Terra Help and Information

bullet1 Help!

bullet2 Installation

bullet3 Quick(?) start

  1. You will get these directories after extracting the zip file:

Do you prefer running without these directories?

    • In that case place the book file/files directly in the Terra folder and delete the Book directory. You can also delete the games directory. Then log and game files will be placed in the Terra directory. If you have no Data directory, Terra will look for the file ~weights.dat in the Terra folder. If the file is missing default values will be used. All in all, it is possible to move the Terra.exe to any place and run it without books etc.
  • Edit Terra.ini and make sure that all these are set to 1: Logscreen, Book, Booklearn, Postbook, Postlearn, Nullmove, Hash, Evalhash, Draw and Resign. Don't forget to check that the book file in BookFile=xxxx is really there in the Book directory. Set EGTB=1 and give the TBpath if you have EGTB files. (You have no terra.ini file? Start Terra.exe from the consol window and quit with q or quit. A default terra.ini file is now created)

Now, run Terra from Winboard , Arena or some other GUI .

  1. For more help continue reading the rest or jump right into   Options and commands

bullet3 What is required of your system...

Terra is only compiled for windows systems. I have used it in Win95,98,NT and 2000 without problems. Oh well...

I have used IBM & DELL hardware only.

If you find any problems in some hardware-windows combination - please let me know.


Terra itself doesn't use much memory but in order to use hash tables and EGTB's more memory is needed. Don't allocate more hash space than your system can handle otherwise Windows will start swapping memory to disk and that will severely slow down Terra. Listen to the disk and if the swapping take place during Terra's thinking, lower the hash table settings .


The faster processor you have, the stronger Terra will play. Typically it will search one ply deeper with 3-4 times faster processor. Some measurements shows that doubling he speed will earn about 70 rating points (ELO). I'm not sure if this applies to Terra but it should be something like that.

I've developed Terra on a PII 300 MHz and that seems to be way below what is standard today. One of these days I will upgrade my system....

It will be interesting to hear from users with faster computers and their results. Maybe it is possible to better optimize the compilation parameters for faster computers than mine.

If you are running other programs in parallel with Terra on the same PC, the speed of Terra will slow down and make things worse.


The opening book is residing on the disk. The more space the bigger opening book is possible. On most systems this is no big issue anymore and of course it is not necessary to use a book at all or just a small one. EGTB's it's another issue. They need disk space! Full 3, 4 and 5 men tables requires 7.5 GigaBytes. When we come to 6-men tables we are talking about Terabytes or was it Terrabytes ..:-)

Multiple processors

This program is not prepared for multiprocessor systems. I will not care about that before I have such a system myself.

Please give your comments in WinBoard Forum or email me. This document was updated 2004-08-02.