Get Golly, a Game of Life simulator at Fast, secure and Free Open Source software downloads

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Golly is an open source, cross-platform application for exploring Conway's Game of Life and many other types of cellular automata. The primary authors are Andrew Trevorrow and Tom Rokicki, with code contributions by Tim Hutton, Dave Greene, Jason Summers, Maks Verver, Robert Munafo, Brenton Bostick and Chris Rowett.


  • October 2017: Golly 3.1 for Windows/Mac/Linux has been released (see the changes).
  • October 2017: Golly 1.2 for the iPad is available from the App Store.
  • June 2015: Golly 1.1 for Android is now available at Google Play.

Golly's key features:

  • Supports bounded and unbounded universes, with cells of up to 256 states.
  • Supports multiple algorithms, including Bill Gosper's super fast hashlife algorithm.
  • Many different types of CA are included: John von Neumann's 29-state CA, Wolfram's 1D rules, WireWorld, Generations, Paterson's Worms, Larger than Life, etc.
  • The RuleLoader algorithm lets you plug in new rules.
  • Responsive even while generating or garbage collecting.
  • Reads RLE, macrocell, Life 1.05/1.06, dblife, and MCell files.
  • Can also read common graphic formats: BMP, PNG, GIF, TIFF.
  • Can extract patterns, rules and scripts from zip files.
  • Can download patterns, rules and scripts from online archives.
  • Includes a state-of-the-art pattern collection.
  • Can paste in patterns from the clipboard.
  • Unlimited undo/redo.
  • Configurable keyboard shortcuts.
  • Auto fit option keeps patterns sized to the window.
  • Full screen option (no menu/status/tool/scroll bars).
  • Supports multiple layers, including cloned layers.
  • HTML-based help with an integrated Life Lexicon.
  • Scriptable via Lua or Python.
  • Runs on Windows (XP+), Mac OS X (10.6+) and Linux (with GTK+ 2.x).

Download a source or binary distribution.
Monitor our progress at SourceForge.
View the online help.

Click to enlarge these screen shots:

overlay-demo.lua [Windows]

breakout.lua [Mac]

hexgrid.lua [Linux]


Langton's Loops [Windows]

Larger than Life [Mac]

Prime calculator [Linux]


Cloned layers [Windows]

Stacked layers [Mac]

Meta galaxy [Linux]


Prefs dialog [Windows]

Prefs dialog [Mac]

Prefs dialog [Linux]