Installation instructions for IDL 5.6

IDL is a programming environment which allows graphing and plotting. Version 5.6 offers bugfixes, and other advantages, over 5.4. Some advantages: better color support for graphs (ability to plot on 16-bit xfree86 servers), etc.

Installation of IDL 5.6 was pretty straightforward. The installation consists of three steps:

Our current IDL 5.4 license requires a flexLM server running on 'polaris', a Gateway E3400 desktop machine. The flam server crashes often, and is sometimes troublesome to get started. For IDL 5.6, I decided to move the flam server to 'woodstock,' while installing the actual IDL software on 'terra'.

Installing IDL 5.6 onto Terra
This step was pretty simple and straightforward.

First, I created an "rsi" directory on terra:/software, this will be the physical directory where IDL resides.

Then I modified the /etc/auto.depot automounter map on terra to mount '/astro/depot/rsi' to the physical location, the "/astro/depot/rsi" directory structure is how the end user will access idl. I did it this way so I could go ahead and install IDL 5.6 "into" the "/astro/depot/rsi" directory in the event that the installer sets any configuration files.

The next step was to mount the IDL 5.6 for Unix cdrom in terra's CD-ROM drive and run the installation utility. This is detailed in the manual, page 67. I opted to install the Solaris and Linux binaries.

Installing FlexLM (flam) on Woodstock
I mounted the IDL 5.6 for Unix CD on woodstock. Following the instructions beginning on page 87 of the installation guide, I installed flam into "/usr/local/rsi" on woodstock.

The next step was to get a license for woodstock. I jumped through a number of hoops before I finally got the license. However, as academic customers we can now generate our own license keys through a web-interface at:

You will need to use the username: Wood and the password is the same as our current switch password.

After logging into the RSI web-page, I generated the license file and had it emailed to us. The next step was to run the 'rsilicense' utility from woodstock and enter the license information under the 'perminant license' utility. The license file then gets saved in the location /usr/local/rsi/license/license.dat. It might have been possible to just copy the license.dat file that was emailed to us into this location..

Next we needed to start the license manager. I wrote a shell script to start and stop the license manager. It is woodstock:/etc/init.d/lmgrd and the contents are:

I went ahead and setup start and stop links in /etc/rc3.d on woodstock for the lmgrd script.

Client configuration
There are only two things that need to be done for the client configuration in our environment.

The first thing is each user must have the environment variable LM_LICENSE_FILE set to 1700@woodstock which tells IDL where it can find the licensing information. I modified the file /usr/local/lib/global.cshrc to add this environment variable, then pushed it out to all of the client machines using polaris' all.dist script. NOTE: I also had to modify the file /software/redhat/locallib/lib/global.cshrc since that is the file that gets installed into /usr/local/lib whenever we kickstart a machine.

The second step is to just modify the auto.depot (and auto_depot on Solaris) maps and push them out. This will be done during the semester break so as not to interrupt anyone prior to the end of the semester.

Last Modified: Dec. 6, 2002, Ken Sallot