This page provides information for CSS people who develop, install and maintain CSS.

End-user documentation is provided as online help within CSS (Menu Help, Help Contents).

For developer information, including source code, mailing list etc. see

- Preferences - Un-packing JARs - Rebuilding - Message Log - Authentication - Archiver - Alarms - JMS -

Preferences, non-SNS Use

The SNS CSS Office applications are pre-configured for the SNS office network, while other packages might have no specific settings.

For use at your site, you might have to change the Preferences for at least CSS/Core/EPICS and the Data Browser to suit your needs. While you can do that via the menu item CSS/Preferences for each Workspace, system administrators can configure the default settings and additional parameters by editing the files configuration/config.ini and plugins/org.csstudio.*.product_*/plugin_customization.ini of the downloaded CSS application.

Un-packing Plugin JAR Files

In a product, most Eclipse/CSS plugins are jar files in a plugins subdirectory of the product, for example org.csstudio.basic.epics.product_1.0.0.jar, i.e. the name of the plug-in is followed by a version number and has a ".jar" extension.

In order to view the content of the plugin and maybe edit configuration files in there, it is possible to replace the jar file with its extracted content. On Linux/OS X:

mkdir org.csstudio.basic.epics.product_1.0.0
cd org.csstudio.basic.epics.product_1.0.0
unzip ../org.csstudio.basic.epics.product_1.0.0.jar
rm ../org.csstudio.basic.epics.product_1.0.0.jar

Note that the directory has the same name as the jar file except for the ".jar" extension, and we remove the original jar file after unpacking its content.

RDB Message Log

CSS Tools can send log messages (warnings, error information) to a JMS server, from which other CSS tools can then log them to a central relational database (RDB) log.

RDB Channel Archiver

Upgrade of the Channel Archiver, where the maintenance of the custom binary data and index files became overwhelming. The new system in short:



The Best Ever Alarm System Toolkit as used by the SNS.

JMS Server

The CSS message log and the Best Ever Alarm System Toolkit use a Java Message Server. Specifically, the Apache ActiveMQ implementation of JMS. Download it from In principle you can just unpack the ActiveMQ package from the Apache web site, then

   cd apache-activemq-*/bin

You might want to copy its default configuration file, conf/activemp.xml into something like my_activemq_setup and then use that configuration file:

   ./activemq xbean:file:/path/to/my_activemq_setup.xml

That way you can disable things that you don't need, like the web monitor, or enable HTTPTransport to allow tunneling though web proxies. Markus Möller (DESY) suggested disabling the "multicast" option in the "networkConnectors" section to prevent multiple JMS servers from magically finding each other and causing more confusion than good.

When you configure CSS tools to use your JMS server, it's suggested to use the "failover:" URLs:


will allow clients to re-connect automatically after network problems. Avoid multi-host failover as follows unless you specifically configured those JMS hosts for master/slave failover or message forwarding: