One of the initial design goals for the LUCAS graphical user interface was portability across many computing platforms. After considering several commercially-available windowing toolkits, the Motif toolkit by the Open Software Foundation (OSF) was chosen. The OSF/Motif toolkit is available on most hardware platforms, including DEC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, SGI, and SUN. This allowed development of the interface on a single platform, yet the capability of cross-compilation onto the platform required by users.
The LUCAS GUI was developed on a SUN SparcStation model 10 computer at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The configuration included 32MB of main memory and 1 GB of disk space. The software configuration includes: SunOS 4.1.3, X-Windows Version 11 Release 5 and IXI Motif 1.2. Because LUCAS manipulates large amounts of map data, the SparcStation 10 and extra disk space provided an excellent development platform.