Updating the CASA Data Repository

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CASA data repositories contain our current best knowledge of, e.g., observatory coordinates, leap seconds, ephemerides, calibrator models, etc. Every version of CASA contains the latest files as they are available at the time of the release.

Some of this information, like leap seconds, can go out of date since at any time they can only be predicted for a certain time into the future. Also, we only store ephemerides up to a certain future date at release time. Finally, for models etc., an improved version may become available after the release.

So, one may need to manually update the data repository on an existing CASA version if the version is used on data which was taken much later than the CASA release date. From CASA version 4.4 and onwards, one can do this in two different ways (independent of the operating system).

But first, be sure you are not close to your disk quota in your home area, because it will give a failure message if you hit it during the update. The unpacking of the package takes at least 1.7 GB (as of April 2021). If you lack that much free space, you can first redefine the temporary directory to a larger area with:

bash% mkdir /bigdisk/tmp
bash% export TMPDIR=/bigdisk/tmp

Method 1) On the CASA prompt, run


If the repository is already up-to-date, you will get this message: "Requirement already up-to-date". Be sure to undefine TMPDIR before running mpicasa or else you will inadvertently change the location of the "shared memory backing files", which could impact performance.


Method 2) Without starting CASA one can update the repository from the Unix prompt, too:

# in a terminal
casa-config --exec update-data

either command will pull the current data repository from the NRAO database and update it on disk. Note that method (2) will not work if the casa-config executable does not exist, which is the case with current tarball downloads.

CASA 4.4 or earlier:

We changed the data server and the above command will not work anymore in the distribution. However, we have a [patch] available that can be run by

    $ update-data.patch <PATH-TO-CASA-DISTRIBUTION>

where <PATH-TO-CASA-DISTRIBUTION> is the path to the top level of the unpacked CASA distribution.