Table of contents Previous: Obtaining McIDAS-X Next: UPC Configuring the mcidas Account

Building and Installing McIDAS-X 2021

Next, complete the steps below to build and install McIDAS-X 2021.

Getting Started

  1. Log on to the workstation as mcidas

  2. Verify that McINST_ROOT is defined as the directory in which you want to install Unidata McIDAS-X.


Building Unidata McIDAS-X

  1. After performing the previous steps, unpack the Unidata McIDAS-X distribution.

    This step first makes the $HOME installation directories and then unpacks the distribution into the $HOME/mcidas2021 package directories. More information on the Installation Directories and Package Directories is available below.

  2. Make needed environment variables active.

    There are two ways to make the environment variable definitions needed for the McIDAS build and installation active:

  3. Build Unidata McIDAS-X.

    You will be informed of a successful completion or of any problems encountered during the build.

    Compiler and linker output is saved in the file ~mcidas/mcidas2021/src/makelog. You can review this file with a text editor to see how routines were compiled and what, if anything, was in error.

Testing the Build

The user mcidas can now test the Unidata McIDAS-X 2021 before installing it.


The example actions in the following all use C-Shell syntax.

  1. Verify that no McIDAS-X sessions are running as the user mcidas.

  2. If you are upgrading from a previous distribution of McIDAS, and if the mcidas account had been configured to automatically run the Unidata MCGUI, you will need to edit ~mcidas/.mcidasrc and comment out the automatic start of the MCGUI:

  3. Define the MCDATA, MCPATH, and MCGUI environment variables (examples use CShell syntax):

  4. Add the /home/mcidas/mcidas2021/src directory your PATH:

  5. Define the DISPLAY environment variable for your system:

    You must replace your_machine_name with the name of your X Window display server.

  6. Start McIDAS-X by typing the following at the Linux command prompt:

    If this is the first time you have run McIDAS-X, then the file .mcidasrc will be created in the /home/mcidas directory. If you have run McIDAS-X before, the settings in .mcidasrc will be read and used to define your session environment.

    If you get an error during startup something like:

    mcenv: Cannot make positive UC: could not create 5011060-byte shared memory segment

    it means that your system does not have enough shared memory allocated. Your system administrator should review the Allocating Sufficient Shared Memory portion of the workstation preparation page for information on how to configure system shared memory.

  7. Run several McIDAS commands from the McIDAS-X Text and Command window to verify that your system is functioning:

    Draw a Mercator projection map of North America in the current frame:

    Erase graphics from the current frame:

    Create 9 (3x3) panels in the current frame:

    Draw a Mercator projection map of the US in panel #5:

    Create an ADDE dataset whose only member is the North American topography image contained in AREA file 9011.

    Load the North American topographic image in CONFormal projection into panel #9 and draw a high resolution map on top of the image:

    Erase just the image portion of panel 9:

    Delete the TOPO/CONF dataset that you created above.

    Repanelize the frame into one display:

  8. After verifying that the new distribution works, it is time to install it. First EXIT McIDAS:

  9. Since you modified the definitions of several environment variables during the testing, it is advisable to log off and then log back on to restore their original definitions.

    Also, if you modified ~mcidas/.mcidasrc to stop the automatic startup of the MCGUI, you should undo those changes now:

    If you have problems with any of the above tests, please send email to: Unidata McIDAS Support <> detailing what problems were encountered.

Installing the Distribution

If you do not have a previous version of McIDAS-X installed on your workstation, or if your installation target directory (defined by McINST_ROOT) is different from the previous installation, proceed to step 2.

  1. Verify that no McIDAS-X sessions are running, and then enter the commands below to uninstall the previous version of McIDAS-X, substituting your current version for the version in the example (2019).

  2. Next, install McIDAS-X.

  3. Optionally, install McIDAS-XCD after installing McIDAS-X.

Installation Directories

The install process makes hard links (as opposed to symbolic links) between the ten installation directories and the files in five of the package directories. The uninstall process simply removes the hard links. The installation directories and their contents are listed below.

Directory Contents

administrative scripts

$McINST_ROOT/bin program executables

$McINST_ROOT/etc LDM pqact.conf defines and other miscellaneous files

$McINST_ROOT/data ancillary data files (e.g. enhancements, stretch tables, fonts, map databases, etc.)
$McINST_ROOT/help help files

$McINST_ROOT/inc include files

$McINST_ROOT/lib libraries

$McINST_ROOT/man man files for subroutines and functions

$McINST_ROOT/mcidas/data empty directory needed by ADDE servers

$McINST_ROOT/savedata enhancements, stretch tables, string tables from previous $McINST_ROOT/data

$McINST_ROOT/tcl Tcl and Tk executables and libraries

$McINST_ROOT/workdata working directory for user mcidas

Other McIDAS packages also make hard links in the installation directories. Thus the installation directories are the repositories for all McIDAS packages curre ntly installed.

Package Directories

Each version of McIDAS-X is bundled its own set of directories, and the names of the directories depend on the distribution version number. The McIDAS-X package directories and their contents are listed below. Note that the listing assumes that the Unidata McIDAS-X distribution was unpacked in the HOME directory of the user mcidas.

Directory Contents
~mcidas/mcidas20xx/bzip2 BZIP2 files for the radar servers
~mcidas/mcidas20xx/data McIDAS-X data files

~mcidas/mcidas20xx/g2clib g2clib libraries for GRIB2

~mcidas/mcidas20xx/gzip gzip files for gzip compression
~mcidas/mcidas20xx/hdf HDF files for the MODIS servers
~mcidas/mcidas20xx/hdf5 HDF5 files for ADDE servers
~mcidas/mcidas20xx/jasper Jasper libraries for GRIB2

~mcidas/mcidas20xx/jpeg JPEG files for the FRMSAVE command

~mcidas/mcidas20xx/libgeotiff GeoTIFF files for the GeoTIFF server
~mcidas/mcidas20xx/libpng PNG files for PNG-compressed imagery
~mcidas/mcidas20xx/man McIDAS-X man files for subroutines and functions

~mcidas/mcidas20xx/netcdf netCDF files for ADDE servers
~mcidas/mcidas20xx/sqlite SQLite 3.30.1 files for ADDE servers

~mcidas/mcidas20xx/src McIDAS-X source files, help files, and binaries

~mcidas/mcidas20xx/tcl Tcl files for GUIs

~mcidas/mcidas20xx/tiff TIFF files for the GeoTIFF server

~mcidas/mcidas20xx/tk Tk files for GUIs

~mcidas/mcidas20xx/unidata directory structure which contains Unidata additions and modifications to McIDAS-X
~mcidas/mcidas20xx/update directory into which v2021 bugfix addenda and/or additions are placed
~mcidas/mcidas20xx/xcd directory structure containing SSEC sqlite-based X Conventional Decoders (XCD) routines and data files
~mcidas/mcidas20xx/xcd2021.1 directory structure containing SSEC XCD v2021.1
~mcidas/mcidas20xx/xrd McIDAS X Research and Development (XRD) routines and data files
~mcidas/mcidas20xx/zlib zlib package used by various McIDAS routines

Table of contents Previous: Obtaining McIDAS-X Next: UPC Configuring the mcidas Account