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Last modified: November 2015

AHELP for CIAO 4.10


Context: tools


Check that the CIAO and CALDB installations are up to date.




The check_ciao_version tool allows users to easily check that the CIAO and CIAO Calibration Database (CALDB) installations are up to date. It compares the dates of the installed components against the latest-released versions and prints out those elements that need upgrading. The script requires internet access since it has to download the version information from the CIAO and CALDB web sites.

Tool behavior

The tool prints messages to the screen and exits with a status of 0 when everything is up to date or non-zero when something needs updating.

How do I upgrade my system

If the tool finds that your CIAO or CALDB installations are out of date then it will point you to the download CIAO page, from which the ciao-install script can be downloaded. This script will perform the necessary updates.


The tool does not

  • check that the components are installed correctly;
  • check for any optional CALDB components, such as the ACIS background files or the PSF library files.

The CALDB check matches that done by the "--latest" flag of check_ciao_caldb, but it does not do the validation check that check_ciao_caldb does.


unix% check_ciao_version

Up to date

If the installations are up to date then you will see something like the following:

The CIAO  installation at /soft/ciao is up to date.
The CALDB installation at /soft/ciao/CALDB (link to /data/CALDB/ciao) is up to date.

The actual output will vary depending on where (and how) CIAO and CALDB where installed.

Out of date

If there is an out of date component then you will see something like:

The CIAO  installation at /usr/local/ciao-4.3 is up to date.
The CALDB installation at /usr/local/ciao-4.3/CALDB
  has version: 4.4.1
  latest is:   4.4.2

Please use the ciao-install script from
to update your CIAO installation.


Using the CIAO installation at /opt/local/ciao-4.3

The following package:
    contrib   :  22 Dec 2010

needs updating to:
    contrib   :  05 Apr 2011

The CALDB installation at /opt/local/ciao-4.3/CALDB is up to date.

Please use the ciao-install script from
to update your CIAO installation.

Changes in the scripts 4.8.1 (December 2015) release

The code has been updated to avoid warning messages from NumPy version 1.9. There is no difference to how the script behaves.

Changes in the scripts 4.6.2 (February 2014) release

The script no longer exits with an error when version files contain multiple lines, as with VERSION_graphics file in CIAO 4.6.

Changes in the April 2011 Release

The check_ciao_version script was added in this release.

About Contributed Software

This tool is not an official part of the CIAO release but is made available as "contributed" software via the CIAO scripts page. Please see the installation instructions page for help on installing the package.


There are no known bugs for this tool.

See Also


Last modified: November 2015
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