An Update on ASIS and ASISUpdate
Alain Peyrat and Philippe Defert CN/DCI
The complete documentation is available as ``ASIS, the User's and
reference guide'' (formerly ``ASIS, the Installer's Guide'') from the
User Consultancy Office or at the URLs
A brief description
ASIS contains ``ready-to-use'' software that can be freely distributed at CERN and in the High Energy Physics community. It contains no commercial licensed software. For convenience, the software is divided into families the main ones of which are CERNLIB, the CERN Program Library, CERN specific software, SHIFT, GNU, TeX, TCL, X11, etc...
Using ASISUpdate and EPIP
On the CERN site, the ASIS repository is available on both distributed file systems: AFS, the Andrew File System and NFS, the networked file system. It is replicated on some AFS Servers and on one NFS server. The situation may be different in other HEP centres. Outside users can access it also via anonymous ftp on asisftp.cern.ch.
ASISUpdate is the follow-up of the script ``make_asis''
developed by R. Többicke. This script created links
to every file in the
improvement is that ASISUpdate is aware of the structure and the
contents of every package. The creation of the links is decided by
consulting the ASIS database which records all products and versions.
ASISUpdate thus allows access to old or new versions or to copy
packages selectively. Moreover it supports AFS as well as NFS. The
script can easily be configured for other sites.
The primary goal of ASISUpdate is to build the directories
/usr/local for the UNIX programs and, in the near future,
the CERN Program Library utilities, on a workstation in such a way that
all users of that workstation can run the UNIX and CERNLIB tools in a
reliable mode. By default, ASISUpdate creates links from
/usr/local towards the distributed file systems
/nfs/cern.ch/asis for all packages introduced in production in these
categories. It optimizes the number of links, by linking to
directories wherever possible instead of creating one link per
file. ASISUpdate never overwrites files
that do not belong to an ASIS product but will report the collisions to
the system administrator using electronic mail.
As the ASIS repository evolves rapidly, links should be updated every night. System administrators should edit the ``crontab'' of their workstation to insert a line for ASISUpdate.
The behaviour of ASISUpdate can be altered by giving it a configuration file. The configuration options can be:
EPIP, the Easy Product Installation Procedure, is an X-windows application that allows a system manager to edit the configuration file of ASISUpdate for his station. It is in fact the only way to edit such a file. It can also execute ASISUpdate and edit the crontab of your host to execute the updates every night.
The full description of EPIP, including examples of its use, is contained in the ASIS documentation. In addition, EPIP is self documented. When the cursor is in any of the EPIP windows, if the F1 or Help key is pressed, a text window will display an explanation on what is pointed to by the cursor and the operations that can be performed with it. Thus, placing the cursor on the menu bar of the main window displayed below (Fig. 3.1) and hitting F1 pops up the list of all possible operations in EPIP.
The configuration edit window is also shown below (Fig. 3.2) and it gives a nice overview of all the possible options that can be changed in the behaviour of ASISUpdate. Asking for help in this window will give a description on these options.
Installation of ASISUpdate for the first time is described in
and also the end of the guide. It also tries to give some hints about what to do when problems arise.