How to start the Synoptic-based online monitoring

The online-monitoring can be accessed from both off-site locations, though a web-browser, and on-site locations using either a web-browser or the Synoptic viewer (Java application).

From the FTBF MCenter Control Room computers (any desktop computer)

Do not attempt to open Synoptic via the Synoptic website, it will either not start or crash because the Kerberos settings won't be right.

1) Open a console.

setup ftbf

2) Go to /home/nfs/ftbf_user/acnet.

cd /home/nfs/ftbf_user/acnet

3) Run the launch_acnet_console command. This will get automatically a kerberos ticket with settings permissions and launch and acnet console.


4) Go to page D99:

The D menu is generally automatically opened when launching an ACNET console, just search among the opened windows and hit enter / click on the D to get to the second page. Click on 99 - Synoptic Viewer:

or type D99 directly in the top left corner:

This will launch the Synoptic viewer.

Note: Sometimes when typing directly D99 (or more rarely when clicking), the console gives an error... If this happens, just click again.

5) Click on the button shown by the arrow to get started.

Note: If this is not the first time you are opening a viewer, you will have a pop-up window showing the latest displays used. You can either choose the display you'd like to look at from there or if it's not listed, just close that window and start from the beginning.

6) Expand the LArIAT folder by clicking (double-clicking) on it and open the displays main menu.
Note: Do not open Synoptic Viewer through a web-browser (only applies to FTBF computers) since the application will have some issues in finding the kerberos ticket thus doing settings won't be possible

In Fermilab - Java application (interactive displays)

There are 2 possibilities, depending on whether you wish to only look at the displays or do settings / interact with the displays (i.e. zoom in, zoom out etc.)

1) If you only wish to look at the displays, please follow the procedure described in the "Outside Fermilab" section below. Otherwise follow the next steps.

2) Get a Kerberos ticket, otherwise the viewer will shut down.

3) Open a browser, go to the Synoptic website and launch the viewer (Java required).

4) Follow steps 5 and 6 from previous section.

5) If your personal Kerberos account has not been given setting permissions, you will not be able to enable settings but you can still interact with the plots.

Note: If you wish to open the viewer from off-site, you must be connected to the Fermilab VPN, otherwise Synoptic will very likely crash or not start, even with a Kerberos ticket. But even with a VPN, you will NOT be able to enable settings. This is part of Fermilab's security system, to prevent accidents.

Outside Fermilab - Web viewer

If you are off-site, you will only be able to look at the displays. No settings are possible from outside Fermilab. If you wish to open the interactive viewer, it is possible (follow the instructions on the previous section) but please read the note at the end of the previous section.

1) Open a browser and go to the Synoptic website

2) Click on the LArIAT folder, this will expand the contents. Then click on the "Displays Main menu" link.

Closing / Restarting the displays (please read before closing any display!)

Should a display crash or should you wish to close it, just click on the top right hand corner red cross. Plots are reset when the display is closed so do not close a display unless it is really necessary.

Display and control descriptions

Please see Using Synoptic for monitoring .


Because of some recent changes on the Java platform, you might have to do some tweaks to the Java security parameters. If you get an error that says that the application cannot be launched because it is from an unknown source / signature, please do the following:

1) Open the Java control panel. How to access it varies according to the OS (Google is your friend). You might have to launch it with admin privileges.

2) Select the security tab.

3) Drop the security to medium level.
*Note: This might not be possible in recent java versions. If you only have the high and very high options, choose high.

4) Add the following links to the exceptions list:

5) Validate. You might have to restart the computer for this changes to take effect.

Note: Make sure you type "http" and not "https". The latter will not work.


LArIAT contact: Flor de Maria Blaszczyk (Boston University),
Need a new display? Don't understand something? Please let me know! All suggestions and comments are welcome.

Synoptic support: