Basics/Computer Skills


To work with SUMO a few basic computer skills are needed (since Linux-users are probably familiar with these, all explanations refer to MS-Windows):

Using a Text Editor#

SUMO requires configuration files and data files for proper execution. These files can be created and edited with a text editor.

On Windows you can open a basic text editor in the following way:

Start->All Programs->Accessories->NotePad

(Start->Alle Programme->Zubehör->Editor on a German installation of windows)

Notepad is a very basic text editor. You can increase your comfort and productivity by switching to an editor with more features. Consider Notepad++ or vim and also see this comparison of text editors


The files used with SUMO have by convention names ending with .xml and variants of .sumocfg. Doing a double-click in Windows Explorer will probably not open up your favourite text editor. Either open the file from within your text editor or learn how to change file associations.

Working with Files and Folders#

To work with the various files needed by SUMO you must be able to find them on your file system. For starters learn about using Windows Explorer here or here.

Running Programs from the Command Line#

SUMO consists of many separate programs for different simulation-related tasks (a reference to all the seperate programs can be found in SUMO_User_Documentation#Appendices). Only the program sumo-gui.exe SUMO-GUI has a graphical user interface (GUI). All other programs must be called from the command line.

At first you have to open the command line. On Windows, you have to start "cmd.exe" (Start->Execute->cmd.exe). A black window should appear. This is your command line. Since version 0.12.3 you can also double-click the file start-command-line.bat (see also below) to open a command line with useful environment variables set (it can be found in the same folder as all other sumo executables). When using Linux, you have to start a terminal (like xterm).

The command line lets you start programs by typing the program's name followed by program options. Since this can be automated it is potentially more comfortable for repetitive tasks than using a GUI. Commands look like this

netconvert --node-files=hello.nod.xml --edge-files=hello.edg.xml

Here netconvert is the name of the program and the rest of the command sets options for this program.

The sections below should be sufficient to get you started using SUMO. For further information about the command line see Basics/Using the Command Line Applications. Also look here.

SUMO 0.12.3 and later#

In your SUMO release (all SUMO files and folders you downloaded) there is a directory bin. This directory contains a batch file named start-command-line.bat. This batch file starts a command-line and makes sure that you can execute SUMO-programs.

  1. execute start-command-line.bat by double-clicking
  2. navigate to the directory containing your configuration and network files using the command cd (change directory)
  3. enter a command such as
netconvert --node-files=hello.nod.xml --edge-files=hello.edg.xml

and press enter

SUMO 0.12.2 and earlier#

To use the command line perform the following steps

  1. Start->Run
  2. type cmd and press enter.
  3. navigate to the directory containing your configuration and network files using the command cd (change directory)
  4. enter a command such as
netconvert --node-files=hello.nod.xml --edge-files=hello.edg.xml

and press enter

If you receive an error like command not found your computer does not know where to find netconvert.exe

If the files of your SUMO release are located at C:\sumo-0.12.2 You can type out the full path to netconvert.exe like this:

C:\sumo-0.12.2\bin\netconvert --node-files=hello.nod.xml --edge-files=hello.edg.xml

and press enter.

Once this gets to cumbersome you can configure your PATH variable instead as explained below.


Many tools require the environment variable SUMO_HOME to be set to the base directory of the sumo installation. This is the directory containing the folders bin and tools. Setting environment variables is explained below.


this variable is also used to find xsd schema files for input validation. If the variable is not set, schema files are downloaded from the internet and this may file if the server is not reachable.

Configuring Path Settings#

To run programs from the command line comfortably you must configure your PATH variable and the SUMO_HOME variable.



If you have installed SUMO via the windows .msi installer file this is done automatically.

  1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
  2. Click the Advanced tab.
  3. Click Environment variables.
  4. Under user variables select PATH and click Edit. If no such variable exists you must create it with the New-Button
  5. Append ;C:\Program Files\sumo-1.5.0\bin to the end of the PATH value (don't delete the existing values!)
  6. Under user variables select SUMO_HOME and click Edit. If no such variable exists you must create it with the New-Button
  7. Set C:\Program Files\sumo-1.5.0 as the value of the SUMO_HOME variable


Replace C:\Program Files\sumo-1.5.0\ with your sumo directory.


You must close and reopen any existing command-line window for the new variable setting to become effective.


Temporary Solution#

To set an environment variable temporarily, you can use the following command in your terminal:

export SUMO_HOME="/your/path/to/sumo/"

This sets the environment variable to be used by any program or script you start in your current shell session. This does not affect any other shell session and only works until you end the session.


Replace /your/path/to/sumo/ with your sumo directory.

Permanent Solution#

To set an environment variable permanently, follow these steps:

  1. Open a file explorer of your choice and go to /home/YOUR_NAME/.
  2. Open the file named .bashrc with a text editor of your choice. (You may have to enable showing hidden files in your file explorer)
  3. Place this code export SUMO_HOME="/your/path/to/sumo/" somewhere in the file and save. (Don't delete any existing content!)
  4. Reboot your computer. (Alternatively, log out of your account and log in again.)

The environment variable will now be used by any program you start from the command line with your current user account.


Replace YOUR_NAME with your username; Replace /your/path/to/sumo/ with your sumo directory.

Using a pre-packaged version of SUMO#

When using the sumo version that comes with your package manager (i.e. apt) the SUMO_HOME variable must be set to the base path of the tools folder. On Ubuntu this is


Tips for using the Command-Line#

Copy and Paste#

The standard hotkeys for copy and paste do not work in the command-line. You can access an edit menu for copy/paste by right-clicking the command-line window. For increased convenience you can also right-click the title-bar of the command-line window and select properties. Then check the box quick-edit under the options-tab. You can now select text with the left mouse button and copy it using right-click. Another right-click is used to paste the copied text.

Repeating previous commands#

Hitting the up- and down-arrow buttons allows you to move through the history of previously entered commands. You can edit these commands or simply hit enter to execute them again.