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Configuring a New User Account

Ask your system administrator to create user individual accounts for running McIDAS-X.

Individual users or the system administrator must complete the following tasks for each account in which McIDAS-X will be run:

Setting the Environment

  1. Log on to the user account and define needed environment variables.

    For convenience, files with the settings described below are downloadable here (remember to hold down the shift key while pressing mouse button 1 to transfer these files):

      user_env.csh - C-shell environment variable definitions
      user_env.sh - BASH/Bourne/Korn-shell environment variable definitions

    Defining all of these enviornment variables is easily accomplished by adding the following lines to your shell definition file:

    non-Conforming shells (e.g., .cshrc) Conforming shells (e.g., .profile, .bash_profile, or .kshrc)
    setenv MCHOME /home/mcidas
    if ( -e $MCHOME/admin/user_env.csh ) then
      source $MCHOME/admin/user_env.csh
    endif
    
    MCHOME=/home/mcidas
    export MCHOME
    if [ -e $MCHOME/admin/user_env.sh ]; then
      . $MCHOME/admin/user_env.sh
    fi
    

    The environment variables that will be defined by sourcing the appropriate envionment definition file for each account in which McIDAS-X will be run are:

    Environment Variable Purpose
    MCHOME the HOME directory of the user mcidas
    MCDATA user's working directory for McIDAS-X sessions
    MCPATH MCPATH - a colon-separated list of directories that McIDAS routines will search when looking for data and ancillary data files
    MCBIN the directory in which the McIDAS-X executables and reside. If you have your own McIDAS executables, add the directory location for those after the main McIDAS executable directory
    MCGUI the directory in which the Unidata Tcl/Tk GUI executables and scripts and McIDAS-X executables reside. If you have your own McIDAS executables, add the directory location for those after the main McIDAS executable directory
    MCSRC directory that has the McIDAS-X source code
    MCUPDATE directory where update compressed tar files are to be written
    MCTABLE_READ a semi-colon separated list of fully qualified pathnames for ADDE client routing tables that the user can read
    MCTABLE_WRITE the single ADDE client routing table that the user can modify
    MCCOMPRESS Compression method the client routines will request from servers. NB: it is strongly recommended to leave this as GZIP.
    MCSTRETCH set the EXPanded or ORIGinal stretch environment
    MCVER Unidata McIDAS-X version
    PATH add the MCGUI directory to the front of your PATH

  2. You may also need to modify PATH if it does not contain all of the required system directories or have them in the correct order. If you will be writing and compiling your own McIDAS software, update your PATH with the modifications listed in step 4 of Prepare the mcidas Account.

    Operating System Modification
    Linux none known
    Mac OS X none known

  3. Log out and log on again for the changes to take effect.

Enabling McIDAS-X Keys

The actions required to enable certain keyboard keys used by McIDAS-X (for example, Alt A, Ctrl F11) vary depending on your workstation and its configuration. This section describes these actions for workstations running SSEC-recommended configurations.

Complete the section appropriate for your configuration. The directions assume that you are in the account's $HOME directory and logged on to the workstation console.

Enabling McIDAS-X Keys for Linux and GNOME2

Complete the steps below if you use an Linux workstation console and the GNOME2 desktop environment.

1. Bring up the Keyboard Shortcuts window by clicking the following in order: Main Menu (in lower-left corner), Preferences, Keyboard Shortcuts.

2. Highlight each shortcut associated with a key combination you want to use in McIDAS-X (e.g., <ALT>F2) and press the Backspace key to change it to Disabled. This allows McIDAS-X to use the key combination for strings and other applications.

Enabling McIDAS-X Keys for macOS and XQuartz

Complete the steps below if you use a macOS workstation console and Apple's XQuartz desktop environment.

1. Start XQuartz by double-clicking the XQuartz icon in the Applications>Utilities folder. If XQuartz is already running, click the XQuartz icon in the dock to make the application active.

2. Click the XQuartz menu at the top of the display, then click Preferences to bring up the X11 Preferences window.

3. Click the Input tab, then uncheck the checkbox labeled Enable key equivalents under X11.

Steps 1-3 allow the open-apple keys (on each side of the spacebar) to function as the Alt keys in McIDAS-X.

4. Start a Terminal by double-clicking the Terminal icon in the Applications>Utilities folder. If a Terminal is already running, click the Terminal icon in the dock to make the application active. Then use the xmodmap utility to configure a key to function as the Insert key during McIDAS-X command entry. Choose the appropriate command below, depending on whether you have a fullsize (desktop) keyboard or a laptop.

On a fullsize keyboard, run the command below to configure the help key to function as Insert. The spaces before and after the equal sign (=) are required.

Type: xmodmap -e 'keysym Help = Insert'

On a laptop, run the command below to configure the option (alt) key to function as Insert. The spaces before and after the equal sign (=) are required.

Type: xmodmap -e 'keysym Mode_switch = Insert'

Defining Data File Access

In a previous section section, we saw how the user mcidas can setup remote ADDE server access to datasets defined in the mcidas account. If the ADDE server was setup correctly, other users do NOT need to define access to realtime data files (those files ingested by the LDM and decoded into McIDAS-compatible formats by McIDAS-XCD and/or ldm-mcidas decoders). Instead, those users can simply point (setup ADDE DATALOCs) at the remote server to access the realtime data.

For instance, users other than mcidas need only do the following to setup access to datasets and ADDE servers defined by mcidas:

Start a McIDAS-X session:

If this is the first v202x session that the user has started, the file .mcidasrc will be created in his/her HOME directory.

If the mcidas user decided to not setup a remote ADDE server, each user must define the ADDE datasets that s/he wants to access from the realtime data ingested by the LDM. That user will need to complete the following steps.

In Preparing the mcidas Account, we saw that the user mcidas is responsible for creating a set of file redirections in /home/mcidas/data/LOCAL.NAM. These same redirections can be used by the non-mcidas user. To make those redirections active in their sessions, users need to do the following:

Within the now-active session, the user needs to restore the redirection definitions from LOCAL.NAM to his/her session:

LOCAL.NAM should be accessible to the McIDAS-X session by virtue of the user's MCPATH containing the /home/mcidas/data directory.

After the redirections are restored, the user should be able to access the data files accessible to his/her machine (either on local or NFS mounted disks). ADDE datasets accessible from the site's remote ADDE server will be available after the remote server is installed by root.

Next, the user will need to define the ADDE datasets that contain the locally accessible data files by using the LSSERVE.BAT file that mcidas also created. This is done as follows:

Here, fully_qualified_directory_name is the directory where McIDAS data files to be served are located.

In order to access McIDAS data files through local ADDE access, the user should now update her/his ADDE client and server routing tables by defining a dataset named MYDATA and declare it to be locally accessible. This is accomplished using the McIDAS BATCH file, MYADDE.BAT:

The same should be done for the TOPO dataset since the images that make up the dataset are included in the Unidata McIDAS-X release:

As this completes the configuration steps the user needs to make, he/she should now EXIT McIDAS:

This concludes the instructions for installing McIDAS-X and configuring user accounts. Continue with Configuring McIDAS-X Sessions with .mcidasrc , which provides information about tailoring McIDAS-X sessions to your preferences.


Table of contents Previous: Removing the Previous Version of McIDAS-X Next: Installing McIDAS-X on Windows 10 Workstations