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Welcome to the home of GSI Wiki.Epics. This is a web-based collaboration area for documentation on EPICS infrastructure and projects at GSI.

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Getting started

Since I (Marc) start right know with EPICS a good point to get some knowledge about EPICS is:
EPICS Lecture Series
More GSI specific stuff will be published as soon as there is something running.

After reading a lot of stuff follow the installation instructructions below. (Please note: This is work in Progress and heavily changing from day to day!)

First installation

Installation on a groupserver and running an IOC on a normal machine In order to find news on the first installation refer to:
This documentation will be the base of a real documentation.

GSI installations

EPICS is installed on serveral group servers. lxgs11 (KS groupserver) and lxgs02 (fopi group server) For these "general" installation it is important to have root access to the machines. Some addons like the archiving tool need installed third party software. This kind of software needs normally to be installed as root with the "normal" linux
make install
triology. As a temporary solution on this problem I decided to do several installations in addition to the GSI wide installation. For future experiments something more efficient needs to be found.

-- MarcRStockmeier - 25 Oct 2005

GSI wide installation

JoernAdamczewski did a GSI wide installation. In order to use this installation you need to source /usr/local/pub/bin/epicslogin in your shell. (type: . /usr/local/pub/bin/epicslogin the dot and the space are important...!) This gives the following environment variables:


and the PATH is adopted after sourcing. CurrentEpicsLogin as of 25 Oct 2005.

Installed are: EPICS base, config, medm

Many thanks to JoernAdamczewski who used the installation howto the first time.

How to use the central EPICS installation

Well first forget about most of the installation description above. This you do not need anymore since someone else did it for you;-) Refer to LiveInstallationDocumentation and there subsection: Installation of the first example application which gives the test installation of an IOC.

If you know where an IOC is running you can use medm to connect to it.

some words on the IOC

Since RTFM is not my favourite task I collect here a few things to know about IOCs. The best IOC starting point is to install an example IOC as described above. Later on there should be something like a GSI template IOC (I hope not to regret this statement at some point...;-)). Anyway, a good template IOC is the example IOC until something else is available.

The IOC example gives the directoriy structure as shown in: CompleteExampleTree

In order to change the IOC-program enter :

/*yourname*IOC/*installname*App/src> This ist he Place to edit the .c files.

In order to add more database fules goto:


edit the Database files here!!!!!!!!!! Don't forget to include them to the Makefile. Run make here to install them under:


The execution of the update of process variables is one of the next topics to be addressed.

-- MarcRStockmeier - 17 Aug 2005

some words on CA (Channel Access)

First take a look at Channel Access Documents at the central EPICS homepage. In order to understand the CA mechanism at /*epicspath*/bin/linux-x86/ some low level tools are collected there. The sources of the tools are collected at: /*epicspath*/src/catools/. The sources give the best starting point to build own ca clients/servers. Look at /*epicspath*/src/cas and /*epicspath*/src/ca for the CAserver and CAclient respectively.


caget -h gives all options available for caget
caget marcHost:aiExample

camonitor -h gives all options available for camonitor
caget marcHost:aiExample

caput -h gives all options available for caput
caput marcHost:aiExample

-- MarcRStockmeier - 06 Sep 2005

How to use medm as a CA client

Since medm is in extensive use at HADES it was the first choice for the FOPI setup. Please find in HowToUseMedm a short introduction to it.

Current Projects

  • TRB (TDC readout board)
    install and run EPICS on a single PCB computer...
  • ml403 Virtex 4 evaluation board
    install and run EPICS on a single PCB computer...
  • Integration of CA in LabVIEW (Client and Server)
    HolgerBrand wants to implement Channel Access in LabVIEW. External EPICS PVs (Process variables) would be accessible by LabVIEW applications and LabVIEW could be used to implement CA-Server applications (IOC). Please check the LabviewChannelAccessPage from time to time.

-- MarcRStockmeier - 31 Aug 2005

Running Applications

At some point, some of the projects should end up in a running application;-)


In order to use EPICS at GSI a MBS status monitor was suggested. In order to connect to the MBS status port an IOC was programmed by JoernAdamczewski. A medm userinterface is available from HansEssel. The status as used during the beamtime 04.08.2005 - 22.08.2005 can be found here: medm guis and here: mbsIOC. In order to start the IOC the startup script (in: /*wherever*/mbsIOC/iocBoot/iocmbsmon) needs to be adopted. The one used during the FOPI beamtime in FullText.


Pay attention to the PATHS and so on. This is not a supported package, this is ONE example

-- MarcRStockmeier - 25 Oct 2005

Other Hardware Platforms

HADES has a nice board called TRB (TDC readout board). In order to do some first tests with EPICS on this board several steps have to be performed before. The installation should be allmost the same but cross compiler and several other things are needed first. These steps should be rather similar to other boards runnung Linux on them.

Generic steps:

  • Installation of cross compiler (could be included allready in the normal gnu compiler suite)
  • Installation of software development kit (if available)
  • Download of all sources (LINUX kernel and driver)
  • Compilation of the kernel plus tools (busybox for example)
  • transfer to the target hardware (remark: if the hardware has Linux allready running, the steps mentioned above have to be performed anyway. This is because of the need of the knowlege for new tools what they can expect from the Linux on the target hardware.)
  • Compilation of EPICS inside the development package
  • Test the IOC on the target machine.


The next links will be (hopefully) these generic steps on a TRB HADES board. The Multichip Module (MCM) ETRAX 100LX MCM from AXIS is the core of the TRB. THe following installation guide deals with this specific hardware.

CrossCompilerInstallation failed on the groupserver (stoped actions here...)

In order to use the same Linux installation, the HADES developement PC and the cross compiler infrastructure was made available to me.


-- MarcRStockmeier - 04 Oct 2005

ml403 virtex4 evaluation board

The future DAQ controls needs to be tested on a potential hardware. In order to do so an evaluation board of Xilinx was bought. I have the priviledge to use and test it.Please refer to the installation guide if you are not familiar with this kind of hardware:


last change: -- MarcRStockmeier - 24 Aug 2005

EPICS is already in production for the HADES SlowControl System. A copy of this original web with more recent information can be found at

-- HolgerBrand - 07 Jun 2005

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  • mbsIOC.tgz: Mbs IOC used during the FOPI beamtime

Topic attachments
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mbsIOC.tgztgz mbsIOC.tgz manage 466.5 K 2005-08-24 - 12:49 MarcRStockmeier Mbs IOC used during the FOPI beamtime
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Topic revision: r29 - 2005-10-25, MarcRStockmeier
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