How to Start CASA @ NRAO (AOC / CV)

Introduction

What follows is a brief explanation of start-up options for CASA for institutional (NRAO) users. Please note that the convention has changed as part of our recent migration to RHEL6, and both RHEL5 and RHEL6 users are affected.

NOTE: Anyone on Charlottesville lustre nodes (or other machines that rely on the NFS share-based system) should follow the instructions here: http://casa.nrao.edu/casaCV.shtml

NOTE: Anyone on Socorro cluster nodes (or other machines that rely on the NFS share-based system) should follow the instructions here: http://casa.nrao.edu/casaNM.shtml

Only users that use the RPM distributions (e.g. zuul01 - zuul04 and various desktop machines) will be able to use the test and stable conventions described below.

Contents

Launching CASA (New instructions)

Several changes in the CASA build and deployment process are imminent. This will have several consequences:
  • The meanings of what constitute a "test", "stable", etc. package have changed. For details of the (re)definition of "test", "stable", "monthly" and "release" packages, please see this page.
  • User testing should henceforth be conducted on either the "stable" or "monthly" packages (precisely which one will depend on the nature of the particular testing to be done).
  • The new build system produces separate RHEL5 and RHEL6-optimized packages ("RHEL" = Red Hat Enterprise Linux). Although the former is expected to run on RHEL5 and RHEL6 systems, the latter will only run on RHEL6 systems.
  • The "old-style" CASA launch commands (e.g. "casapy-stable") are currently supported via aliases, but will be deprecated in favor of the new, simpler formats.
    • Under this new scheme, the multiple scripts used to launch the various CASA packages have been replaced by a single script that behaves as described below.
    • Note that prior to the site-wide roll-out of the new set-up, users running these "new-style" packages on suitably configured test machines (e.g. zuul01 - 04 in Charlottesville) should replace the "casa" command with "/usr/bin/casa" in all of the following.

Listing all the CASA packages available on a given computer system

If the user wishes to know which executable versions of CASA are available on a given system for execution, then the following command will provide a list of all release, stable and test packages:
# casa -ls

At the moment, this option only lists the RPM installations available. However, in the near future, it will be extended to also list any tarball-based installations as well. For more details on the user path logic used, please see this page.

Default: Starting the latest CASA public release

The following command will start the latest public release:
# casa 

Starting the latest CASA test package

The following command will start the latest test package:
# casa test

Starting the latest CASA stable package

The following command will start the latest stable package:
# casa stable

Starting the latest CASA monthly package

The following command will start the latest monthly package:
# casa monthly

Starting the latest CASA prerelease package

The following command will start the latest prerelease package:
# casa prerelease

Starting a CASA package by specifying the version number

A variant of the "-r" switch familiar to experienced CASA users is supported. The following command will start version X.Y.Z (assuming it it available to be run on the system in question):
# casa -rX.Y.Z

For example, if the current stable package on the system is version 4.2.21, then both of the following commands would launch that particular package:

# casa -r4.2.21
# casa stable

Other CASA Executables

Other CASA executables, such as casaviewer, respect the same switches as casa.

To start the current release of the viewer:
# casaviewer

To start a specific package version (e.g. vesion X.Y.Z) of the viewer:
# casaviewer -rX.Y.Z

To start the latest stable version of the viewer:
# casaviewer stable

To start the latest test version of the viewer:
# casaviewer test

IMPORTANT: Socorro AOC-Specific Information

Note that the -ls switch only works for the RPM distributions, and we are not using them at the AOC. We have deployed the linux tars in /home/casa/packages and updated the launchers. To see which version would start, best just to navigate /home/casa/packages and see which one is linked as "current" for test, stable, prerelease, etc.

To run a version of casa other than the version currently invoked by casapy-test, casapy-stable, casapy-prerelease, etc., a user can start a specific version by running in a sub-shell or pre-pending to their PATH. For example, to start casa-test-4.4.1:

run in subshell:
# (exec /home/casa/packages/RHEL5/test/casa-test-4.4.1/casa)

Prepend to PATH:
# PATH=/home/casa/packages/RHEL5/test/casa-test-4.4.1:$PATH
# casa


Instructions for Users (Old Version - Deprecated)

Default: Starting the latest CASA release

Type:
# casa 

If you are curious which executable is being run, you can also use the '-v switch:
# casa -v
starting: /usr/lib64/casapy/release/4.2.2/bin/casa

Starting a specific legacy CASA release

To start a legacy CASA release, use the '-r' switch to specify your desired release. The -v switch is optional, but will allow you to verify which version is running. For example, to run CASA 4.2.1:
# casa -v -r 4.2.1
starting: /usr/lib64/casapy/release/4.2.1/bin/casa

Starting the latest stable version of CASA

To start the latest stable version of casa, use the '--stable' switch. The -v switch is optional, but will allow you to verify which version is running.
# casa -v --stable

The following alternative syntax are also supported:
# casa -stable
# casa stable

Starting the latest test version of CASA

To start the latest test version of casa, use the '--test' switch. The -v switch is optional, but will allow you to verify which version is running.
# casa -v --test
starting: /usr/lib64/casa/4.2.16/bin/casa

The following alternative syntax are also supported:
# casa -test
# casa test

Other CASA Executables

Other CASA executables, such as casaviewer, respect the same switches as casa.

To start the current release of the viewer:
# casaviewer

To start a specific legacy version of the viewer:
# casaviewer -r 4.2.1

To start the latest stable version of the viewer:
# casaviewer --stable

To start the latest test version of the viewer:
# casaviewer --test

-- RobSelina - 2014-09-29
Topic revision: r12 - 2015-09-04, MarkRawlings
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