Warning

This is A PREVIEW for NEST 3.0 and NOT an OFFICIAL RELEASE! Some functionality may not be available and information may be incomplete!

Download NEST

Try NEST 3.0

NEST 3.0 is not yet officially released but if you want to check out the new features, you can clone the source code from the nest-3 branch on GitHub. Then follow the instructions to compile from source in Ubuntu/Debian Installation or Manual Installation on macOS.

For standard situations where you just want to use but not modify NEST, you don’t have to download the source code.

Distribution packages ease the installation on Debian/Ubuntu, Fedora, macOS and Conda.

See our installation instructions to find the right option for you.

Here you’ll find the lastest versions of the source code and virtual machine (VM) images for download. If you use NEST for your project, don’t forget to cite NEST!

Download the source code

See also

Previous versions and associated release notes can be found at https://github.com/nest/nest-simulator/releases/

Download the NEST image for VMs

The VM image of NEST is available in the OVA format, and is suitable, for example, for importing into VirtualBox. If you run Windows, this is the option for you OR if you just want to run NEST without installing it on your computer. After downloading the virtual machine, check out the install instructions for Live Media.

Older versions of VM images

NEST Live Media 2.18.0

Checksum 2.18.0

NEST Live Media 2.16.0

Checksum 2.16.0

We continuously aim to improve NEST, implement features, and fix bugs with every new version; thus, we encourage our users to use the most recent version of NEST.


NEST is available under the GNU General Public License 2 or later. This means that you can

  • use NEST for your research,

  • modify and improve NEST according to your needs,

  • distribute NEST to others under the same license.