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ISIS Documentation

Environment and Preference Setup

Setting up the UNIX environment and customizing ISIS preferences



This document describes how to setup your Unix environment in order to run ISIS. It also discusses the ISIS Preference files, which gives the user the ability to customize the operation of ISIS.

Unix Setup

Assuming ISIS has been successful installed on your computer (see ISIS Download and Installation Guide), you will need to add a few commands to your startup file. For the C-shell, add the following commands to the $HOME/.login file or the equivalent system-wide startup file:

setenv ISISROOT directory
setenv PATH ${PATH}:${ISISROOT}/bin
where directory is the location of the ISIS tree.

If you are using the Bourne shell or a derivative (e.g., bash), add the following commands to your .profile file or the equivalent system-wide startup file:

set ISISROOT directory

Before you add these commands to your startup script you may want to check with your local system administrator to see if they have already done this step. You can use the following command to see if ISIS is already setup:


It will output either the directory of the ISIS system or "ISISROOT: Undefined variable", which implies the ISIS is not setup and/or not installed.

System Preference File

Your local ISIS administrator manages a system-wide preference file. The file $ISISROOT/IsisPreferences, is in Parameter Value Language (PVL) format, and contains specifications for how ISIS should operate. For example,

Group = UserInterface
  ProgressBarPercent = 10

Implies the application progress bar (GUI thermometer) for all users will change by 10% for every ISIS user by default. To find out specifics about various user preferences see the ISIS Preference Dictionary.

User Preference File

The user can override elements of the system wide preference file by creating a personal preference file. The file must reside in the hidden directory $HOME/.Isis and must be named IsisPreferences.

An example usage is,

Group = UserInterface
  ProgressBarPercent = 1

Project Preference File

[Future Option] Finally the highest priority preference file is a project file. It is specified on the command line when executing ISIS applications. For example,

highpass -pref=/bigProject/Preferences

This allows for large batch/scripted projects to ensure all users involved in the project have the same preferences.

Tips For Programmers

Every ISIS application program should instantiate an IsisProcess object or one of its derivatives; if you don’t your doing a lot of unnecessary work! The instantiation allows for access, in the rare case that an application needs it, to a user preference. For example,

IsisProcessByLine p;

IsisPreference *pref = p.GetPreferences();
string directory = pref->GetString("Voyager");

See the ISIS Developers Reference.