Using Athena at Nikhef

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Using Athena at Nikhef

Out of date: /data/atlas/offline does not exist. Nigel 25 Apr 2014. Try CVMFS.

In order to set up Athena in your shell, gain access to asetup first. Put the following either

  • in a file and source it everytime you want to use Athena or
  • in your .bashrc (if you are using the bash shell):
export AtlasSetupSite=/data/atlas/offline/asetup.conf
export AtlasSetup=/data/atlas/offline/AtlasSetup
alias asetup='source $AtlasSetup/scripts/'

You should be able to set up e.g. AtlasProduction- by running asetup

Installing a new Athena kit

  • Change directory to /data/atlas/offline
  • source (read output for further instructions)
  • e.g. mkdir 17.0.4 && cd 17.0.4
  • e.g. pacman -allow trust-all-caches tar-overwrite -get am-CERN:17.0.4
  • e.g. pacman -allow trust-all-caches tar-overwrite -get

Obsolete Instructions below

For your convenience, you can set up your Athena and GRID environment now by sourcing one script (/data/atlas/offline/ in a Bash shell. If you want to have it available permanently, add it to your ~/.bashrc like
. /data/atlas/offline/

Please make sure that at the beginning of your .bashrc you have a line similar to [ -z "$PS1" ] && return. This will prevent shell scripts (i.e. non-interactive bash sessions) to do some funky stuff.

After this, you have basically two new aliases available: athenakitsetup and setup_grid.

The former is a central setup script for several versions of Athena located in /data/atlas/offline/athenatools. It handles different releases and release types (such as AtlasTier0, AtlasProduction, etc), as well as user-specific setup for checking out packages with cmt or running with a debug release. It can be used with different options:

athenakitsetup [version] [tag1,tag2,...] or athenakitsetup -h

The optional version argument will select the release version as well as the installation location of the used release. Some examples:

  • 15.5.3: uses 15.5.3 from CERN afs
  • rel_0: uses rel_0 nightly from CERN afs
  • kit_15.5.3: uses 15.5.3 kit from a local installation directory
  • kitrel_0: uses nightly kit from a local installation directory

It is also possible to use aliases for more complicated or predefined configurations which can be written down in a mapfile. At Nikhef, this file is located at /data/atlas/offline/.map.

Some excerpts:

n15.5.0         kit_15.5.0    /data/atlas/offline/15.5.0
n15.5.2         kit_15.5.2    /data/atlas/offline/15.5.2
n15.5.3         kit_15.5.3    /data/atlas/offline/15.5.3
n15.5.3.8T0     kit_15.5.3.8  /data/atlas/offline/15.5.3  AtlasTier0,opt
n15.5.3.5P1     kit_15.5.3.5  /data/atlas/offline/15.5.3  AtlasP1HLT,opt
n15.5.3.9T0     kit_15.5.3.9  /data/atlas/offline/15.5.3  AtlasTier0,opt

So e.g. athenakitsetup n15.5.3.8T0 will setup the kit 15.5.3 locally at Nikhef, with tags AtlasTier0 and opt.

On the commandline, you can specify additional tags as a comma-separated list after the second argument.

The latter alias setup_grid sets some GRID-specific environment variables and sets GANGA up for your environment.


There are several environment variables you can set in order to control the behaviour of athenakitsetup:

  • TESTAREAROOT: the directory for local packages
  • ATHENAKITDIR: the global kit installation directory (also the location of the .map file)
  • DEFAULTATHENAVERSION: default Athena version/alias to use if run without arguments
  • CERNUSER: user name for logging in at CERN
  • CMTSSHIDENTITY: ssh public key to use if using key authentication with cmt
  • TESTAREASTYLE: simpleTest or oneTest basically (
  • FORCE32BIT: force usage of 32-bit release on 64-bit machines
  • CMTVERSION: e.g. v1r20p20090520
  • ATHENATAGS: default tags for all releases

Setting up the kit

Just run athenakitsetup without arguments (currently defaults to AtlasTier0- It will create $TESTAREAROOT if it does not exist yet.

Installing the most recent version of AMA

First, setup the Athena release of your choice.

Then, open a shell and issue

chmod +x

After this, follow the instructions given by the installation script.


Q: How can I set a different user name for CERN?
A: Set CERNUSER in your ~/.bashrc
Q: And additionally for svn access:
A: Set export SVNROOT="svn+ssh://" in your ~/.bashrc

Q: I always have to enter my password a thousand times when checking out packages. How can I fix this?
A: If using Kerberos authentication, you have to put some lines in your ~/.ssh/config:

PubkeyAuthentication no
StrictHostKeyChecking no
ForwardX11 no
GSSAPIDelegateCredentials yes
GSSAPIAuthentication yes

Might now be useful to do: