Computers @ Paranal

In the Residencia: preparing your OBs

Eight Linux PCs have been set up for visiting astronomers inthe Residencia to prepare their OBs using the p2web application or P2PP tool for VIMOS and GRAVITY users. There is one visas account per PC and the boxes are spreadthroughout four offices:

Box name Account Location
fett      visas1  Office 14, level -3 (below reception, facing the pool)
chewbacca visas2  Office 14, level -3 (below reception, facing the pool)
c3p0      visas3  Office 12, level -3 (below reception, facing the pool)
r2d2      visas4  Office 12, level -3 (below reception, facing the pool)
boba      visas5  Office 10, level -3 (below reception, facing the pool)
alder     visas6  Office 10, level -3 (below reception, facing the pool)
lott      visas7  Office 8 , level -3 (below reception, facing the pool)
yoda      visas8  Office 8 , level -3 (below reception, facing the pool)

You can login on the machine for which you have been assigned an account upon your arrival. This machine gives access to the external network via a web browser, ssh, telnet, ftp and ncftp. From your PC you have access to the printer laser2, which is located in the room next to the library (same floor as the offices).

The visitor PCs have been installed with P2PP3, FIMS, VMMPS, FPOSS, JNPS, and GUIDECAM, and a collection of scientific data reduction packages, called SciSoft. In addition a few useful non-scientific applications are available such as xv, latex, gv, openoffice and acroread. Please check Paranal's Data Reduction Software page for details.

Your support astronomer is available to assist you with your OB preparation.

In the VLT Control Room

In the VLT Control, visitor mode OBs are executed via the vOT (Visitor Observing Tool). Preparation softare (FIMS, GUIDECAM, JNPS, FPOSS - not VMMPS) are available on wu#dhs (# represents the UT1-4), or on wvgdhs for the VLTI. Both workstations wu#dhs and wgsoff# (wvgdhs and wvgoff for the VLTI) have access to the printer laser1, in the control room.

Data Reduction Software

For a quick-look data reduction you are invited to use the offline workstation wgsoff# (wvgoff for the VLTI) where the data are transfered automatically during the night. See Data Reduction Software to find out what is installed on the wgsoff#/wvgoff workstation and how to use this software.

Connecting a Private Laptop

If you bring your own laptop you can connect it to the network from your assigned visas-office, your room (ask for a cable at the reception) and during your run in the control room at the UT console you are observing (only one laptop can be connected per UT console).

Support relating to laptop connection can be requested from DCS (phone nr. 5959).

If you plan to use MS-Windows, you must have your laptop scanned and certified before connecting it to the ESO network. Please contact DCS (phone nr. 5959) to organize this.

Whether you use Windows, MacOS-X or Linux, you need to make sure that the network configuration has been set to DHCP. The laptop will then be assigned an IP nr automatically.

Sending emails: The ESO Policy for sending emails, in force from 03 March 2008, prevents visiting astronomers from using a server at their home institute for sending mail.
There will not be any restrictions for the reception of emails. To send emails, there will be the following possibilities:

  • use a server with webmail interface,
  • set up a private VPN connection with the home institute,
  • use the server in ESO Garching. No identification is needed, only a 5' setup that can be done by HelpDesk.

Transferring Data to Your Laptop

You can copy your data to your personal laptop. Connect the laptop to the wireless network ESO_VA in the control room (password provided by the night astronomer). Then push the data from the offline machine to your laptop, using e.g. scp or rsync. You can also copy the data to your visas account and transfer them to your laptop from there.