McIDAS-X User's Guide
Version 2022.1

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Preparing a User Account (Multi-User Configuration)

Note: This section contains the instructions for preparing a user account when installing McIDAS-X on Win10 in the multi-user configuration. For the single-user configuration instructions (or information about the two configuration options), return to the Configuration Options and Instructions and follow those instructions.

The multi-user configuration uses a shared mcidas account where the McIDAS-X software is installed, and all of the McIDAS-X users on the workstation share those binaries and associated data files. The users will run McIDAS-X in their own main user account that they create in the instructions below and use the shared account to access the standard core software.

Have each user complete the instructions in the two sections below, in order, to configure their account to run McIDAS-X using the multi-user configuration.

Install Ubuntu and create and configure the main user account

Complete the steps below to acquire and install Ubuntu and create the main user account. The main user account is the one that is automatically logged in when an Ubuntu shell is started from Windows 10, and is the account used to run McIDAS-X.

  1. Log in to your user account in Windows 10.

  2. Set the default WSL version for your account to WSL 2 and then install Ubuntu by completing steps 5-6 in the Manual Installation Steps at Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux Installation Guide for Windows 10. The bullets below provide additional guidance.

  3. In an Ubuntu shell while logged in as the user you created in the previous step (e.g., mcuser), run the three sudo commands below (the last is all one line) to update the Linux package repositories and to install the packages required to build McIDAS-X.
  4. Type:  sudo apt update
    Type:  sudo apt upgrade
    Type:  sudo apt install bison build-essential cmake csh flex gfortran libncurses5 libncurses5-dev libx11-dev libxext-dev libxpm-dev libxt-dev

  5. Run the two sudo commands below to create a mcidas user.
  6. Type:  sudo useradd -s /bin/bash -U mcidas
    Type:  sudo passwd -d mcidas                               (password expiry information changed is a normal response)

  7. Run the sudo command below to link the newly created mcidas user's home directory to the shared location established earlier.
  8. Type:  sudo ln -s /mnt/c/Users/mcidas/Ubuntu/home/mcidas /home/mcidas

Configure the environment of the main user account

1. Open an Ubuntu shell and run command whoami to verify that you are logged in as the main user account.

2. Modify the environment variable PATH in your $HOME/.profile file. Insert $HOME/mcidas/bin and /home/mcidas/bin, in that order, at the beginning of your PATH. Also set the environment variable DISPLAY to the value recommended for WSL 2. Both of these can be done by adding the set of lines below.

# recommended PATH setting for McIDAS-X:
export PATH=$HOME/mcidas/bin:/home/mcidas/bin:$PATH

# recommended DISPLAY setting for McIDAS-X due to WSL 2:
export DISPLAY=$(grep -m 1 nameserver /etc/resolv.conf | awk '{print $2}'):0.0

Note: The changes above will take effect the next time you open an Ubuntu shell logged into the main user account.

This concludes the instructions for installing McIDAS-X on Win10 in the multi-user configuration. The sections below contain additional information for users, such as tips about starting and configuring McIDAS-X, and accessing and editing files in the Ubuntu (WSL) and Windows environments.

Starting McIDAS-X

See the Starting McIDAS-X page for information about ways to start a McIDAS-X session. For McIDAS-X on Win10 an X server is required, so a typical procedure to start McIDAS-X is for the user (in the main user account) to start the X server, then open an Ubuntu shell and run the command mcidas. The Configuring McIDAS-X Sessions with .mcidasrc page has information the user can use for tailoring McIDAS-X sessions to their preferences.

Editing McIDAS-X Files

Although you are able to access files created and used by McIDAS-X in both the Ubuntu (WSL) environment and Windows environment, it is important that you do all editing of McIDAS-X files in the Ubuntu environment. For example, if you need to manually edit one of the files, you should not use a Windows program like Notepad to edit it. Instead, you should use an Unix editor like vi, ex or view in an Ubuntu shell to make the changes.

Manipulating McIDAS-X Files

To list, copy and move McIDAS-X files, start an Ubuntu shell and use standard Unix commands like ls, cp and mv. Aliases like ~ and $HOME are available. For example, the command ls -l ~mcidas/data/*.ET lists the enhancement files included in the core McIDAS-X package, and you can list all of the AREA files in your account's mcidas/data directory with any of the three commands below.
    ls -l $HOME/mcidas/data/AREA*
    ls -l ~/mcidas/data/AREA*
    ls -l ~user/mcidas/data/AREA* (where user is your Ubuntu account name).

If you have files on the workstation that you would like to copy to the McIDAS-X environment or vice-versa, we recommend you do it from an Ubuntu shell. For example, if you previously ran McIDAS-X for Win7 on the workstation and have *.ET enhancement files in the C:\Users\user\mcidas\data directory (where user is your Windows account name), you can copy them to your McIDAS-X on Win10 environment by running a command sequence similar to that below.
    cd $HOME/mcidas/data
    cp /mnt/c/Users/user/mcidas/data/*.ET .

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