any Radian Studio or Manifold Future installation.    Release 9 is an upgrade from Radian Studio and replaces Radian Studio on your machine.

System Requirements

Manifold products are produced and licensed for true PC compatible hardware, running on the actual physical machine, and are not supported for PC emulators or virtual machines or other software which claims to mimic a real PC.  


Your hardware must support your proposed use.  For example, you must have 64-bit Windows running on 64-bit hardware in order to operate 64-bit Manifold.  You must have enough free space in storage to host the size projects you wish.   Available space and other resources must be configured sensibly to match the requirements of projects you wish to undertake.  For example, available user TEMP space should be three times the size of the largest data set to be processed.  See the  Performance Tips topic.


Release 9 and Manifold Viewer run on Windows 10, 8, 7 and Windows Server 20xx editions, both 64 bit and 32 bit. Release 9 explicitly supports Windows 10 with no need to run in a Windows 7 compatibility sandbox within Windows 10.  Release 9 will use DirectX12 when run on Windows 10 for improved display performance.   Manifold recommends Windows 10 or more recent.


You must login with genuine and full Administrator privileges to install Release 9.   Being a member of the Administrators group often is not enough as some Windows versions by default do not give full Administrator privileges to users who are members of the Administrators group.  It is best to login as THE Administrator login to install Release 9.


Machines running Release 9 or Manifold Viewer must have the following Microsoft packages installed:



Release 9 and Manifold Viewer .exe installation files include C++ Redistributable and will install it automatically if required.  Portable installations (packaged as a .zip file) do not include the C++ Redistributable.  For links to .NET and Visual C++ Redistributable installations, visit Manifold's System Requirements web page.

Release 9 Installation Files

There are three types of Release 9 installation files:



All Release 9 serial numbers are 64-bit and will authorize both 64-bit and 32-bit installations.  If you have 32-bit Windows, please make sure to download and install the 32-bit Release 9 installation file.   If you have 64-bit Windows, download and install the 64-bit Release 9 installation file.


Important: Installation files do not contain viruses.  Each file is published with an SHA1 checksum that you can use to verify the file you download is virus-free.   See the Using SHA Checksums topic for step by step instructions on how to verify an SHA1 checksum.


Installation using .exe installation files is described in the Installation and Activation topic.   .exe files will install the product as a regular part of your Windows system, accessible from the Start button and uninstalled by the Windows Control Pane's Programs and Features applet.  Use the .exe files if you want to install Release 9 and/or Manifold Viewer in the usual way.

Installing Release 9 or Manifold Viewer from a .exe File

Uninstall any prior installation before installing a new Manifold Release 9 installation. If Windows Installer reports any problems, read the  Windows Installer Problems page for advice.

Installing Release 9 from an .exe File

  1. Download the correct .exe file.

  2. Double-click on the .exe file to launch.

  3. If Windows 10 launches a Windows protected your PC dialog.

  4. Follow the installation dialog steps.

  5. Save the .exe file for future use.  We may need it some day to uninstall or to repair an installation.


For a step-by-step example of installation and activation see the Installation and Activation topic.


Before using Release 9 please review the short Read Me First topic.   

Portable Installations

Portable installations are for all users who a) do not want to mess with Windows installer, and/or b) frequently update their Manifold package to the latest Cutting Edge build, and/or c) like having Viewer on a USB zip drive to use on whatever computer they happen to have at hand.    Cutting Edge builds of Manifold and Viewer are released only as portable installations.


Portable installations are self-contained zip files that do not utilize or otherwise interact with Windows Installer.  They provide a way to quickly launch Release 9 or Viewer without doing any Windows installation or having to remove a previously-installed Manifold package.  Users who want to try out Cutting Edge builds without altering their main Release 9 installation will use a portable installation.   Multiple, different portable installations can be run side by side so users can launch different Release 9 builds at the same time.


To use a portable installation download the .zip file, and unzip the file to create a folder hierarchy.   The 64-bit manifold.exe executable is in the bin64 folder and the 32-bit executable is in the bin folder.  


To launch Release 9 in 64-bit mode, double-click on the manifold.exe file found in the bin64 folder of the resulting folder hierarchy.  To launch Release 9 in 32-bit mode, double-click on the manifold.exe file found in the bin folder of the resulting folder hierarchy.


Activation:  If Release 9 has been activated on that machine, then Release 9 will run from a portable installation without any further need to activate.   If Release 9 has not been activated, then on first launch the Activation dialog will pop open. and activation will be exactly the same as shown in  the Installation and Activation topic.   Viewer  does not use a serial number or activation, so no activation dialog ever pops open with Viewer. tech_ravi_sm.png


Fast Launches of Portable Installations - People sometimes think the only way to get a fast, one-click launch of Manifold is to use a Windows Installer package, so Manifold can be launched from the Windows Start button system.  In contrast, with a portable installation it may seem the launch process is slower, since we have to open a Windows Explorer window, drill down into the portable installation hierarchy to find the manifold.exe file, and then double-click that to launch Manifold. But we can get the same, fast, one-click launch of Manifold from a portable installation.  There are three ways to do that.


Installing ODBC

ico_nb_arrow_blue.png The Manifold ODBC driver is automatically installed when installing Manifold using a Windows Installer installation package, but it is not automatically installed when running a portable installation.  When using a portable installation we must install the Manifold driver using the Help - About dialog.   We only need do that once for any given Manifold installation.  


We must have Administrator rights to install the Manifold ODBC driver.  To get Administrator rights, either login to Windows with an account that has Administrator rights, or right-click on manifold.exe in the portable installation and chose Run as administrator to launch Manifold.  Choose Help - About.  




