SSB Download Server

Space Telescope Science Institute

Science Software Branch Download Server

Using SSBREL, SSBX, and SSBDEV at STScI

As of 06/22/2016:

The following instructions are no longer valid. sync_ssb.pkg is not compatible with OS X >=10.11 and thus cannot be used to install the SSBREL/SSBX/SSBDEV stack. Please install AstroConda instead.




Note: if the "ssbrel", "ssbx", and "ssbdev" aliases are not defined in your shell session, follow these instructions for configuring your login script.

Linux Desktops and Servers

Most Linux machines on the internal network have the three SSB builds in /usr/stsci. On these systems, /usr/stsci is a symlink to one of these two locations on the Central Store:

The Central Store directories are updated regularly. You can select one of the environments by typing "ssbrel", "ssbx", or "ssbdev", and you can switch back and forth between environments within a single terminal session.

Macintosh Desktops and Laptops

There is a PKG file available for Macs that will configure your computer to receive regular updates to SSB software in /usr/stsci. The PKG installs /Users/Shared/sync_ssb, which can be run to rsync SSB software from the Central Store.

The PKG file is here: http://ssb.stsci.edu/sync_ssb.pkg. Just download it and run it like a normal Mac installer. (If you get a message warning you that you can't run the PKG file because it was downloaded from the internet, do this: Right click on sync_ssb.pkg, Open With --> Installer.)

If your Mac is a desktop system, the PKG will schedule /Users/Shared/sync_ssb to run every morning at 6:30. This means you will always have the latest updates without having to do anything.

If your Mac is a laptop, then the PKG won't schedule /Users/Shared/sync_ssb to run automatically. This is because the script needs access to the Central Store and laptops are frequently not connected to the internal network. Since /Users/Shared/sync_ssb will not run automatically, you will need to manually run it to receive updates. Only run the script when you are physically connected to the internal network.


Custom user environments New

When you select one of the SSB environments, you also activate a virtualenv that you own and can modify. If it is your first time using a particular environment, a new virtualenv will be created for you, specific to that build and architecture. You can install your own packages into your virtualenv, and you'll still receive regular updates to the core environment (in /usr/stsci).

Here's an abbreviated terminal session showing how to select the SSBDEV environment and how to install something into it:

cslocum wombat 12% ssbdev
Creating new virtualenv in /home/cslocum/ssbvirt/ssbdev-rhel6
Using real prefix '/usr/stsci/ssbdev/python'
New python executable in /home/cslocum/ssbvirt/ssbdev-rhel6/bin/python

[ssbdev-rhel6] cslocum wombat 13% which python
/home/cslocum/ssbvirt/ssbdev-rhel6/bin/python
[ssbdev-rhel6] cslocum wombat 15% which pip
/usr/stsci/ssbdev/python/bin/pip

[ssbdev-rhel6] cslocum wombat 16% pip install aplpy
...
Successfully installed aplpy
Cleaning up...

[ssbdev-rhel6] cslocum wombat 17% python
Python 2.7.5 (default, Dec 30 2014, 21:00:56)
[GCC 4.1.2 20080704 (Red Hat 4.1.2-54)] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import aplpy
>>> aplpy.__file__
'/home/cslocum/ssbvirt/ssbdev-rhel6/lib/python2.7/site-packages/aplpy/__init__.pyc'

You can see from the output of "aplpy.__file__" that the package was loaded from the ssbdev-rhel6 virtualenv. On Linux, home directories are shared, so you can login into multiple Linux machines and get the same environment.

By default, custom virtualenvs are created in $HOME/ssbvirt. If you don't like the default, you can specify your own path with the SSB_VIRT_ROOT variable. For instance, in csh you could do this:

cslocum wombat 24% setenv SSB_VIRT_ROOT /internal/1/ssb_custom_envs
cslocum wombat 25% echo $SSB_VIRT_ROOT
/internal/1/ssb_custom_envs

cslocum wombat 26% ssbdev
Creating new virtualenv in /internal/1/ssb_custom_envs/ssbdev-rhel6
Using real prefix '/usr/stsci/ssbdev/python'
New python executable in /internal/1/ssb_custom_envs/ssbdev-rhel6/bin/python

[ssbdev-rhel6] cslocum wombat 27% which python
/internal/1/ssb_custom_envs/ssbdev-rhel6/bin/python