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computing:software:idl

IDL

IDL software is licensed and paid for by specific research groups within the School (specifically Astronomy, Cosmology and Biological Physics). If you are not a member of these groups, then please do not install this software on your own lab computers.

IDL is also available for general use on the physics linux cluster, and is preinstalled on the Physics AD windows systems. More information specific to IDL on Physics linux cluster

Download and run the installer

Internal physics users: go to your MyPhys page and choose software downloads.

The IDL section contains downloads for windows (.exe), linux (.tar) and Mac (.pkg).

Network license setup

IDL needs to communicate with our license server in order to run. The license server is directly accessible from the campus network, but you need to take special steps to connect from off-campus.

After downloading and running the installer, newer versions of IDL start a “license wizard”.

  • Our MyPhys downloads page includes a minimal license.dat file, which you should download.
  • After selecting the option for a network license, provide this file to the license wizard.

We emphasize that this doesn't provide a local, standalone license - we only support use with the network license server. If you need to run in disconnected mode, you will need to purchase your own license directly from IDL (Exelis).

Manual Windows installation

Hopefully obsolete directions, but provided for reference.

  • Download the Windows IDL installer.
  • Run the installer
  • Next you need to define an environment variable to tell IDL the location of our license server.
    • Open the System control panel.
    • Click the Advanced tab, and click the Environment Variables button. Click the New button below the System Variables box and enter the following information:
      • In the Variable Name field, type LM_LICENSE_FILE in uppercase letters.
      • In the Variable Value field, enter 1700@idl.spa.umn.edu
    • If LM_LICENSE_FILE has already been defined for another software product, the definition of this license file can be appended using a semi-colon (;) as the delimiter. For example: C:\License\mylicense.dat;1700@idl.spa.umn.edu
    • Save the settings.

Manual Unix, Linux or Mac OS installation

  • Download the installer (either a tar.gz file for linux, or a pkg file for Mac).
  • Run the installer
  • Define the LM_LICENSE_FILE environment variable, by modifying your .cshrc, .profile, or .bashrc file using any text editor. You must define the UNIX environment variable for LM_LICENSE_FILE to point to the server and port of the machine running the license manager.
    • For C shell: “setenv LM_LICENSE_FILE 1700@idl.spa.umn.edu”
    • For Korn or Bash shell: “export LM_LICENSE_FILE=1700@idl.spa.umn.edu”
  • Log out and log back in to execute the .cshrc, .profile, or .bashrc file, or execute the file from the home directory using one of the following commands.
    • For C shell: source “.cshrc”
    • For Korn shell: “. .profile”
    • For Bash shell: “. .bashrc”

Running IDL from off-campus

To access the license server from outside, the easiest, and recommended method is to connect to the University VPN.

Alternatively, you can set up a network “tunnel” using ssh.

Windows ssh tunnel directions

This is one of many possible methods (actually it's probably easier to use MobaXterm than putty - we'll aspire to replacing these one day)

  • Download the free Windows ssh client Putty. Putty doesn't need installation, just put putty.exe in any convenient directory such as C:\\Program files\putty.exe, or even on the desktop.
  • As above you need to define an environment variable to tell IDL the location of our license server, but this time we will be tunneling the connection through localhost:
    • Open the System control panel.
    • Click the Advanced tab, and click the Environment Variables button. Click the New button below the System Variables box and enter the following information:
      • In the Variable Name field, type LM_LICENSE_FILE in uppercase letters.
      • In the Variable Value field, enter 1700@localhost
    • If LM_LICENSE_FILE has already been defined for another software product, the definition of this license file can be appended using a semi-colon (;) as the delimiter. For example: C:\License\mylicense.dat;1700@localhost
    • Save the settings.
  • Now we set up the ssh tunnel to communicate with the license server.
    • Click start, go to “run” and type
      "c:\program files\putty\putty.exe" -ssh ssh.physics.umn.edu -l <your_Physics_username> -N -L 1700:idl.spa.umn.edu:1700 -L 31700:idl.spa.umn.edu:31700

      and enter your password once asked. Nothing will happen afterwards (minimize the putty window).

    • Start IDL (note that the previous step has to be done every time before you start IDL).
    • You can create a batch file that merges the above steps. Create a file called startidl.bat in the directory where idlde.exe is located (usually C:\Program Files\RSI\IDL63\bin\bin.x86). Open the batch file with a text editor and type

      @echo off
      start "c:\program files\putty\putty.exe" -ssh ssh.physics.umn.edu -l <your_Physics_username> -N -L 1700:idl.spa.umn.edu:1700 -L 31700:idl.spa.umn.edu:31700
      PING 1.1.1.1 -n 1 -w 10000 >NUL
      idlde.exe

      The PING command is just to give you a brief delay (10000 milliseconds) to enter your password before IDL is started. Create a shortcut to startidl.bat file on your desktop or wherever you like it. Use it to start IDL.

Mac OS ssh tunnel

  • Follow the section about LM_LICENSE_FILE under the OS X installation instructions above, replacing the LM_LICENSE_FILE line with setenv LM_LICENSE_FILE 1700@localhost or export LM_LICENSE_FILE=1700@localhost, depending on your shell. Note: This step only needs to be done once.
  • Launch the Terminal application and run the following command to create the ssh tunnel to the license server:
    ssh ssh.physics.umn.edu -l <your_Physics_username> -N -L 1700:idl.spa.umn.edu:1700 -L 31700:idl.spa.umn.edu:31700

    Note: This step needs to be repeated each time you want to run IDL.

  • Enter your password when prompted.
  • Start IDL

computing/software/idl.txt · Last modified: 2015/11/25 11:22 by allan