Getting Help

Have a specific question or problem with NEST?

  • Check out the FAQs for common issues.

If your question is not on there, ask our Mailing List.

Getting help on the command line interface

  • The helpdesk() command will launch the documentation pages on your browser. See Set up the integrated helpdesk to specify the browser of your choice.

  • To access the High-level Python API reference material you can use the commands:

    # list all functions and attributes
    dir(nest)
    
    # Get docstring for function in python
    help('nest.FunctionName')
    
    # or in ipython
    nest.FunctionName?
    
  • To access a specific C++ or SLI reference page for an object, command or parameter you can use the command:

    nest.help('name')
    

Model Information

  • To get a complete list of the models available in NEST type:

    nest.Models()
    
    • To get a list of only neuron models use:
    nest.Models(mtype='nodes', sel=None)
    
    • To get a list of only synapse models use:
    nest.Models(mtype='synapses', sel=None)
    
  • To get details on model parameters and usage use:

    nest.help('model_name')
    

Set up the integrated helpdesk

The command helpdesk needs to know which browser to launch in order to display the help pages. The browser is set as an option of helpdesk. Please see the file ~/.nestrc for an example setting firefox as browser. Please note that the command helpdesk does not work if you have compiled NEST with MPI support, but you have to enter the address of the helpdesk (file://$PREFIX/share/doc/nest() manually into the browser. Please replace $PREFIX with the prefix you chose during the configuration of NEST. If you did not explicitly specify one, it is most likely set to /usr or /usr/local depending on what system you use.