RHESSI FAQ - RHESSI Setup


None of the RHESSI software is working right. What should I do?
What version of IDL do I need to run the RHESSI software?
What does a 'good' RHESSI IDL path look like?
What are the development and release versions of the RHESSI software and which should I use?
 How can I tell if I'm using the development or release version of the RHESSI software?
How do I switch between the development and release versions of the RHESSI software?
How can I restore an older version of the software?
What environment variables are needed for the RHESSI software?
How do I set the RHESSI environment variables?
How do I check the value of an environment variable?
I changed my setup.hessi_env but the changes arenít taking effect.

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None of the RHESSI software is working right. What should I do?

1. Check your IDL version

2. Check that the RHESSI software directories are in your path by typing pr_path.

3. Check whether you are using the release or development version.

4. Check whether the RHESSI environment variables are set correctly.

5. Check whether you have private (perhaps incompatible) copies of SSW routines in your current directory or path.

6. If on Windows, check whether you have run out of environment space.


What version of IDL do I need to run the RHESSI software?

You need IDL Version 6.1 (as of May, 2010) or later to run the RHESSI software. To check the version, type the following from within an IDL session:

IDL> print,!version.release


What does a 'good' RHESSI IDL path look like?

Your path should have a number of $SSW/gen/idl/... directories followed by SSW instrument-specific directories, followed by RSI IDL directories. Within the instrument-specific list, you should see RHESSI directories. The development version will include the directory $SSW/hessi/idl/atest (and it must be before any other hessi/idl directories).  The release version will not include the $SSW/hessi/idl/atest directory at all.


What are the development and release versions of the RHESSI software and which should I use?

The RHESSI SSW directory contains two versions of the RHESSI software: 

  1. Release version - more stable and consistent, and has been tested more thoroughly, but will not contain recent features and bug fixes.  The release version is the same as the development version except the atest directory is removed from the IDL path.
  2. Development version - less stable but always up-to-date.  The development version includes the atest directory in the IDL path.

By default you will get the development version of the software.  To use the release version, remove the atest directory by typing hsi_remove_atest after starting IDL (but before running any RHESSI programs).  We recommend using the development version.

NOTE: there was a change in the development/release strategy on June 7.  You no longer need to set the  HESSI_PATH environment variable before entering IDL to select the development or release software.


 How can I tell if I'm using the development or release version of the RHESSI software?

Type pr_path in an SSW IDL session.  If you have the $SSW/hessi/idl/atest directory in your path before any other hessi/idl directories, you are using the development version.


How do I switch between the development and release versions of the RHESSI software?

Once you have started running RHESSI programs in an IDL session you cannot switch between the development and release versions.

By default you will get the development version of the software.  To use the release version, remove the atest directory by typing hsi_remove_atest after starting IDL (but before running any RHESSI programs). 

To select the version that IDL defaults to every time you start SSW IDL, edit your idl startup file to include running the hsi_remove_atest command.


How can I restore an older version of the software?

Follow the instructions for restoring previous versions of the RHESSI software.


What environment variables are needed for the RHESSI software?

The complete list of RHESSI environment variables needed is in the file $SSW/hessi/setup/setup.hessi_env. The software developers may add environment variables occasionally. That file will always have the current complete list.

As of 16 September 2002, the list of environment variables is:

Env. Var. Name Default Purpose
HSI_DATA_ARCHIVE site-specific Top directory of Level-0 data files
HSI_DATA_USER site-specific Directory that files will be copied to if network search is enabled
SSW_HESSI $HESSI_PATH Top level of RHESSI software
HESSI_PATH $SSW/hessi Top level of RHESSI software
SSWDB_HESSI $SSW_HESSI/dbase RHESSI database directory
HSI_FILEDB_ARCHIVE $SSW/hessi/dbase Directory containing the hsi_filedb.fits file
HSI_FLARE_LIST_ARCHIVE $SSW/hessi/dbase Directory containing the flare list file
HSI_CLK_DELTA_DIR $SSW/hessi/dbase Directory containing the clock drift file
HSI_GRID $SSWDB_HESSI/grid_resp Directory containing the grid response tables
HSI_SPEC $SSWDB_HESSI/spec_resp Directory containing the spectral response tables
HSI_GEN $SSWDB_HESSI RHESSI database directory
HSI_SOH $SSWDB_HESSI/soh Directory containing the state-of-health files
HSI_SIMS $SSWDB_HESSI/sims Directory containing some files related to simulations
HSI_ASPECT $SSWDB_HESSI/aspect Directory containing the aspect files
HSI_CATALOG_ARCHIVE $SSWDB/hessi Not used yet
HSI_DOC $SSW/hessi/doc Directory containing the RHESSI documentation
HSI_USE_SIM false True or false - can or can't use simulated data
USER_SYNOP_DATA current directory Directory that synoptic files will be copied to if downloaded
HSI_ARCHIVE_MOUNTED false If true, full RHESSI data archive is mounted

 For most users, the default values for the environment variables (set in that file) are fine, except for the following two:

HSI_DATA_ARCHIVE - points to the top-level directory under which the data files are located
HSI_DATA_USER - points to the directory where files that are automatically copied to your computer

In addition, users at sites that have access to the full RHESSI data archive (and have set HSI_DATA_ARCHIVE to point to the full archive) should set HSI_ARCHIVE_MOUNTED to true to tell the software to only look in the expected directory for a file, and to avoid ever searching through the entire archive (which takes a very long time).

In order to set RHESSI environment variables to other than their default values, follow the instructions here.


How do I set the RHESSI environment variables?

Copy the file $SSW/hessi/setup/setup.hessi_env to your $SSW/site/setup directory (Windows or Unix) or your $HOME directory (Unix) and edit the file to set the environment variables correctly for your computer's environment. There are instructions in the file itself that tell you how to edit it.  Most users will delete everything in the file except the lines for defining HSI_DATA_ARCHIVE and HSI_DATA_USER.  Remember that Unix is case-sensitive. To make this file take effect, follow the instructions here.


How do I check the value of an environment variable?

From within SSW IDL:

To see all of your RHESSI environment variables, type

hessi_var

To see all your environment variables, type pr_env. (Note:  On Windows, there may be more than one entry per environment variable, so be sure to check the last one.)  To see the value of a particular environment variable such as HSI_DATA_ARCHIVE, type:

print, chklog ('HSI_DATA_ARCHIVE')

From outside of IDL:

On Windows the environment variables are not set outside of IDL so you canít check them. On Unix you can check the value of $HSI_DATA_ARCHIVE by typing (at the shell prompt):

echo $HSI_DATA_ARCHIVE


I changed my setup.hessi_env but the changes arenít taking effect.

On Windows, the instrument setup files (including setup.hessi_env) are run when SSW IDL starts.

On Unix, the setup files are not automatically run when you start SSW IDL. You must rerun the setup files by typing the following from a Unix prompt:

source $SSW/gen/setup/setup.ssw

Also, make sure youíre changing the version of setup.hessi_env that is being used. Click here and review the order of priority for the setup file locations.
 


Last updated 10 January 2011 by Kim Tolbert , 301-286-3965