Command-line tools

There are four main command-line tools:
  • obsinfo-setup

  • obsinfo-makeStationXML

  • obsinfo-validate

  • obsinfo-print


creates an .obsinforc file that indicates where obsinfo should look for the reference files. More details in the Installation and Startup Guide


Now you’re all set to run obsinfo. Type

$ obsinfo-makeStationXML -h

to display all the options of makeStationXML. Most are self-explanatory.

To create a StationXML file from a file called <filename>, type:

$ obsinfo-makeStationXML [options] filename

The output file, by default, will have the stem part of the network filename followed by “station.xml”. That is, if the filename to be processed is, the resulting file will be called by default BBOBS.INSU-IPGP.station.xml. This can be changed with the -o option.

A single file is processed at a time. This is basically to simplify operation and avoid confusion with file discovery. However, a for statement in a shell script can be used to process several files at a time, as is customary.

The most important thing about the way obsinfo-makeStationXML operates is where it finds its information files. As a rule, the argument you pass to the application must have a non-ambiguous path to a network information file, such as:





Standard POSIX notation is used. The first and second examples will look for the file in the current working directory. The third one is called an absolute path and will try to locate the file in the /home/arean/examples/ directory. The fourth one is a path relative to the working directory which will go up to levels and then down to /my_examples to find the file.

All other files (i.e. the files in $ref attributes, will operate in a different fashion. Examples two, three and four will work in the same way, but example one will be considered a file that needs discovery. This discovery is performed through the variable obsinfo_datapath, which is a list of directories separated by commas, in typical Python/YAML syntax. Every director is visited in sequence. When the file is found in one of the, the discovery stops. If not file is found in any of the directories, an error message is generated.

We can also make the filename passed as argument to obsinfo-makeStationXML behave in this way with the option -r. If we use this option, even the network file passed as an argument will be discovered in one of the directories in OBSINFO_DATAPATH.

The rest of the options are self-explanatory, and are explained by a message generated with:

$ obsinfo-makeStationXML -h

usage: obsinfo-makeStationXML [-h] [-r] [-l] [-v] [-q] [-d] [-t] [-V]
                                   [-o OUTPUT]

positional arguments:
  input_filename        is required and must be a single value

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -r, --remote          Assumes input filename is discovered through obsinfo_datapath.
                        Does not affect treatment of $ref in info files
  -l, --validate        Performs complete validation, equivalent to obsinfo-validate, before processing
  -v, --verbose         Prints processing progression
  -q, --quiet           Silences a human-readable summary of processed information file
  -d, --debug           Turns on exception traceback
  -t, --test            Produces no output
  -V, --version         Print the version and exit
  -S, --station         Create a StationXML file with no instrumentation
  -o OUTPUT, --output OUTPUT
                       Names the output file. Default is <input-filename-stem>.station.xml


This executable will validate the specified file:

$ obsinfo-validate [options] filename

obsinfo-validate will identify the type of file from the filename and run the relevant validation.

Option -r works as in obsinfo-makeStationXML. The rest of the options are self-explanatory:

$ obsinfo-validate -h

usage: obsinfo-validate [-h] [-q] [-r] [-d] input_filename

positional arguments:
  input_filename  Information file to be validated.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help      show this help message and exit
  -q, --quiet     Quiet operation. Don't print informative messages
  -r, --remote    Search input_filename in the DATAPATH repositories
  -d, --debug     Print traceback for exceptions

As mentioned in Best Practices, it is always a good idea to validate files before trying to create a StationXML file. Use a bottom-up approach to avoid getting difficult-to-read error messages: start with filters, then stages, then components, then instrumentations, then networks.

All files in official central repositories are assumed to have been validated.


This executable will print the obsinfo objects generated out of the specified file:

$ obsinfo-print [options] filename

obsinfo-print will identify the type of file from the filename and run the relevant printing routine. When used with the -l option, it will print up to a certain level specified after the option according to the keywords below. For example, a sensor file with a stage level will not print the filter information, and a network file with a station level will not print the instrumentation information and down.

usage: obsinfo-print [-d] [-h] [-l LEVEL] input_filename

positional arguments:
  input_filename  Information file to be validated.

optional arguments:
     -l or --level: prints up to LEVEL, where LEVEL is:
     -d or --debug: do not catch exceptions to show error trace.
     -h or --help: prints this message