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Installing the Observing Tool
We have updated the Gemini Observing Databases in preparation for the upcoming 2014A semester. However, the 2013B Observing Tool is not compatible with the new database, and we are currently working on resolving several small issues with the new 2014A OT which should be available on Monday December 9. If you would like a pre-release version of the 2014A OT please contact astephens or bmiller at gemini.edu.
The OT uses Java 6. On recent Intel Macs (Core 2 Duo or equivalent) Java 6 is available from Apple for OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and newer. If you are having trouble running the OT on these machines, please check that you have the latest Java update from Apple. Users with older 32-bit Intel (Core Duo or equivalent) Macs will need to upgrade to at least Snow Leopard (10.6) to get a 32-bit version of Java 6. An alternative for these machines, including those running Tiger (10.4), is to run the OT under Linux in a virtual machine. Unfortunately, Apple does not provide Java 6 for older PowerPC Macs.
This page contains instructions for downloading and installing the Observing Tool (OT). You can install the software on a network of workstations or, for best performance, on individual machines. This machine needs internet access to communicate with databases situated at the Gemini Observatory and with other on-line image and catalog servers. Anyone installing an OT for a multi-user environment should read the site-manager details
If you are installing the OT for the first time, please read the installation instructions. The OT installation files are located on the Gemini software site. A personal OT installation can be updated using the Update... button on the OT start-up screen or by selecting Check for updates... from the File menu.
The OT stores programs that are created or fetched in a special local database in each user's home directory. The format of the binary files in this database is specific to each OT version and so they must be converted each time the OT is updated. The following is the recommended safest approach for updating an existing OT when using the distribution files on the Gemini software site. See below for more information about the new auto-updating feature.
- Export all the programs in the local database to XML files (see the saving and loading help page for more details). The "Bulk Export to a Selected Directory" option is useful for this.
- Unix/Mac: simply delete the entire directory tree where the old version of OT was installed
- Windows: run the installer program
- Uninstall the curent OT.
- Install the new OT.
- Import all the previously saved XML files into the new local database.
It is possible to have more than one version of the OT installed, though this can lead to a higher chance of confusion and problems. Each version of the OT will have its own, independent, local database in the ~/.jsky/spdb directory. Installing and running a new OT will not remove the database from the previous version. If you did not export your programs to XML and a new OT suddenly shows that you have nothing in your database, DON'T PANIC. As long as the spdb directory is not deleted the previous database still exists, you just need to use the earlier version of the OT to export the programs to XML files.
The OT has had the capability of updating itself and automatically converting local databases. You can manually check for updates (Update... from the start-up screen or Check for updates... from the File menu) and during a fetch/store operation the OT will recommend an update if it detects an incompatibility between the current local database and the Gemini Observing Database. If you choose to update then the new files will be downloaded and installed if your account has the correct write permissions. The last part of the update process writes all the programs in the your local database to XML files in a special directory under ~/.jsky/spdb and then imports them into the new local database. There is no way to go back to the previous OT version except by re-installing from the distribution files on the Gemini software site.
The auto-updating feature is intended for single-user installations and it is not recommended for multi-user or site installations since the update process has no way of converting the local databases for all users. Installation files for each release will be available from the Gemini software site and these should be used to update site installations. Also, be sure that only the software administrator's account has write permission on the OT's install directory so that users can't run the auto-update. As previously, all users should be informed about when an update will take place so that they can export their local databases to XML files. The previous OT version should be saved so that old local databases can be accessed.
Distribution files for the following operating systems are available:
- Windows (NT / 2000 / XP / 7)
- Solaris (10, 9 or 8 recommended)
- Linux (Redhat Enterprise 4 or 5, or Fedora Core recommended, likely to be compatible with other distributions)
- Mac OS X (Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion)
The distribution contains an example science program (GN-DEMO.xml) which you can load from the default directory using the Import... button on the OT start-up screen.
The OT software is available on the Gemini software site. This is an HTTPD server so you should use your web browser to download the files (follow this link to browse the OT directory). Depending on your browser, right or shift+click to save the file.
Alternatively you may request a CD-ROM containing all four operating system versions by e-mailing Bryan Miller (bmillergemini.edu).
