This startup manual is can be used to startup the system if you find the two computer's turned off. If the computers were powered down properly you can skip the first section and move onto number 2.


The most common reason to find the computer's off is if there has been a power failure on the mountain. If this is the case then there may be some problems on startup with the file systems of the two computers. Linux does not like to be simply turned off. It has to unmount its file systems and this is done when you normally "reboot" the computer. These file system problems have to be solved before any operation is commenced.

We previously had the disk drives of the image processing computer on an ATA100 controller, however this totally corrupted the file systems on these drives. It was virtuall impossible to get them clean, and that was when they were empty. At present all the disk drives are on the motherboard, in the future if more disk space is required, the purchase of another controller or larger disks should work( It seems that the ATA100 controller was defective.)

How to solve the File System problems.

1. Turn on a computer.
2. On startup a file system error might occur.
3. Take note of the file systems with errors.
4. On the Acquistion computer this could be:
            /dev/hda2        /
            /dev/hda6        /home
            /dev/hda1        /mnt/win98
            /dev/hda5        /tmp
            /dev/hda3        /usr

And on the Processing computer these are:

            /dev/hda1       /
            /dev/hda1       /home
            /dev/hdb1        /
            /dev/hdc1        /

5. Doing a file system check with the following command should solve most of the problems

        fsck -y  /dev/hdxx

This will go through the 4k blocks that have problems and fix them (hopefully).
Do this for each of the file systems with problems.
6. Upon completion reboot the computer with the command "reboot"
7. The file systems should be all fixed and the computer will start up normally.
8. Follow these same instructions for the other computer if it too has file sysem problems.

NOTE: On the mountain once it seemed to take forever to do the file system check on one of the file systems, fortunately the disk drive did not have any data on it and we reinstalled the file system on that disk , which solved the problem straight away and was quick, this will not be a soultion probably when the disk has data on it, we do NOT want to loose 4 months of the sky when other solutions could possibly be implemented. At this point call someone.

9. Hopefully these problems will not occur very frequently and the UPS and generator on the mountain will do its job. At this point the following instructions are to be used to get the Camera software going so that images can be taken, served up on the web, seen with imagemagick in high speed animations,etc...


10. Start up the image processing machine first. Once you have booted entered up the system and typed in the root login, start up X-windows with the command "startx".

11. Open a terminal window and start up IRAF with the command "cl". Then type in ared and change to the following directory with "cd /home/data" finally start up the IRAF script by typing in changeformat. This will automatically start up this IRAF script which will take care of the images it recieves from the acquistion computer and produce images for the web page, web animations and imagemagick files to be sent to computers around the mountain(not yet implemented).

Up until this point that is all you have to do to get the Processing machine working and ready to accept images.

The two other IRAF scripts and will be started with a crontab everyday.

You might also have to start up the web server. If the IP address typed in another computer does not produce the main web page, you will have to manually start up the web server by opening up another terminal window and going to the following directory /etc/rc.d/init.d/ and then start up of the server is simply done with ./httpd start.


12. Now we will start up the adquistion computer, first make sure that the camera is plugged into the back of the computer (dongle in the parallel port). If it is not plugged in properly then on startup the computer will not be able to install it's driver module for the camera and then a reboot will be necessary to get it to accept that the camera is now plugged in. You should also make sure that the filter wheel cable donle and its powercable(it fits into the dongle) are also attached properly.

13. Power on, enter the root account and password and type in "startx". It is possible on startup that the camera software will start automatically, but this will probably be disabled in future, and a manual start of the camera software will be neccesary.

14. Open a terminal window, and go to the following directory "cd /home/dwalker/cloudcam/lib/"

15. If you wish to change parts of the configuration file then type in "vi CONFIG". be careful when editing this file, if you get it wrong the program will use its defaults and these may not be desirable. Do not erase this file!!!

16. You may wish to erase the log file if it's getting to big and a rm -f LOG will get rid of it. This file is generated automatically on program startup, so it can be erased whenever you stop the camera program, do not erase it whilel it is working as this might produce problems when the program writes to the missing file.

17. To start the acquistion software type in "./cloud", this will start up the software using the CONFIG file and if it's nighttime with the moon down, it will start taking images automatically, otherwise it will wait until nighttime.

Now both computers are running with their software.

However two final items must be done.

First of all we must make sure that the computer is using the time server for its clock since the precision of the images is taken to within a 1/1000th of a second( this done so that we can produce median images at exact sideral times).Second of all is to mount the Image processing machines main disk drive on the Aquistion machine. This is to transfer the files from one computer to the other. Without this the files will be put on the Aquistion machines disk drive in the following directory /home/data/camerafiles/ .

18. Check that xntpd is working, without this daemon the computer will take images at the wrong time. Go to the "cd /etc/rc.d/init.d" directory and type in ./xntpd status", it should say that it is running, if not then start it up with ./xntpd start and do the status check again to see that it is running.

19. Mount the drive.The acquistion computer needs to mount the processing computers disk drive, if this is not done then the images will stay on the acquistion machine and not be sent to be processed, backed up, put on the web and sent around the mountain. The disk drive on the acquistion computer is not to big and will full up quickly(2-4 nights). Open a terminal window and type in mount ctioy9:/home/ /home/data/camerafiles this will put the Image processing machines /home directory onto the Image Acquistions /home/data/camerafiles directory.

CAUTION: ctioy9 is the name of the machine when it was in La Serena it will definitely be differant on the mountain. We will put a label on the computer to identify which is which so in this case just replace ctioy9 with the name on the Image Processing machine.


Everything is finally ready for the Sky camera to work.


NOTE: if you don't understand something, email and I would be happy to get back to you.

David Walker