Golly free download for Mac


02 June 2020

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).

What's new in Golly

Version 3.3:
  • Major speed improvements to 3D.lua via custom-purpose ovtable commands.
  • 3D.lua now natively supports cell history with fading.
  • Added a new gplus module called NewCA.lua which makes it easy to write scripts that implement new types of cellular automata.
  • Two new scripts show how to use NewCA.lua: 1D.lua supports one-dimensional CA rules, including all of Wolfram's 256 elementary rules, as well as totalistic rules with up to 4 states and a maximum range of 4. Margolus.lua lets you explore rules using the Margolus neighborhood.
  • Updated Lua to version 5.3.5.
  • The optimize overlay command now returns the minimum non-zero alpha bounding box of the clip.
  • The blend overlay command now has a faster blend mode ("blend 2") which should be used when the destination is opaque.
  • Some fixes and improvements to the replace overlay command.
  • Performance improvements to the drawcells overlay command.
  • The C parameter in a Larger than Life rule can now specify up to 256 states.
  • A bug where the canonical form of Generations rules in MAP format was incorrect.
  • A bug caused by simultaneous clicks of different mouse buttons.
  • Flickering selection size message when extending the selection on Windows.
  • A performance bug in QuickLife where changing the rule each generation caused a significant slowdown.
  • Bugs in the Mac app that caused memory leaks when running Lua or Python scripts.
  • A bug that could cause "PyRun_SimpleString failed!" warnings when running Python scripts.
  • A bug in Larger than Life that could cause a cut/copy operation to create an empty clipboard pattern.
  • A fatal "bad increment" error by limiting the size of the step exponent if necessary.
  • A crash caused by buggy NVIDIA drivers.

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How would you rate Golly app?

4 Reviews of Golly

15 June 2012
Version: 2.4

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?"
15 June 2012
Version: 2.4
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?"
22 April 2007
Version: 1.2
Can't wait until this is combined with GPUlife to use OpenGL shader programs to handle subregions. :) :) :) :)
31 January 2006
Version: 0.95
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.
Show comment (1)
10 October 2005
Version: 0.91
Nice work, guys. Thanks for your generosity.