OxCal > Installation

Installation



Introduction

This version of OxCal can be used in a number of different ways depending on how frequent and intensive your use of the program is likely to be:

The program has three main components:

If you are accessing a server all you will need to deal with is the input and output modules which are integrated, the analysis module runs on the server once you have defined the inputs for the program.


Accessing the site

To access the server, you need a username and password. To get this you click on [New user] and enter your initials, surname and Email address.

A password will then be emailed to you which you can use to enter the site. It is a good idea as you log on to click on [Change password/email] and enter a password that you can remember. You will also have to re-enter your initials, name and email address.

Once you are logged on you have access to your own working area on the server for storing your OxCal data. This data can also be saved locally which is a good idea as the data on the server will not be kept indefinitely.

See Input of data for the next stage once you are sure that your web browser is suitable.


Browser requirements for remote access

The input and output modules perform a lot of operations themselves and so require an up-to-date browser that is set to allow cookies, javascript and pop-up windows. In addition the graphical output is generated within the OxCalPlot module and so if you want graphs you will need to use a browser capable of displaying SVG output. As this is a fairly new standard this limits the choice of browsers.

The best SVG capabilities are currently provided by the browsers Safari, Google Chrome, Opera, Firefox and the Adobe SVG viewer which is available for free download from:

Adobe - Scalable Vector Graphics: SVG zone

The choice of browser will depend on your operating system.

Windows

The following setups work very satisfactorily under windows:

You can also use Internet Explorer with the Adobe SVG Viewer - though the latter is not to be supported much longer because all other main browsers now support SVG directly.

Mac OS X

Here the choice is similar except that Internet Explorer is not available in a usable version. The recommended setups are:

Others

You may also have success with other operating systems. This is likely to depend on whether you can get Firefox or Opera to work properly on your system.


Use on your own computer

The program can also be run directly on your own computer. However the integrated package only runs with Firefox (v1.5 - v16.0) or any of the other Mozzila browsers (Camino, Netscape Navigator or SeaMonkey) because specific extensions are required to call external programs and open/save local files. Please note these extensions have been removed from v17 of Firefox. In future a Firefox extension may be developed which works with later versions but for the moment you should use v16.

Download the distribution package from the OxCal website and unzip the package.

Download v16 of Firefox which works with this downloaded version from the OxCal web page.

Please note that you will have to stop this from updating itself to later versions by changing the update preferences within Firefox (found under [Advanced > Update] - select the option 'Never check for updates').

Installation on a PC

Copy the OxCal directory from the package to the directory:

C:\Program Files\

To run the program you need to open the URL:

file://C:/Program%20Files/OxCal/Index.html

with the Firefox browser (v16). The program uses browser extensions to run the program and save files. And you need to set up the security options to allow this (not posible in v17 or later). To do this in v16 of Firefox you have to edit the prefs.js file:

The entries in this file are in alphabetical order and you need to add the two lines:

user_pref("capability.principal.codebase.oxcal.granted", "UniversalXPConnect");
user_pref("capability.principal.codebase.oxcal.id", "file://C:/Program%20Files/OxCal/Index.html");
	

you might need to change the directory in the second line if you have installed OxCal somewhere else.

The first time you run the program it will create a default directory for you:

C:\Documents and Settings\username\OxCal\

You will need to make sure that this directory exists and that you have write permission to it.

Installation on a Mac

Copy the OxCal directory from the package to the directory:

/Applications/

To run the program you need to open the URL:

file:///Applications/OxCal/Index.html

with the Firefox browser (v16). The program uses browser extensions to run the program and save files. And you need to set up the security options to allow this (not posible in v17 or later). To do this in v16 of Firefox you have to edit the prefs.js file:

The entries in this file are in alphabetical order and you need to add the two lines:

user_pref("capability.principal.oxcal.granted", "UniversalXPConnect");
user_pref("capability.principal.oxcal.id", "file:///Applications/OxCal/Index.html");
	

you might need to change the directory in the second line if you have installed OxCal somewhere else.

The first time you run the program it will create a default directory for you:

/Users/username/OxCal/

You will need to make sure that this directory exists and that you have write permission to it.

Installation on Linux

This is essentially the same as for Mac but uses a different executable which has been compiled under Ubuntu.


Summary of browser capabilities

BrowserCapabilities
Server versionLocal installation
TextGraphicsSave SVGSave as PDF/PNG TextGraphicsSave SVGSave as PDF/PNG
Camino
Firefox
Google Chrome
Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer
with Adobe SVG Viewer
Minefield
Netscape Navigator
Opera
SeaMonkey
Safari 2
Safari 3/4
Webkit

Internet Explorer is now the only major browser not supporting SVG natively and should only be used as a last resort.


Installation on a server

The full server version of the program is also included in the distribution. This should allow you to run an OxCal server on a local server to mimic what we do on the main OxCal server. As distributed, there is no built-in security and everyone using the system will have the same user-area. This could easily be changed by adapting the login.php file to give different $_SESSION["Directory"] settings to different people. It is up to you to ensure that the directory of your server has the appropriate security options to only allow the right people to access it. You might just wish to run this on your own computer as a local server.

Server requirements

To use this at all you have to have php running on your server. In addition if you wish to have online image conversion you will need to install java and the Batik toolkit. If you also wish to have multiple-page plots, you will need to install LaTeX and make sure that the pdftex graphicx package is installed. Please do not ask me about any of these installations!

Before running you should check the settings in the /config/oxcalconfig.php file. This is where you set the locations of parts of the software etc. You also need to make sure that the user directory is created and writable by the www user.

A standard php setup should be sufficient. Php should not be run in safe mode and the execution time should be extended. To achieve this the php.ini file should be edited to contain these lines:

safe_mode = Off
max_execution_time = 6000

This will set a maximum analysis time of 100 minutes which is suitable for all but the biggest models. you may wish to set this to a lower value for only calibrations which take very little time. All of the graphics generation is performed on the client machines so only the OxCal analysis uses significant server resources.

Directory structure

OxCal uses three different directories: