EPICS Control Systems

USPAS, January 28 - February 1, 2019, Hilton, 501 West Church Ave, Knoxville, TN
and ITER EPICS Meeting, June 3-7, Aix-en-Provence, France.

This introduction to the Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System (EPICS) toolkit took place at the winter 2019 US Particle Accelerator School (USPAS). Note there was another one held for USPAS 2022


A Virtual Machine (VM) contains a small but complete control system setup. The VM can be used on Windows, Mac OS or Linux.

  1. Your computer must run a 64 bit OS (Windows, Linux or Mac OS X). It should have at least 8GB of memory.
    For Windows and Linux users: In the BIOS of your computer, you may have to enable the VT-X or AMD-v option to support 64 bit guest operating systems.
  2. Download and install the 64 bit version of Virtualbox for your OS from https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads.
  3. Download the VM image: USPAS12.ova, USPAS13.ova or USPAS14.ova (large file, around 5GB). During USPAS, we used USPAS12.ova.
    After USPAS, we published USPAS13 to fix minor issues:
    Stream device example handles complete response, like "CURR 1.23" instead of just "1.23".
    Include solution for sequencer tutorial.
    Update CS-Studio to fix PV Table issue with entering PV names while receiving updated values.
    USPAS 14 updates to EPICS
  4. Start VirtualBox, invoke the menu 'File', 'Import Appliance...'
  5. Select the USPAS*.ova file that you just downloaded, press 'Continue'.
  6. On the next page, you can adjust the number of allocated CPUs and RAM. Try CPU: 4 , RAM: 4096 MB. Press 'Import'.
  7. In the Virtual Box program, you should now see the imported virtual machine.
  8. Start the VM by double-clicking on it. After about 10 seconds, Linux should start up. After about a minute, you should see a desktop. If you are not automatically logged in, log in as user 'training' with password '$training'.
  9. To close the VM, open the drop-down at the right edge of the desktop menu bar which includes a “power off” button .

In case of problems, see VirtualBox FAQ. On Windows and Linux laptops, double-check that 64 bit guest support is enabled. A few people reported issues with version 6.x of Virtual Box, while version 5.x which is still available from the Virtual Box web site worked fine, so try the older version. On Mac OS X, the virtual box installation may report "The installation failed" because of security issues, see Mac OS X blocks installation.


01 Overview (PDF) (PPT)
02 EPICS Database (PDF) (PPT)
02a Recordref 3 13 (PDF)
02b AppDevGuide 3 15 6 (PDF)
03 User Interfaces (PDF) (PPT)
04 CS-Studio (PDF) (PPT)
05 DisplayBuilder (PDF) (PPT)
06 Channel Access (PDF) (PPT)
06b CA Gateway (PDF) (PPT)
07 makeBaseApp (PDF) (PPT)
08 Autosave (PDF) (PPT)
08l Autosave-lab (1) (PDF) (PPT)
09 Stream Device (PDF) (PPT)
09l Stream Device Lab (PDF) (PPT)
10 EPICSAutomation (PDF) (PPT)
11 Sequencer (PDF) (PPT)
11l Sequencer-lab (PDF) (PPT)
11x EPICS RealWorld (PPT)

12 CA Security (PPT) (PDF)
12l CA Security-Lab (PDF) (PPT)
13 DB Interlocks (PDF) (PPT)
14 Custom Device Support (PDF) (PPT)
14a Custom Device Support RandomNumberExample (PDF)
14b Custom Device Support VME (TXT)
14b Custom Device Support Problematic (PDF)
15 Busy Record (PDF) (PPT)
15l Busy Record Lab (PDF) (PPT)
16 AreaDetector (PDF) (PPT)
18 CA Clients (PDF) (PPT)
19 CA vs Records vs CAS (PDF) (PPT)
20 Python IOC (PDF) (PPT)
21 PV Access (PDF) (PPT)
22 Archive (PDF) (PPT)
23 Alarms (PDF) (PPT)
23a Alarm Guidelines (PDF) (PPT)

99 Spring 2019 EPICS 7 Intro (PDF) (PPT)