If the Manifold ODBC driver has not been installed, the Help - About dialog will have the Update button enabled.   Press Update.




The ODBC status will immediately switch to Installed, with the button caption changed to Remove.  Press OK.    


If we want to use ODBC from the 32-bit Manifold package also installed by a 64-bit Manifold installation, we could launch Manifold in 32-bit mode and repeat the above procedure.   However, most people who have 64-bit Windows running 64-bit Manifold will not bother to install Manifold ODBC for 32-bit Manifold use, since they only will use 32-bit Manifold interactively to connect to 32-bit Microsoft formats.  

C++ Redistributable

Most recent Windows computers will already have Microsoft's C++ Redistributable package already installed.   For portable installations, if you do not have a recent C++ Redistributable installed on your computer, you must download and install the appropriate C++ Redistributable to run a portable installation.   See Manifold's System Requirements web page to get C++ Redistributable installation packages.




If any of the above is confusing, ask for advice from other users on the forum.   Do not give up on using Cutting Edge builds (which use only portable installations) because of one-time puzzlement that is easy to dispel.   

Connections to Microsoft Office Formats

Manifold uses Microsoft facilities to connect to all Microsoft Office formats, including legacy Office formats such as .db, .html. .mdb, .xls, and .wkx, together with newer Office formats such as .xlsx and .accdb.  If Manifold cannot import from or export to such formats, that means the Windows system we are using is missing the necessary facilities.  Please see the Microsoft Office Formats - MDB, XLS and Friends topic for a solution.   


V8 JavaScript, CUDA and External Libraries

Release 9 installations include V8 JavaScript and CUDA.   There is no need to download or install other files to turn on either built in JavaScript or GPGPU capability.  Manifold Viewer is not GPU parallel and does not support scripting so it neither installs nor uses either V8 or CUDA.


External libraries are loaded using a shared service. Libraries that are part of the operating system are loaded from system paths.   Other libraries are loaded from both system paths and Manifold paths. The results of loading are reported in the log with successful loads of system libraries reporting nothing, successful loads of non-system libraries reporting the full path of the loaded module (useful when there are multiple modules with the same name) and failed loads report errors both for failed loads of system libraries as well as failed loads of non-system libraries.

Installing Scripting Languages

Six scripting  languages are always available for use in every Manifold installation without requiring any additional installation of any kind, either because they are built in to Manifold (Javascript) or because they are automatically available as a result of Microsoft facilities that are required for any Manifold installation.


Two additional languages, IronPython and IronRuby, are automatically supported by the Command Window when they are installed (installation is easy).   Five more languages, F#, PerlScript and PythonScript, are supported when they are installed.  


Always available languages:



JavaScript using the Google V8 engine is built into Manifold and is the recommended default.  The other always available languages are provide by Microsoft COM/.NET, which are required for Manifold installation.


Additional languages built into the Command Window:



IronPython and IronRuby are supported by the Command Window just like the built in JavaScript engine, but they are not part of  Manifold installations.   IronPython and IronRuby are installed separately.  See the Example of installing IronPython at the end of the Scripts topic.


System memory is cheap and our time is expensive.   Manifold is very fast and faster still with more memory.  We should load up our computer system with the most memory we can afford, ideally to maximum system RAM.  Larger memory is much more important than paying disproportionately more for a slightly faster processor.


TEMP storage space will be used if operations do not fit into memory available.  For maximum performance, specify the Windows TEMP location to the fastest local disk drive, for example, a fast SSD drive.


Large disk drives have become very cheap, while human time is getting ever more expensive.  Release 9 is designed to happily trade off making files and saved projects larger if that helps to improve performance and to make our work go faster.    Data sets often used with Release 9 are huge, with data sets in the tens of gigabytes size being typical.   When Release 9 imports and saves such data sets in projects the resulting project files will be even bigger.   


Invest in large disk drives that can store terabytes of information.   Big disk drives are not only cheaper for the storage they give, they are also faster than smaller disk drives.    Disk drives are so cheap we should always have at least two so we can configure RAID mirror storage for an automatic backup if a disk drive fails.


Anybody working with big data is likely to already have a reasonably powerful processor with at least four cores / eight hypercores and more likely eight or more cores.   If we can afford it, it doesn't hurt to buy a faster processor with many more cores.    Release 9 parallelizes just about everything so if we have more cores Manifold can usually put them to work for better performance.


There is no need to go crazy spending a lot of money to get just a slight increase in performance.   Instead of spending twice as much for a processor that has a clock rate only 10% faster than a less extreme version, put the extra money into more system memory and into larger and faster hard disks.  It is usually better to buy a cheaper processor that has more cores than a more expensive processor with fewer cores.


Release 9 uses GPUs for massively parallel computation, known as General Purpose GPU or GPGPU.  Manifold Viewer does not use GPGPU.   GPGPU capability requires installation of an NVIDIA GPU of at least Kepler architectural generation or more recent.  Since we must have graphics display in any event it is crazy not to have a GPGPU capable graphics card.   No need to overspend on GPU.   Virtually any sensibly middle-of-the-road GPGPU card will be fine.    For greater discussion of GPGPU use and configuration, see the GPGPU topic.



Why .EXE and not .MSI?  - Manifold Release 9 installations that use Windows Installer are .exe files and not the usual .msi files that are often used for Windows Installer installations.  An .exe file is used because .exe files allow the installation to perform preparatory steps,  such as installing C++ redistributables if required, that cannot be accomplished with an .msi.  Once those preparatory steps are accomplished the .exe launches an .msi file that is contained within the .exe so Windows Installer can go to work with that .msi.


See Also

Installation and Activation


Using SHA Checksums