High level instrument control at the ESRF is carried out using the program spec (onsite only link). We have compiled a short list of common commands for users. Lots of documentation covering all aspects of software for beamline control is provided by the BLISS group (onsite only link).

On ID11, most of the motors, optical elements and shutters are controlled from one LINUX Workstation, called id11 (or pingvin). However, you will normally use a remote terminal to access this machine. Therefore you need to "telnet id11" and log in as "opid11" before you can run spec. Ensure the display is set to the terminal you are using, for example "setenv DISPLAY siemens2:1", if you want the graphics to work.

For simplicity, the various motors and counters are divided into five different spec sessions, each one controlling a particular aspect of the beamline. They are:

  • optics
    • Everything in the optics hutch (slits, mirrors, monochromator)
  • kappa
    • The kappa diffractometer + associated slits in the first hutch
  • bruker (siemens?)
    • The slits, beamstop and collimator for the bruker
    • Note that the Bruker itself is often controlled via smart, although this may be run as a device server from spec
  • 3dxrd
  • thcd
    • Thermocouples, mainly located in the optics hutch.

There a several useful programs, which you might want to have running in addition to spec:

  • id_appli (gives front status and control)
  • newplot (for displaying data)
  • xvacuum (shows status of shutters and vacuum valves)
  • pss_appli (shows status of Personal Safety System, probably only for experts)

Remember the when automatic mode runs out the front end will be closed, so don't forget to reset the automatic mode (in id_appli, command menu).

Given the rich variety of experiments that can be carried out on the beamline, there will usually be some customised commands or macros for the particular arrangement you are using. Your local contact will assist you in using these macros.