Learn from an experimental physicist

Jun 29, 2015 learning Windows ROOT

ROOT is a set of C++ libraries for statistic analysis of large data sets encountered in experimental particle physics. It comes with nice command-line and graphic user interfaces and a lot of tutorials and documentation to help people get familiar with its usage. However, it is normally compiled in Unix-like operating systems and accessed from command line. It takes very long for students who only use Windows to get familiar with Unix/Linux SHELL commands before they start to learn ROOT.

The good news is that learning ROOT can be separated from learning Unix/Linux commands. Students can start learning ROOT from day one without any knowledge about Linux server, SSH, SHELL, etc., on Windows. Here is how.

  1. go to http://root.cern.ch, HOVER your mouse on the “Download” menu, click All Release in the drop down menu, scroll down to “Version 5” section of the page, click Release 5.34/36 - 2016-04-05, download root_v5.34.36.win32.vc12.exe.

  2. double click the downloaded ROOT installer, accept the licence and select to add ROOT to system PATH as shown in the following screen shot and accept all other default settings. add ROOT to system PATH

  3. Now navigate to C:\root_v5.34.32\tutorials in your file browser and left click the address bar to highlight it as shown in the following screen shot: hightlight Windows explorer address 

  4. type root in the address bar and Enter to launch ROOT in the current directory: Launch root in Windows file 

  5. Now you can run ROOT scripts in the folder C:\root_v5.34.32\tutorials by typing in the ROOT interactive session .x hsimple.C: Launch ROOT script

That’s it. It takes about 10 minutes and 5 steps for you to start running ROOT scripts on a Windows machine. You can learn Linux commands in parallel to be prepared for using ROOT in some Linux servers, which is not a must to start with though.


Blogs on physics research and educational activities of Jing LIU, an assistant professor in physics at the University of South Dakota. He is an experimental physicist developing novel particle detectors for astroparticle physics and civil use.


Some of the activities mentions in this site are supported by the following grants: