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Installing McIDAS-X on Windows 7 Workstations

If you are installing McIDAS-X on a workstation running the Linux, Solaris or Mac OS X operating system, go to Installing McIDAS-X on Unix or Mac OS X Workstations.

This section contains background information about and the procedure for installing McIDAS-X on PC workstations running Microsoft Windows 7 with Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA). Hereafter, the terms McIDAS-X for Win7 and McIDAS-X for Win7 2016.1 refer specifically to this package. The McIDAS-X command suite, which is identical in both packages (Unix and Windows 7), is referred to as McIDAS-X or McIDAS-X 2016.1.

Because the Win7 package is distributed as both binary and source code, and the Unix package is distributed as source code only, which must be compiled (built) on-site, the installation files and procedures for these packages are different.

The table below lists the software versions compatible with McIDAS-X for Win7 2016.1. McIDAS-X for Win7 2016.1 was tested on these versions only. The McIDAS Users' Group is extremely limited in its ability to support sites running McIDAS-X for Win7 2016.1 with other software versions.

Operating System Fortran compiler C compiler X server
Microsoft® Windows® 7 Enterprise with Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA)
and SUA Community Complete Toolset
g77 : 3.3 gcc : 3.3 see below

System Configuration Notes:

  1. Because McIDAS-X for Win7 is distributed as a binary package, the Fortran and C compilers are needed only if you do local development on the workstation. The compilers are packaged with the SUA software.

  2. We do not have a specific X server that we recommend for Windows 7. The two that are used most at SSEC are Xming (packaged with SUA Community Complete Toolset) and X-Win32. Neither work flawlessly, as we have encountered problems with both, typically with cutting and pasting or when using cursor-based commands like CUR, PC or CM. If you encounter these types of problems with your X server, you may find that setting or unsetting the -noXCursor flag in your $HOME/.mcidasrc file improves performance.

  3. Unlike Unix, Windows 7 does not have a single rooted file system. Rather than mounting a drive on any arbitrary mount point in a file system, the drive must be mounted on a drive letter (e.g., C: or D:). Because SUA uses the Windows 7 file system, the pathnames to files may look different than they do in Unix. There are two types of pathnames on a Windows 7 system running SUA: Win32 and POSIX. The Win32 format (e.g., c:\Windows\SUA\bin) is the standard format used in Windows and DOS environments. It is used in all Windows 7 Win32 applications. The POSIX format (e.g., /dev/fs/C/Windows/SUA/bin) is the standard format used in Unix environments. It is used with SUA applications, including McIDAS-X.

  4. Several pages in this section, and the mcidas.mcenv and mcidas.profile files discussed in Setting the SUA Environment, contain instructions or examples that include ~mcidas or ~mclocal. On some Windows 7 systems the tilde character (~) may not resolve correctly with all user account names. Therefore, step 5 of the Preparing the mcidas Account on Windows 7 instructions and step 5 of the Making and Configuring the User Account instructions contain an echo command to determine if tilde is resolved correctly, and specify what to do if it isn't.

The installation instructions appear below. The system administrator or person who installs McIDAS-X for Win7 will use these installation instructions, which consist of six tasks:


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