Installation and Startup Guide


obsinfo requires Python 3.9 or higher.


Most Linux installations have Python preinstalled. However, it might not be the latest version. Check the version and update to 3.9 at least.

To check your version, use any of the following commands:

$ python --version

$ python2 --version

$ python3 --version


We have not tested the current version of Windows and we don’t expect that it will work without some modifications. You must have Windows 10 installed.

Python installation

The following link provides complete information on how to install Python in several platforms:

The official installation guide for UNIX is here:



Python packages

The following packages must be installed, preferably with a package manager, either using pip or conda.

Instructions to install a package using pip. If you don’t have pip installed, this same link instructs you who to install it.

Instructions to install a package using conda


Standard library (no need to install)


External libraries


In particular obsinfo relies on obspy to create the objects needed to output a StationXML file.

Git installation

If you wish to install obsinfo using git, you have to install it first.


$ sudo apt-get install git

In Windows, download from this site:

Obsinfo installation

obsinfo is a published package in PyPI. Currently, version v0.111-beta.1 is available.

Make sure you have the latest pip version: .. code-block:: console

$ python3 -m pip install –upgrade pip


$ python -m pip install --upgrade pip

depending on your Python configuration.

Next, use pip to install obsinfo:

$ python3 -m pip install obsinfo


$ python -m pip install obsinfo

depending on your Python configuration.

Description of obsinfo file structure


YAML/JSON schemas


Example information files


Python code


Python code


Python code


Python code


Python code

Obsinfo setup


The obsinfo executables are:

  • obsinfo-makeStationXML to create StationXML files

  • obsinfo-validate to validate the syntax of information files

  • obsinfo-print to print information files without creating the StationXML file. This may be useful as a test or to discover configurations

All executables are installed in ~/.local/bin, which is usually in the PATH variable of the operating system. If this is not the case, add that directory:

$ PATH=$PATH:$HOME/.local/bin
$ export PATH

To avoid having to set up the variable in each session, store these instructions in your .bashrc file in your home directory.

Remember in Windows and MacOS you can setup the variable in the configuration panel. Follow the instructions to set environment variables.

After having installed obsinfo with pip or conda, you need to run a setup. This gives you an opportunity of creating a local directory where the existing examples of information files will be copied, instead of the arcane and standard ~/.local/lib/python3.x/site-packages/obsinfo/_examples/Information_Files.

To do so, simply run:

$ obsinfo-setup -d <directory name>

The program will copy the examples to the directory mentioned and will perform other administrative tasks.

IMPORTANT: EVEN if you don’t want to create a new directory, you MUST run obsinfo-setup, as it performs several housekeeping tasks, notably creating the configuration file .obsinforc and the directory .obsinfo which is used for logging.

obsinfo-setup is very flexible. Through it you can reconfigure several variables that will tell obsinfo where to find your files. More on this in the next section.

File discovery

obsinfo-setup sets several variables specific to obsinfo and stores them in a configuration file called .obsinforc in your home directory called .obsinforc. Here they are with their default values:

gitlab_project: resif/obsinfo
gitlab_path: _examples/Information_Files
datapath:  []
obsinfo_branch: master

The first, second and third variables are used to tell obsinfo where the remote repository for information files is. The fourth one needs more explanation. It works like the PATH variable in Linux: whenever a file in a $ref is found in an information file, obsinfo will sequentally look for the file in all the directories specified in obsinfo_datapath. In the default case, the only place where obsinfo will look is the remote directory. Observe this is the concatenation of the first three variables, the repository, the project and the path.

Finally, since the remote repository is assumet to be a gitlab repository, we must specify a gitlab branch, which by default is master.

All these defaults are achieved by simply running:

$ obsinfo-setup

with no parameters. But with options you can specify all the variables. gitlab_repository is specfied with -g, gitlab_project with -p, gitlab_path with -P and obsinfo_branch with -b.

Other options allow you to not copy the examples (-x) or modify the datapath variable. This is done so you don’t have to manually edit .obsinforc which is discouraged. Three local directories are considered in datapath: a working directory, a local repository and an example directory. We have seen that the -d option creates (if non existing) the example directory. When specified, this directory takes precedence over the remote directory (unless -x is specified). The datapath variable will look like:

datapath:  [<local example directory>,]

where <local example directory> is the directory specified with -d. If you add the working directory (with -w) and the local repository (with -l), they will take precedence in this order:

datapath:  [<working directory>, <local repository>, <local example directory>,]

You can change the order putting the remote repository first by using the -v option. Of course, you change the order of the local directories by simply specifying one or the other as working, local repository or example.

All this is summarized here:

-x, --no_examples     Don't import examples, only templates, and remove
                      examples directory from the datapath
-c, --no_copy         Don't import anything at all, don't create dest
                      directory, which will be removed from datapath
-n, --no_remote       Install obsinfo without access to a gitlab repository.
                      May be needed in some operating systems for
                      compatibility issues
-v, --invert_datapath
                      Put remote gitlab repository first. All local
                      directories will keep their order
-b, --branch          Specifies the git branch to use, if not master
-d DEST, --dest DEST  Destination directory for templates and examples.
-g GITLAB, --gitlab GITLAB
                      Gitlab repository)
-p PROJECT, --project PROJECT
                      path to project and the directory where information
                      files lie within the Gitlab repository)
                      Specify local repository for information files and
                      include it as first or second option in datapath
                      Specify working directory for obsinfo and include it
                      as first option in datapath
                      Specify remote directory under project
IMPORTANT: In datapath, the remote directory is always the concatenation of gitlab_repository,

gitlab_project and gitlab_path when created by obsinfo-setup. Therefore, if you manually change the datapath in the .obsinforc file you will not get the expected result. Always use obsinfo-setup to change that file.

Of course, you will create your own information files in a directory selected by you.