A wavefront sensor-less adaptive optical system has been set up. It consists of a deformable mirror, a high-voltage amplifier, a set of solid-state laser system, a CCD camera, control software and a genetic algorithm. This adaptive optical system does not employ a wavefront sensor to detect the wavefront information, but optimizes the light intensity within a fixed aperture in the focal plane by a 19-element piezoelectricity deformable mirror. A genetic algorithm is introduced to search the optimum surface profile of the deformable mirror for correcting the phase aberrations in a solid-state laser system. The far-field light intensity signal, which is measured by a CCD, is taken as the fitness function of the genetic algorithm. In this paper, the performance and the efficiency of this wavefront sensor-less adaptive optical system are presented. Both simulative results and experimental results are given and discussed. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.