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Last modified: 4 November 2020


Bugs: Installation & Smoke Tests

The following is a list of known issues that may be seen when installing CIAO. If you encounter a problem that is not listed here, contact CXC Helpdesk for assistance.

Table of Contents









    ERROR: md5sum mismatched d208b071ec80c7e652f15c24332b7f62 vs 919f1c99e7cfdbadfbdd2da5d02bde0d
    ERROR: MD5 sums mismatch. Please try again. If the problem continues please contact the CXC helpdesk

    The md5sum mismatch error message is most often seen with the largest large files: sherpa and the CALDB files.

    The most common causes of the md5sum mismatch are:

    • Users are on a slow network connection which causes the FTP client on their system to time-out.
    • Users are downloading files onto a device which does not support files > 2Gb such as some thumb-drives and other USB devices.
    • Users run out of disk space, or exceed system quota's established by their IT admins. This is frequently the case when attempting to download to users home directories.


    There are several options users can try

    • Try a different network connection. A hard-wired connection may provide a more reliable connection and allow the download to complete successfully.
    • Try a different disk partition or storage devices.


    Fontconfig error: Cannot load default config file

    This message may appear during the obsvis smoke test. It is benign.

    OBSVIS Error: Retrieving calibration updates from server produced the following error: 'Network timeout'

    Occasionally the connection to the server times out during the smoke test before ObsVis can get the data it needs. Try running the GUI from the command line:

    unix% obsvis

    If the problem persists, contact CXC Helpdesk.

    Error in startup script: bad pad value "4m": must be positive screen distance
             while executing
        "pack $fovAcisLeftFrame -side left -fill none -padx 4m"
             (procedure "OBSVISAcisChipsFrame::New" line 39)
             invoked from within
        "OBSVISAcisChipsFrame::New $local(frameWidget) top "ACIS Chips"

    This error message can occur on some Linux distributions which use Wayland in X11 compatibility mode. Specifically, this can occur if the display is resized (such as when connecting to different monitors or projectors). Users needing obsvis must log out and back in using X11, such as "GNOME on Xorg" option on the login screen.


    Customized resource, $HOME/.*.rc, may cause conflicts

    Several CIAO applications make use of resource files in the users home directory. These typically contain global application preferences. The list of resource files, or .rc files, is shown below.

    • .ciaoinstall.rc
    • .ciaorc
    • .obsvisrc
    • .pegrc
    • .prismrc
    • .sherpa.rc

    If users have made customizations to these file it may cause the CIAO smoke tests to fail. This has been seen several times with sherpa users who have setup to use pyfits (rather than crates) and are upgrading to the lastest version of CIAO.

    Users should move their customized version of these files to another directory and re-try the smoke tests. The files will get re-created and the customizations can be re-introduced in the new version of these files.

    Customized $HOME/.ipython-ciao settings

    Users who have made customizations to their $HOME/.ipython-ciao setup files will need to check their customizations after CIAO is installed.


    Sherpa: "ERROR: test_image (sherpa.image.tests.test_image.test_image)"

    The Sherpa smoke test fails and the log contains these errors:

    ERROR: test_image (sherpa.image.tests.test_image.test_image)
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    ValueError: total size of new array must be unchanged

    This is an intermittent error in the code that Sherpa uses to talk with DS9 via XPA. Run the smoke tests a second time and the errors should go away. If they do not, contact CXC Helpdesk for further assistance.


    Segmentation fault

    The prism smoke tests will segmentation fault if there are incompatible .fontconfig files cached on the user's system. Remove the .fontconfig cache:

    unix% rm ~/.fontconfig/*

    If this does not fix the prism problem, contact CXC Helpdesk.

    CIAO is installed as root and the GUI smoke tests fail

    The GUI applications - such as ds9, prism, and obsvis - open windows as part of running the smoke tests. Often the root account is not allowed to open a window on the machine, which causes these tests to fail.

    The path to diff.log indicates this test was run as the root user:


    It is is strongly suggested that CIAO be installed as a non-privileged user and not as the root user. If CIAO must be installed in a directory owned by root and you are following the manual process, then

    1. unpack CIAO as root (so creating the ciao-<ver>/ directory);
    2. use the chown utility to change ownership of this directory to the installer's username.


    The ds9 smoke test results may differ in the least significant figure.

    A sample diff log from test ds9-smoke001:

    <  1.73363528e+02 2.58432381e+01 
    >  1.73363528e+02 2.58432382e+01 
    <  1.73357457e+02 2.58464050e+01 
    >  1.73357457e+02 2.58464051e+01 
    <  1.73322543e+02 2.58736917e+01 
    >  1.73322543e+02 2.58736916e+01 
    <  1.73310395e+02 2.58821467e+01 
    >  1.73310395e+02 2.58821466e+01 

    Often rerunning the test will resolve the difference. (Frequently it is due to a timing issue between certain XPA commands.)