Getting Started

VICE’s developers are happy to consult with scientists looking to incorporate it into their research. Email one of our contributors or join us on Slack and start collaborating now!

Users should also be aware of our comprehensive API reference, where they can find instructions on how to use all of the functions and objects that VICE provides. Details on VICE’s implementation and justification thereof can be found in our science documentation.


Under examples in VICE’s GitHub repository is the tutorial, a jupyter notebook intended to provide first-time users with a primer on how to use all of VICE’s features. After installation, this jupyter notebook can be downloaded and launched automatically by running vice --tutorial (or, equivalently, python -m vice --tutorial) from a Unix terminal. Whenever this command is ran, VICE will re-download this notebook from GitHub, falling back on a previously downloaded version if there is no internet connection (or if it cannot be downloaded for some other reason). Alternatively, if installing from source, it can be launched via make tutorial in the root directory. This jupyter notebook can also be obtained by cloning the git repository.

Example Code

We provide example scripts in VICE’s GitHub repository under examples, alongside the tutorial.

Accessing Documentation

After installing VICE, the documentation can be launched in a browser window via the vice --docs command line entry. If this feature does not work after installing VICE, troubleshooting can be found here. Documentation can also be found in the docstrings embedded in the code, and in the GitHub repository.

From the Command Line

VICE allows simple one-zone models to be ran directly from the command line. For instructions on how to use this functionality, run vice --help in a terminal from any directory (with the exception of VICE’s source directory). If the vice command-line entry isn’t working, it’s possible the variant python3 -m vice is required. Further troubleshooting can be found here.

Note: VICE’s functionality is severely limited when ran from the command line in comparison to its full python capabilities.