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Next: FHELP Up: HOST Environments Previous: Unix


To use the Host version of FTOOLS, a VMS command file has been provided to set up all of the logical definitions that a user will need. Check with your system administrator to see if a version of this command file is already available with your system's specific information. It is preferred to place a common copy of this file in a place for all users to access. If not, and assuming that the FTOOLS were installed as described in the Installation Guide to FTOOLS, copy the command file to your local directory.

$copy [ftools.ftools.scripts.vms] *.*

Next, edit this file to change the specification of the location of FTOOLS package and PERL, if available. The command file checks whether the user is on a VAX or an ALPHA, and whether a release or development versions is requested. The appropriate version of FTOOLS is then selected. Change the location(s) of the flavor of FTOOLS installed on your system as indicated in the file. Note that you must use the true disk name in this command. Specifying a concealed logical in a concealed logical has unpredictable results in VMS. Also be sure to include the trailing . in the directory specification. The file can now be run using:


This file must be executed before the user can run the FTOOLS, so it is recommended that the command be added to the user's In addition to setting up all of the logical values needed, the file will create a directory, [youraccount.ftools.pfiles] to hold the users parameter files. A command is also defined to ``fix'' the attributes of FITS files which are incorrectly set by FTP, VMSTAR and UNCOMPRESS. FFFILE (Fix Fits FILE) will change the record length of the FITS file so that it can be read more efficiently.

If you prefer to set all of the necessary logicals by hand, the following commands will need to be issued before running FTOOLS:


Define ftools to be a logical disk:

$assign/trans=conceal casper$dka100:[ftools.ftools.] ftools

Define all of the FTOOLS to be foreign commands:

$@ftools:[script.vms]learn ftools:[bin_host]

Define logicals needed for plotting routines:

$assign ftools:[host]libpgplot.exe libpgplot

$assign ftools:[host]grfont.dat PGPLOT_FONT

Tell the ftools about the location of your local copy of the parameter files, and the location of the default parameter files:

$assign "mydisk:[myaccount.parfiledir];ftools:[bin_host]" pfiles

And finally, indicate that you would like the FTOOLS to remember the previous values you entered for parameters:

$assign 1 pfclobber

If you are using the perl scripts, you should first tell VMS where to find perl as described in the VMS perl installation documents (whoever installed perl on your system should have done this in a way that will work for you). To test that perl is working from your account type:

$perl -e "print 'Hello World';"

Assuming this works, you must define all of the perl scripts to be foreign commands:

$@ftools:[scripts.vms]knowperl ftools:[bin_perl]

You will also need to tell the perl scripts where to find the FTOOLS perl library routines. Prepend /ftools/bin_perl (the UNIX style pathnames are required) to any existing PERLLIB logical environment variable. If PERLLIB does not exist, set it equal to the /ftools/bin_perl. If you have a PERL5LIB variable already set, use that instead as it overrides the PERLLIB variable.

$define PERLLIB= "/ftools/bin_perl:" + whatever PERLLIB was before

if you already have a PERLLIB variable, or

$define PERLLIB "/ftools/bin_perl"

if you don't, or

$define PERL5LIB= "/ftools/bin_perl:" + whatever PERL5LIB was before

if you have a PERL5LIB variable set.

Once this procedure has been completed, the user can go to any directory with read and write privileges and use the Host Version of the FTOOLS tasks. See Appendix A for a list of FTOOLS tasks in this release.

next up previous
Next: FHELP Up: HOST Environments Previous: Unix

Lawrence Elwin Brown
Wed Aug 6 11:33:26 EDT 1997


If FTOOLS has been useful in your research, please reference this site ( and use the ASCL reference for HEASoft [ascl:1408.004] or the ASCL reference for the original FTOOLs paper [ascl:9912.002]:

Blackburn, J. K. 1995, in ASP Conf. Ser., Vol. 77, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems IV, ed. R. A. Shaw, H. E. Payne, and J. J. E. Hayes (San Francisco: ASP), 367.

Web page maintained by: Bryan K. Irby