How to Install the 3D Event Display on an SGI or RS6000

While the bulk of SLD's code does not yet run on UNIX, the SLD Event Display system can still take advantage of the 3D interactive graphics capabilities of SGI and IBM RS6000 workstations. One still runs the basic IDA job on a VAX, but when it comes time to display an event, the event picture is shipped out over the Internet to be picked up and displayed by a network deamon running on the Unix workstation. A few actions like zooms, rotations and translations are handled directly by the Unix workstation. Other actions (typically those that take place when the user picks on something in the event display) send information back to the host VAX.

Like most things having to do with the Internet, the system works amazingly well. It has been run on SGI and RS6000 workstations at many different institutions including SLAC, Caltech, Yale, Rutgers and UCSC. In some of these cases, the VAX hosts and the Unix workstations have been in the same room. In other cases, the two halves of this process have been at opposite ends of the United States.

Here's the short version of what is required to get the system running on one's workstation. All the necessary code for the Unix workstation is contained in a compressed tar file available from SLAC's anonymous ftp site. One copies that code to one's Unix workstation, builds the necessary executable, and makes single line changes to two of the system files. On the VAX side, one adds one small block of code to the constant file that defines the set of known graphics devices. The whole process takes only an hour or two. More detailed instructions follow.

Installation on the Unix Side

Note that you will need root privileges to complete the last two steps of the Unix installation.

Copy the necessary code to your Unix workstation by anonymous ftp as follows:

Uncompress the code and make the ugserve executable as follows:

For the rest of the work on the Unix side, you will need root privileges.

Copy the ugserve executable to its production directory:

Add the following line to the system file /etc/services

ugserve         5199/tcp                        # SLAC UGS graphics server

Add the following line to the system file /usr/etc/inetd.conf

ugserve stream  tcp     nowait  sldpub  /usr/local/bin/ugserve          ugserve

The final step on the Unix side is to make inetd read the updated files

Installation on the VAX Side

Your Unix workstation needs to be defined in the file DSPDVIC.CONSTANT. Copy the file from the PRODDISPLAY directory to the directory from which you plan to run your IDA job. Then modify your copy of DSPDVIC.CONSTANT as follows:


Test the system as follows:

If you get an error message that "The Device-Dependent Code for the Selected Device is not Available," it means that you need to install a different version of SLAC's Unified Graphics on your VAX. The standard version in DUCS does not have the network extensions necessary to drive the SGI or RS6000. Copy the extended version from one of the following two places, depending on whether you are using an Alpha or a VAX.

See the DSP section of the manual IDA commands for details on driving the 3D interactive event display.

Joseph Perl
13 June 1994