The OT has been extensively tested on Windows 2000 and XP; the Windows version appears to be very stable. It has not been tested with Vista but we have no reason to believe there will be problems in other Windows versions as long as the Java included in our distribution is used.
- Download the current Windows distribution of the OT from the Gemini software site. Right or shift+click the file named OT_2013B.1.2.2_win.exe (~68M download).
- The Windows distribution is provided as a Windows executable installer.
- Use Windows Explorer to display the directory in which you downloaded the installer. You must have at least 58 Mbytes of disk space available to install the OT on Windows.
- Double-click the installer executable and select the components to install. Off-site users only need to select the Phase II Mode. When the installation is completed, select "Close" to exit the installer.
- The installation places a Gemini/Observing Tool entry in your start menu. Selecting the relevant entry launches the OT.
Results from previous benchmarking of the OT are shown below. Sufficient memory appears to be the most important element affecting performance and, whilst OT will run with less, we suggest a minimum of 512 megabytes of memory and a recent Pentium III or IV processor when using the OT on the Windows platform.
Solaris 8, 9 or 10 are the recommended Sun operating systems for running the OT. The OT has been extensively tested with Solaris 9.
For correct operation in all situations, you must run OT on a properly patched Solaris OS. The easiest way to gather Solaris patches is to follow the URL below:
- Download the current Solaris distribution of the OT from the Gemini software site. Right or shift+click the file named OT_2013B.1.2.2_solaris.tar.gz (~98M download).
- Use gunzip and tar to unpack the distribution:
gunzip -c FILENAME.tar.gz | tar -xvf -
- The distribution unpacks into a single directory named " solaris".
- Run the OT. You can use the complete path to the startup script, as shown below (where the $ represents your shell prompt), or you can include that directory in your PATH:
Results from previous benchmarking of the OT are shown below. Whilst OT may run with less, we suggest that the machine should be a recent UltraSparc with at least 128 megabytes of memory.
The OT can be used on recent RedHat Linux distributions, including Enterprise 3, 4, 5, and 6, and Fedora. It has been extensively tested under Enterprise and Fedora up to Fedora 14. We have not heard of any problems on other Linux distributions.
- Download the current Redhat Linux distribution of the OT from the Gemini software site. Follow the link to browse the ftp directory and right or shift+click the file named OT_2013B.1.2.2_linux64.tar.gz (64-bit) or OT_2013B.1.2.2_linux32.tar.gz (32-bit) (~75M download).
- Use gunzip and tar to unpack the distribution:
gunzip -c FILENAME.tar.gz | tar -xvf -
- The distribution unpacks into a single directory named "linux" or "linux32".
- Make sure that the libgnome libraries are installed. These are needed to display file attachments. These can be installed with the following commands:
sudo apt-get install libgnome2-bin
sudo yum install libgnome
- Run the OT. You can use the complete path to the startup script, as shown below (where the $ represents your shell prompt), or you can include that directory in your PATH.
Results from previous benchmarking of the OT are shown below. Sufficient memory appears to be the most important element affecting performance and, whilst OT may run with less, we suggest a minimum of 512 megabytes of memory and a recent Pentium (III or later) processor when using the Observing Tool.
The OT can be used on Mac OS X (Leopard and newer releases on Intel processors, with Java 1.6). On recent Intel Macs (Core 2 Duo or equivalent) Java 6 is available from Apple for OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and newer. If you are having trouble running the OT on these machines, please check that you have the latest Java update from Apple. Users with older 32-bit Intel (Core Duo or equivalent) Macs either need to upgrade to at least Snow Leopard (10.6) to get a 32-bit version of Java 6 or run the OT in a Linux virtual machine.
Unfortunately, Apple does not provide Java 6 for older PowerPC Macs.
- Download the current OS X distribution of the OT from the Gemini software site. Follow the link to browse the ftp directory and click the file named OT_2013B.1.2.2_osx.dmg (~41M download).
- By default, most browsers (including Safari and Internet Explorer) will download items to your Desktop. If you have changed this setting, use the Finder to display the directory to which you downloaded the installer.
- The OS X release is provided as a mountable disk image. Simply double click on the disk image to mount it, then drag the Observing Tool icon to your DeskTop, to the Dock or to any place you find convenient. Double click on the icon to launch the application.
See the PIT installation page for somewhat related Java benchmarks.