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Solarsoft Installation and Configuration


Main.ElizabethAuden, 11-13 April 2005
msslxx and msslxv, Linux Fedora (version?)
Solarsoft installation script generated on 5 April 2005

Download and documentation: http://www.lmsal.com/solarsoft/sswdoc/index_menu.html

  • Install / configure SSW
  • Install / configure SSWDB



  • Yohkoh: SXT, BCS, HXT, WBS
  • Orbital Observatories: SXI-GOES12, TRACE, HESSI
  • Packages: Binaries, CHIANTI * Solar-B: EIS


  • EIT: Flat field calibration file, mission level-zero catalog, reent full disk level1 que, lz genx catalogs
  • CDS - dbase, catalogs
  • Yohkoh - processed Yohkoh S/C attitude database, orbital ephemeris
  • SXT - dark current images

SSW Installation / Configuration

Generate SSW installation script.

Create an SSW installation script using the SSW HTML form.

SSW variable Value
Desired SSW Host mssly5.mssl.ucl.ac.uk
Installation Type New Installation
Installation Source Internet
Firewall Constraints try None
Top level SSW path /home directory/workarea/SSW
SSW Site email contact eca@mssl.ucl.ac.uk
Perl is installed at /usr/bin/perl

Check boxes that pertain to the datasets listed above. Click the "Generate Installation Script" button. You will be forwarded to an HTML page with a table summarizing the mission data you selected with relevant installation size required. Click the "Your UNIX installation script" link below the table - this will open a dialogue box allowing you to save the script to your local machine.

Install SSW

Initialize the system

Copy the script to a temp directory on the machine where you wish to install Solarsoft. At this point it will be useful to create the following directories and environment variables:

% mkdir $HOME/workarea/SSW
% mkdir $HOME/workarea/SSWDB

Open your .bash_profile, .cshrc or other .login file and add / export the SSW and SSWDB variables. This isn't absolutely necessary to run the scripts, but it's handy to have the variables available as you navigate through the directories.


Install Solarsoft

Now you can try to run the installation script:

csh -f ssw_installation_scriptname.sh /noftp


  1. The installation script may try to download a copy of ssw_install.tar from your chosen SSW host whether you want it to or not. You can stop this by searching the installation script for the line "mkdir -p $workdir" and adding the following line above it:
    if !( -e $workdir/ssw_install.tar ) then
    . Then search for 'tar -xf $instools".Z"' and add this line below it:
    . You can then work with the scripts in directory $SSW/offline/swmaint/script. In particular, you may want to set the ssw_nomail variable equal to 1 so that no error emails are sent.
  2. Some of the tar.Z files may fail to download - this will produce an error message and tell you to restart the installation script. If this happens, note down the ssw*.tar.Z files that were output with failure messages to stdout. Get the files from your chosen host using anonymous FTP:
    • ftp mssly5.mssl.ucl.ac.uk
    • log in with "anonymous" and your email address
    • cd /public/solarsoft/offline/swmaint/tar
    • get each of the files that you need and copy them to $SSW/offline/swmaint/tar.
  3. Run the installation script again making sure to use the "/noftp" option. The Solarsoft installation script can have strange ideas about what size it thinks the ssw*.tar.Z files ought to be, and if it thinks that the local tarball size does not match the remote tarball size, it will try to ftp them anyway.
  4. SOHO CDS users: $CDS_FITS_DATA is a notorious environment variable. It's supposed to be set to the directory containing your CDS FITS archive; by default, it's set to $HOME, and this can cause all kinds of problems. FIX: Open config file $SSW/soho/cds/setup/setup.cds and add "setenv CDS_FITS_DATA /home/griduser/idl/Astrogrid/SolarMovie/applications" inside the if loop above "if !($CDS_FITS_DATA)".

Test the installation

It's handy to have a Solarsoft startup script. You can also add these commands to your .login file:

<br/>set TR_CAL_INFO = "$SSW/trace/dbase/cal/info"  # may not be necessary for your setup
<br/>setenv SSW_INSTR "trace soho eit cds yohkoh sxt" # add other instrument names here 
<br/>source $SSW/gen/setup/setup.ssw

This should startup a session of IDL with the Solarsoft libraries installed. You should see a number of messages including "Executing SSW IDL_STARTUP".

SSWDB Installation / Configuration

Generate SSWDB installation script.

Create an SSWDB installation script using the SSWDB HTML form. Check the box next to the instrument ancillary files listed at the top of this page. Click the "Generate SITE configuration file" button at the top of the page. This will forward you to an HTML page showing a table summary of your ancillary data files and installation size data. Click "Your SITE configuration file" below the table to see the config script printed on the screen. Copy this script to $SSW/site/setup/setup.sswdb_upgrade.

Install SSWDB

Initialize the system

The $SSWDB variable is set in $SSW/site/setup/setup.ssw_paths. Open this file, comment out the line "setenv SSWDB $HOME" and replace it with

setenv SSWDB $HOME/workarea/SSWDB

Install SSWDB

You're now ready to install the ancillary data files that you designated in the SSWDB site configuration files. Depending on the size of the files you selected, this could take a really long time.

  1. If you're patient: start up a Solarsoft IDL session and run this command:
    • IDL> sswdb_upgrade, /spawn
  2. If you're not patient: run the "populateSSWDB.sh" script at the bottom of this page. It will run sswdb_upgrade as a background job so you can go do something else:
    • % ./populateSSWDB.sh > populate.out &

Testing SSWDB

You should now be able to run all of the Solar Overlay and Solar Movie Maker tools from Astrogrid successfully. If you'd like to run the full range of Solarsoft tools, you may need to add further ancillary data as you go along. Good luck!

-- ElizabethAuden - 13 Apr 2005

Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
Unix shell scriptsh populateSSWDB.sh r1 manage 0.3 K 2005-04-13 - 19:13 ElizabethAuden Script to startup solarsoft and run sswdb_upgrade
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Topic revision: r2 - 2005-04-13 - ElizabethAuden
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