Golly free download for Mac


29 May 2015

Open source Conway's Game of Life simulator.


Golly is an open source, cross-platform Game of Life simulator currently under development by Andrew Trevorrow and Tomas Rokicki. Our goal is to write a world-class Life simulator, solicit ideas and help from the planet's best Life hackers, and share some of our excitement.

  • Unbounded universe (limited only by memory).
  • Fast, memory-efficient conventional algorithm.
  • Super fast hashing algorithm for highly regular patterns.
  • Responsive even while generating or garbage collecting.
  • Reads RLE, Life 1.05/1.06, and macrocell formats.
  • Can paste in patterns from the clipboard.
  • Auto fit option keeps patterns sized to the window.
  • Full screen option (no menu/status/tool/scroll bars).
  • Built-in HTML help system (thanks to wxWidgets).

Online program help is available here.

What's new in Golly

Version 2.7:
  • The middle mouse button can now be used for panning, regardless of the current cursor mode.
  • Fixed potential crash when pasting a text pattern into any hash-based algorithm.
  • Fixed crash on Mac OS 10.9 when opening a modal dialog like Save Pattern.
  • Fixed crash on Windows 8 when opening the Set Rule dialog.
  • Fixed bug in QuickLife algorithm that could cause cells at the bottom/left edges of the viewport to disappear every odd generation.
  • Fixed bug in QuickLife algorithm that could cause the selection rectangle to appear offset by one pixel (left or right).
  • The shift.pl/py scripts save the given parameters for the next run.
  • The evolve command aborts the current script with an error message if the given number of generations is negative.
  • Fixed minor problem with the Fit Pattern/Selection menu commands not centering a pattern/selection accurately in some cases. Ditto for the fit and fitsel script commands. The visrect script command is also more accurate.
  • Fixed bug that could cause Undo to fail due to a temporary macrocell file containing comment lines not prefixed with #C.
  • Start-up message now shows if this version of Golly is 32-bit or 64-bit.

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4 Golly Reviews

Rate this app:

15 June 2012

Most helpful

It would be nice if the description said "Conway's Game of Life" instead of simply "Game of Life," which is a board game by Milton-Bradley. I came in here, saw the screenshot, and thought "WTF?"
Like (2)
Version 2.4
15 June 2012
It would be nice if the description said "Conway's Game of Life" instead of simply "Game of Life," which is a board game by Milton-Bradley. I came in here, saw the screenshot, and thought "WTF?"
Like (2)
Version 2.4
22 April 2007
Can't wait until this is combined with GPUlife to use OpenGL shader programs to handle subregions. :) :) :) :)
Version 1.2
31 January 2006
Excellently executed. Free. Very comparable to high-end Windows available Game programs. Conway's Game of Life is amazing. For those who don't know, a grid, including squares which are either, we'll say, 'on' or 'off', governed by only the rule that if there are either 2 or 3 'on' squares touching a square (aka adjacent above, left, right, or below, and up-right, up-left, down-right, down-left), that square will be 'on' during the next discrete time step. So in timestep 1 (we'll call it 1 instead of 0) two squares start out 'on', separated by a space between then. In the next time step, that space in between them will be 'on', and the two original squares (and all others over the entire grid) will be 'off'. A few other sets of rules other than the 2-3 rule can work, but surprisingly few sets of rules produce such interesting results as the 2-3 rule. Without going into any more detail, this program is at least worth a look if you're at all interested in what this is about. The only thing I'd like to find is a universal Turing Machine. It is said that anything in known existence (and unkown) can be realized by this machine. Anything that could possibly be calculated by the mind, or computer, or entities unkown to humans.. it really is something to behold. Great job with this program. Worthwhile if you're a College professor or student in higher math, as Conway's Game of Life will surely be something that you'll come across. Other reasons it could be so worthwile have not all been realized yet.
Version 0.95
1 answer(s)
12 October 2008
Version 1.4
10 October 2005
Nice work, guys. Thanks for your generosity.
Version 0.91