Internal Use of CASA in Socorro and Charlottesville

As part of the standard computing infrastructure at NRAO, we maintain many versions of CASA for use by our staff and visitors. These versions of CASA are categorized into four types of products. The correct product and version for your use may vary depending on the task you are doing. Please note that this describes the behavior on Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems under the management of the NRAO Computing Infrastructure Group.

All of the versions are accessed in the same way:

casa[-product] [-r version number]

To see all available versions for a given product:

casa[-product] -ls

The default product is assumed to be the release version, thus

casa -ls

will produce a list of all the currently-installed CASA releases:

available versions (per Jan 2018):

Current version is 5.1.2-4 (Jan 2018)

To run the current CASA release:


Similarly, to run the CASA viewer from the current release:


To run a different release (in this example 4.3.1-el6) type

casa -r 4.3.1-el6


casaviewer -r 4.3.6-el6

To run a different product (in this example prerelease) type

casa-prerelease [-r version number]


casaviewer-prerelease [-r version number]

In all cases, the latest version of each product is the default.

Product Types

  • Release

    This version underwent a large suite of code testing, including interactive tests. The CASA documentation, as well as the scripts on the CASA Guides Wiki, are updated for each Release.

    Access these products using casa, casaviewer and casaplotms

  • Prerelease

    This version is regularly available prior to a new release version. It has undergone a large suite of code testing, including interactive tests. It will contain all the new features of the upcoming release version, but is still undergoing final manual testing. When available, manual user testing should be performed on this version.

    Access these products using casa-prerelease, casaviewer-prerelease and casaplotms-prerelease

  • Pipe

    Versions of CASA which contain the CASA pipeline are also maintained for general use. The accepted version is set as the default versions with other versions available (via the -r option) for testing purposes. Note that ALMA does not use 'pipe' versions.

    Access these products using casa-pipe, casaviewer-pipe and casaplotms-pipe

In addition to all of the above, certain other standalone tasks may also be run for all of the above. These include casabrowser, casafeather and casalogger, all of which may be started in a similar manner.

User Support for internal NRAO CASA Users

The primary references for CASA are the CASA Docs pages.

The first point of contact for visitors with questions is the HelpDesk or your local contact person. NRAO staff can get in touch with the local CASA staff-members in Socorro and Charlottesville.

For general CASA-related questions, suggestions or feedback, please contact our CASA User Liaison.

Bug Reports and Helpdesk

For internal NRAO and ALMA/EVLA project users, CASA uses
JIRA as its issue tracking system. Registered NRAO JIRA users can submit issues and maintain contact with CASA until resolution.

External users are encouraged to register with the NRAO Interactive Services portal There, registered users can access the HelpDesks. Internal users can access this also (assuming they have a login), if for some reason you do not want to use one of the above methods (or you are asked to by your local rep).

CASA Version Numbers

A more self-consistent numbering method for version identification has been adopted for CASA 4.3 onwards.

All current and future CASA versions are identified by a number of the format X.Y.Z-V (e.g. 5.1.0-74) which is reported when CASA is launched. The X.Y.Z-V number is also reflected in the filename of the corresponding downloadable tarball.

  • X: This is the main CASA version number. An increase of X is rare, and denotes some major change to the package as a whole.

  • Y: An increase in this number normally denotes the issue of a semi-annual CASA public release version.

  • Z: This number denotes the specific sub-version of the package. For public release versions, a non-zero value denotes a patch release.

  • V: This is the pre-release version number.

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