Software Installation



Software Installation Instructions

The RHESSI software requires IDL Version 5.4 or higher (preferably version 6.0, 6.1 or 6.2).

The RHESSI IDL software exists as part of the Solar SoftWare (SSW) package. Access to the following SSW directories is required to run the RHESSI software:

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.

On UNIX and Windows platforms, scripts can be run for easy installation as well as automatic mirroring on a regular basis.

Note: The RHESSI data analysis software is experimental. It is important that you report any software bug you may find.

If you experience a problem during installation, you might find the solution in the RHESSI Data Analysis Software FAQ.

UNIX installation

  1. Install IDL Version 5.4 or higher (preferably version 6.0, 6.1, or 6.2).
  2. (If the SSW tree is NFS-mounted, skip this step).
    Install the SSW tree on your machine. Follow the ssw installation instructions. In the installation form, be sure to select the following instruments:
  3. bulletInstruments - HESSI
    bulletPackages - BINARIES, SPEX, XRAY
    Also follow the instructions for either automatic or manual SSW upgrades.
  4. Your .login (or equivalent) file should define the SSW (top SSW directory) and SSW_INSTR (a list of instruments whose software should be included in the path) environment variables and run the default setup script.  For example the following lines might be in your .login file:
  5. setenv SSW /service/soho-archive/home/solarsoft
    setenv SSW_INSTR 'hessi xray spex'
    source $SSW/gen/setup/setup.ssw

  6. Copy the RHESSI setup file ($SSW/hessi/setup/setup.hessi_env) to your $HOME directory and edit it as instructed in the file itself. (If your system administrator has already copied this file to your $SSW/site/setup directory and customized it for your environment, you may not need to do this). The importance of this step is that it defines the HSI_DATA_ARCHIVE environment variable which is needed to tell the RHESSI software where to find the data files. (Click here for instructions on accessing the data files.)
  7. Start IDL using the command sswidl.
  8. Now you should be able to use the RHESSI software.

Windows installation

  1. Install IDL Version 5.4 or higher.
  2. Follow these instructions  to install the SSW tree on your machine and set up your IDL startup file.


Note: If the SSW directories are NFS-mounted from a Unix server, you only need to follow the steps pertaining to the file.



Responsible NASA Official:
Brian Dennis
Web Design:
Merrick Berg

Solar Physics Laboratory, Goddard Space Flight Center

Space Science Laboratory, University of California Berkeley
Responsible Berkeley Official:
Hugh Hudson
Systems Admin:
Jon Loran

This page last updated: June 27, 2011