Old LArSoftWiki » History » Version 53

« Previous - Version 53/136 (diff) - Next » - Current version
Erica Snider, 12/02/2013 10:03 PM

If you are looking for the legacy svn-based LArSoft site, see If you are looking for the legacy cvs-based LArSoft site, all content has been moved to LArSoft cvs (legacy site).

This is the beta LArSoft redmine project and the future home of the LArSoft redmine project.


Under construction... Will go live when the migration to git/cmake is completed.

The LArSoft software is designed to work for all planned and running liquid argon experiments at Fermilab. It is written in C++ and built on the ROOT data analysis software and the FMWK framework for HEP experiments. The releases of the software are managed using an SRT distribution.

To join the LArSoft mailing list, please follow these instructions using the list name LARSOFT.

Getting started

Access to Fermilab computing

Load balanced access to GPCF VMs

Where to find the software

At Fermilab, the software lives in a set of re-locatable ups products, each of which corresponds to the code within a git repository. Each product and associated repository contain LArSoft software components (i.e., SoftRelTool "packages") that are at a similar layer of functionality. The reference products and repository urls are the following:

repository url (all in Redmine) lxr link
(not yet avail)
Redmine browser
larcore ssh:///cvs/projects/larcore -- redmine
lardata ssh:///cvs/projects/lardata -- redmine
larevt ssh:///cvs/projects/larevt -- redmine
larsim ssh:///cvs/projects/larsim -- redmine
larreco ssh:///cvs/projects/larreco -- redmine
larana ssh:///cvs/projects/larana -- redmine
lareventdisplay ssh:///cvs/projects/lareventdisplay -- redmine
larexamples ssh:///cvs/projects/larexamples -- redmine
larpandora ssh:///cvs/projects/larpandora -- "redmine:
larsoft ssh:///cvs/projects/larsoft
(A product used to set up the others with a single command. Contains the "setup" package.)

(The SoftRelTools-based packages in each product/repository can be found here along with the approximate order of dependency.)

You can use the git clone <repository url> command to download a copy of each repository to your local area. Additional steps are needed to use, build or develop the software. These steps are described in the "How to use and develop LArSoft code" section below.

Re-factoring of experiment-specific software

All experiment-specific code, fcl and gdml files have been removed from the above larcore, lardata, larevt and larsim repositories and moved into beta versions of experiment-specific git repositories. (The one exception to this rule is that the DetId_t enum type, which effectively maps detector name strings to integers, remains in core LArSoft, pending migration to a new, string-based mechanism for storing and using this information. The beta versions of experiment-specific repositories are the following:

repository url (all in Redmine) lxr link
(not yet avail)
Redmine browser
lbnecode ssh:///cvs/projects/lbnecode -- redmine
uboonecode ssh:///cvs/projects/lardata -- redmine

Release notes

Release Date Purpose Changes / notes Full release notes
v1.00.00 Jan 2014 First production
Replica of final svn-based release. Future LArSoft development
proceeds from this release.
v0.0x.yy 12/09/2013 "beta" public release Beta suitable for general user testing N/A
v0.01.01 12/02/2013 "beta" limited release Beta suitable for expert testing N/A
v0.00.09 11/25/2013 "beta" pre-release Second full release under new system. First full re-factoring
of experiment-specific and core LArSoft code in the larcore,
lardata, larevt, and larsim products. Preparation for expert
user testing of beta release.
v0.00.04 9/15/2013 "alpha" release First release of git/cmake/ups-based LArSoft products
Used for mrb, configuration and re-factoring
development and testing


Overview of the user and developer environment

LArSoft releases are distributed via "re-locatable" ups products. People interested in using the core LArSoft software, but who have no need to modify or develop that software can in principle simply perform the appropriate ups setup <product> <version> -q <qualifier> commands, then build their code against those products by reference to the corresponding $<PRODUCT_NAME>_INC and $<PRODUCT_NAME>_LIB environment variables. In addition to the individual products, there is a "larsoft" product that can be used to set up all other products with a single command:

setup larsoft <version> -q <qualifiers>

The versions and qualifiers available can be obtained by using the following command:
ups list -aK+ larsoft

The qualifiers will be one of the following: "debug:e2", "prof:e2", "opt:e2", where:

  • debug = debugging symbols available
  • opt = compiler optimizations enabled, no debug symbols
  • prof = compiler optimizations enabled, profiling code generated
  • e2 = built with gcc 4.7.1 and -std=c++0x

In general, only debug and prof versions will be provided, since there is no run-time performance penalty for code that has the profiling code present.

The recommended way to work with LArSoft is to use mrb, the multi-repository build tool, to check out and build your own code. This build system is based upon cmake and a toolkit of cmake macros in the cetbuildtools product -- the same set of tools that are used to build the art framework that underpins LArSoft. mrb operates above cmake and drives the build procedure across (possibly) multiple repositories within one's working area. Using mrb ensures the integrity and structure of the working.

One's working directory within this system has the following structure: a source code sub-directory where all development takes place; a build sub-directory where all build activities take place; and a local products area, where all successfully built software is installed, and from which it can be run.

All software packages built and installed by mrb / cmake / cetbuildtools are in the form of a re-locatable ups products. (A "re-locatable" ups product has a simplified structure compared to that of legacy ups products, and does not require that it be "declared" to a ups database. These features simplify distribution, installation and maintenance of re-locatable products.) mrb provides a simple product template that includes two files that must be modified by the user: a top-level CMakeLists.txt file, that specifies which sub-directories will be included in the build along with any global configuration needed to build the product; and a product_deps file that specifies the dependencies for the package. The product template can otherwise be customized for an experiment. Although this scheme may sound cumbersome and arcane, it is essentially no different than following the package structure conventions imposed by SRT, using a GNUmakefile to configure the build, and a global release setup script to configure the global environment. With cmake, the GNUmakefiles are replaced by CMakeLists.txt files, while the "global environment" for the product is managed locally with the product_deps and top-level CMakeLists.txt files for the product. mrb then manages all the details of utilizing ups to configure the build environment, driving the build, and packaging and installing the ups product in the local products area.

The LArSoft developer environment

As previously mentioned, all LArSoft code is archived in a set of repositories based on the git version control system. There are numerous resources on the web on how to use git, starting with the authoritative Pro Git Book and git reference manual provided on the official git website. A search on "git documentation" yields many more.

The LArSoft project has adopted the git branching model described at to assist with managing the development workflow and maintaining a stable development environment. Within this framework, the git repositories have the following branch structure:
  • A "main" branch that will have only tagged releases. Used only by the software manager.
  • A "develop" branch that will have the working head of the repository. Used by all developers.
  • One or more "release" branches for the integration of specific tagged releases. Used or authorized only by the software manager.
  • An arbitrary set of "feature" branches on which all on-going work takes place. In most cases, these branches will be in local repositories, although publishing them to the reference repository is useful in many cases. Developers can create as many feature branches as needed.
  • One or more "hotfix" branches that is used to develop patches to tagged releases. Used or authorized only by the software manager.

The git flow tool is a set of git extension that provide high-level operations for working within this branching model. We recommend that developers utilize git flow when developing LArSoft code. Developers who choose not to use git flow should nonetheless adhere to the branching model.

Links to the tools used in working with the software

  • git
  • git flow
  • mrb : the multi-repository build tool
  • Re-locatable ups
  • cmake


Advanced technical how-to's

Release procedures

Walk-through exercises

LArSoft code management and distribution procedures

Working areas

Beta re-factoring