Installation and Configuration

CARTA-desktop supports two operating systems: macOS and CentOS/Ubuntu Linux. CARTA-server, with the additional capability of shared session, only supports CentOS/Ubuntu Linux operating system and is not publicly available. For people who want to use CARTA-server as the user interface for their image archive, please contact carta_helpdesk@asiaa.sinica.edu.tw for more information. CARTA-desktop can be retrieved at https://cartavis.github.io.

macOS

CARTA supports the latest three versions of macOS. Currently, they are

  • 10.13 High Sierra
  • 10.12 Sierra
  • 10.11 El Capitan

Earlier versions may be supported, but they are not tested.

To install CARTA on macOS, please follow the steps below:

Step 1: Download CARTA at:

Step 2: Double click on the dmg file and drag the CARTA application to the /Applications folder on your Mac. You may install CARTA to a directory other than /Applications.

_images/carta_drag_install.png

Step 3: Double click on the CARTA icon in the /Applications directory to start CARTA.

Now CARTA should be launched successfully. A CARTA folder with sample images and a hidden .cartavis folder (where you can find logs and the config.json configuration file) are copied to your home directory.

_images/carta_open_successfully_mac.png

Linux

CARTA supports the following Linux distributions:

  • CentOS 7 / RHEL 7
  • CentOS 6 / RHEL 6
  • Ubuntu 17.04
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Other Linux distributions may be supported, but they are not tested.

To install CARTA on Linux, please follow the steps below:

Step 1: Download CARTA at:

Step 2: Extract the package.

For CentOS 7/6, RHEL 7/6:

tar -xvf CARTA-0.9r-el6-el7.tgz

For Ubuntu 17.04, 16.04 LTS:

tar -xvf CARTA-0.9r-ubuntu.tgz

Step 3: Launch CARTA by executing carta.sh.

For CentOS 7/6, RHEL 7/6:

CARTA-0.9r-el6-el7/bin/carta.sh

For Ubuntu 17.04, 16.04 LTS:

CARTA-0.9r-ubuntu/bin/carta.sh

Now CARTA should be launched successfully. A CARTA folder with sample images and a hidden .cartavis folder (where you can find logs and the config.json configuration file) are copied to your home directory.

_images/carta_open_successfully_linux.png

For this release, we also provide the CARTA Linux versions as an AppImage (https://appimage.org). AppImages have been gaining popularity on Linux in recent years. They are analagous to Applications on a Mac. They are a self-contained single file bundling the application itself and everything it needs to run on a system.

To use a CARTA AppImage, download the appropriate version (CentOS 7/6 and RHEL 7/6, or Ubuntu 17.04, 16.04 LTS):

Make the AppImage executable,

For CentOS 7/6, RHEL 7/6:

chmod +x CARTA-0.9r-el6-el7.AppImage

For Ubuntu 17.04, 16.04 LTS:

chmod +x CARTA-0.9r-ubuntu.AppImage

and simply execute it.

For CentOS 7/6, RHEL 7/6:

./CARTA-0.9r-el6-el7.AppImage

For Ubuntu 17.04, 16.04 LTS:

./CARTA-0.9r-ubuntu.AppImage

Installing Python Interface

_images/TBA.png

Configuring CARTA

Plugin configuration

CARTA is built on a plugin model and can be configured by a json file if desired. The default plugin configuration should work for most of users. The plugin configuration file is located at:

<your home>/.cartavis/config.json

and the default plugin configuration looks like:

{
  "_comment" : "List of plugin directories",
  "pluginDirs": [
      "$(APPDIR)/../plugins",
      "$(APPDIR)/../../../../plugins"
  ],
  "disabledPlugins" : [""],
  "plugins": {
      "PCacheSqlite3" : {
          "dbPath": "$(HOME)/CARTA/cache/pcache.sqlite"
      }
  },
  "qtDecorations" : "true",
  "percentileApproximation" : "true",
  "percentApproxDividedNum" : 1000000
}

If you want to disable a certain plugin, for example PCacheSqlite3, you can add "PCacheSqlite3" to the "disabledPlugins" list.

A list of available plugins

CARTA provides the following plugins (locate at the Plugins folder of CARTA directory):

  • casaCore: Adds casa casacore shared libraries. NRAO CASA’s version of the casacore libraries.
  • CasaImageLoader: Adds ability to load casa and fits files as instances of the image interface class. Internally it uses casacore to do the work.
  • Colormaps1: Set of basic colormaps implemented in c++.
  • Fitter1D: Fitting of one-dimensional curves. Fits Gaussian and polynomial curves to x-y plots.
  • Histogram: Generates a histogram of an image based on a region and a range of planes.
  • WcsPlotter: Plots WCS grids using starlink AST lib.
  • ConversionSpectral: Support for conversion of spectral units.
  • ConversionIntensity: Provides conversion of intensity units.
  • ImageAnalysis: Basic tools for analyzing images. NRAO’s CASA image analysis tools.
  • ImageStatistics: Provides basic image and region statistics.
  • RegionCASA: Adds ability to load casa region files as instances of the CARTA RegionInfo class. Parses region files based on the CASA region format.
  • RegionDs9: Adds ability to load ds9 region files as instances of the CARTA RegionInfo class. Parses region files based on the ds9 region format.
  • ProfileCASA: Generates the data for profiles of images.
  • qimage: Adds ability to load jpeg/png images (anything Qt supports).
  • python273: Loader of plugins written in Python.
  • ColormapsPy: Imports colormaps from matplotlib using python.
  • CyberSKA: CyberSKA integration plugin. Allows location of initial filename to be specified via key in url. This key is then used to request the filename securely.
  • DevIntegration: Dev integration plugin. This allows insecurely specify a filename to load via key in url.
  • PCacheSqlite3: Implements persistent cache using Qt’s sqlite3 driver.

Preference configuration

CARTA provides the following user configurable options:

  • percentile approximation:

    "percentileApproximation" : "true",
    "percentApproxDividedNum" : 1000000
    

    By default, CARTA adopts an approximation algorithm to find the clipping values in the image cube in order to provide good performance for big image cube. Note that with this approximation algorithm (1000000 histogram bins), the bounding values of a certain clipping percentage may differ a bit from the exact values.

  • sqlite cache:

    "PCacheSqlite3" : {"dbPath": "$(HOME)/CARTA/cache/pcache.sqlite"}
    

    CARTA adopts sqlite database to cache data values in order to enhance performance. For example, the minimum and maximum values of a certain image cube will be cached in sqlite database so that when this image cube is opened for the second time, the step of finding minimum and maximum values is skipped (usually very expensive for big image cubes). Note that currently CARTA uses the file name of the image as the key in sqlite database. Therefore, the cached values are not applicable to a totally different image with an identical file name. Users may manually remove the cache at <your home>/CARTA/cache/pcache.sqlite. CARTA team will improve this aspect in the near future.