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This page is the home of synApps. synApps is a collection of software tools that help to create a control system for beamlines. It contains beamline-control and data-acquisition components for an EPICS based control system. synApps is distributed under the EPICS Open license.

Please email any comments and bug reports to Tim Mooney who is responsible for coordinating releases.

Where to find it

You can download the software from the links in the table below:

synApps Version Release date EPICS Release Filename Documentation Release Notes Known Problems
R5_8 3/27/15 or 3.15 synApps_5_8.tar.gz
synApps_5_8.html synAppsReleaseNotes.html bugs
R5_7 8/26/13 synApps_5_7.tar.gz (645591040)
synApps_5_7.html synAppsReleaseNotes.html bugs areaDetector-1-9-1.patch
R5_6 12/05/11 synApps_5_6.tar.gz (156159012)
synApps_5_6.tar (551666176)
synApps_5_6.html synAppsReleaseNotes.html None
R5_5 4/21/10 3.14.11 synApps_5_5.tar.gz synApps_5_5.html synAppsReleaseNotes.html None
R5_4_1 3/24/09 3.14.10 synApps_5_4_1.tar.gz synApps_5_4.html synAppsReleaseNotes.html None
R5_4 3/06/09 3.14.10 synApps_5_4.tar.gz synApps_5_4.html synAppsReleaseNotes.html bugs
R5_3 09/10/08 synApps_5_3.tar.gz synApps_5_3.readme synAppsReleaseNotes.html None
R5_2 01/05/07 3.14.8 synApps_5_2.tar.gz synApps_5_2.readme synAppsReleaseNotes.html None
R5_1_1 9/22/05 3.14.7 synApps_5_1_1.tar.gz synApps_5_1_1.readme synApps_5_1_1.release None
R5_1 4/7/05 3.14.7 synApps_5_1.tar.gz synApps_5_1.readme Not available bugs
R5_0 3/10/04 3.14.5 synApps_5_0.tar.gz synApps_5_0.readme Not available None
R4_6 2/5/04 3.13.9 synApps_4_6.tar.gz synApps_4_6.readme Not available bugs
R4_6_alpha 7/24/03 3.14.2 synApps_T202_R3_14_1_R4_6alpha.tar.gz Not available Not available Not available
R4_4 3/26/02 3.13.5 synApps_R3.13.5_R4.4.tar.gz Not available Not available Not available

Included Modules

SynApps includes the following modules. Follow the links to find information on a specific module.

Module Description Contact
alive The alive record, formerly part of the sscan module. Dohn Arms
areaDetector EPICS software for area detectors Mark Rivers
autosave Support for saving PV values through an ioc reboot Tim Mooney
busy The busy record, formerly part of the sscan module. Tim Mooney
calc Device for run-time expression evaluation, and other calculations Tim Mooney
camac camac driver, device support, DXP software Mark Rivers
caputRecorder Support for recording caputs as python functions Tim Mooney
ccd CCD control (replaced by areaDetector in synApps 5.4 and higher) Mark Rivers
dac128V Industry Pack digital to analog converter Mark Rivers
delaygen Delay Generators Dohn Arms
dxp DXP digital-signal processing spectroscopy systems Mark Rivers
ebrick EPICS Brick (ebrick) David Kline
ip Device support and databases for some serial IndustryPack devices Kurt Goetze
ip330 Industry Pack analog to digital converter Mark Rivers
ipUnidig Industry Pack digital I/O Mark Rivers
love Love serial digital controllers David Kline
mca Multi-channel analyzer support Mark Rivers
measComp Support for USB I/O modules from Measurement Computing Mark Rivers
modbus Modbus-protocol support Mark Rivers
motor Motor support Ron Sluiter
optics Support for x-ray optics Tim Mooney
pilatus EPICS interface to the Pilatus pixel-array detector (replaced by areaDetector in synApps 5.4 and higher) Mark Rivers
quadEM APS Quad electrometer support Mark Rivers
sscan Support for moving positioners, triggering detectors, acquiring and storing data Tim Mooney
softGlue Support for user wiring of digital circuit elements in an FPGA Tim Mooney
std Miscellaneous support Tim Mooney
vac Support for vacuum controllers Tim Mooney
vme Device support and databases for some VME devices Tim Mooney
xxx Sample user application, which builds, loads, and runs software from all the other modules listed here. Tim Mooney
The following modules are usually included in a synApps tar file, but they are not part of synApps.
allenBradley Allen Bradley PLC communication Marty Kraimer
asyn General-purpose device interface facility Mark Rivers, Eric Norum
genSub Discontinued - Multi-I/O subroutine, handles arrays Andy Foster
ipac Interface for Industry Pack carrier boards Andrew Johnson
seq SNL compiler & sequencer Benjamin Franksen
stream StreamDevice Dirk Zimoch
vxStats To be discontinued after synApps 5.6 - IOC resource monitor for vxWorks Carl Lionberger
devIocStats IOC resource monitor for all operating systems Stephanie Allison

Installation and Building of synApps

After obtaining a copy of the distribution, it must be installed and built for use at your site. These steps only need to be performed once for the site (unless versions of the module running under different releases of EPICS and/or the other required modules are needed).

  1. Create an installation directory for synApps, usually this will end with
  2. Place the distribution file in this directory. Then issue the commands (Unix style)
    gunzip <file>.tar.gz
    tar xvf <file>.tar
  3. This creates a synApps installation.
    where X-Y is the release. For example.
  4. Edit the synApps_X_Y/support/configure/RELEASE file, and any SUPPORT.<arch> and EPICS_BASE.<arch> files in that directory that specify architectures you will build, to set the paths to your installation of EPICS base and the synApps support directory. Run 'gnumake release' in the support directory to propagate the content of RELEASE to the modules.
  5. Run gnumake in the synApps_X_Y/support directory and check for any compilation errors.
  6. See support/documentation/synApps.html for more detailed instructions, including required tools. Note that synApps 5.6 is newly dependent on the most recent version of msi (to build the softGlue module).


The following documentation is available:

In Use

This software was originally developed by many people at APS and elsewhere. synApps is in use at the following sites:
  • APS
  • SLS
  • NSLS
  • Diamond
  • Cosylab
  • ASRP

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JEMIAN, 26 Feb 2018
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