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Installing BLISS

Installation at ESRF

At ESRF, it is recommended to follow Beamline Control Unit guidelines for software installation. In the case of BLISS, a special deployment procedure has been put in place in order to facilitate the work on beamlines.

Follow instructions here.

Installation outside ESRF

Using pip

There is no BLISS package yet, so BLISS has to be installed from the source. The first step is to clone the BLISS git repository to get the BLISS project source code:

$ git clone git://

The line above creates a bliss directory in current directory, containing the whole project source files. BLISS provides a Python setuptools script, so it is possible to proceed with installation using pip:

$ cd bliss
$ pip install .


Recent versions of setuptools and pip are needed. It may be required to upgrade.

BLISS has many dependencies, therefore it is highly recommend to install BLISS in a virtual environment.

BLISS requires additional, non-Python dependencies:

  • redis server

Using Conda

The use of Conda is recommended to install all dependencies. BLISS distribution contains a requirements-conda.txt file to help with the installation. Creating a bliss Conda environment can be done like this:

$ cd bliss
$ conda env create -n bliss -f ./requirements-conda.txt


The ESRF BCU Conda channel needs to be configured beforehand: conda config --add channels esrf-bcu

Not all packages are available on standard Conda repositories. Remaining packages can then be installed via pip to complete installation:

$ pip install .

Beacon configuration server

BLISS relies on its Beacon (BEAmline CONfiguration) server to get access to beamline configuration. The configuration is a set of YAML files, containing all the information needed to build BLISS objects, including user sessions, beamline devices, scans sequences, etc. Examples of BLISS YAML configuration files can be found in BLISS distribution in tests/test_configuration/.

Read more about Beacon and configuration

ESRF installation

At ESRF, the BLISS installation procedure automatically adds Beacon to the set of daemons started by the system:

  • The port number for the Beacon server is set to 25000
  • The YAML files directory is set to /users/blissadm/local/beamline_configuration
  • The configuration web application is available at http://localhost:9030
  • The Beacon TANGO database service is disabled

Custom installation

It is required to start Beacon server using --db_path to specify the path to the YAML configuration files:

$ beacon-server --db_path=~/local/beamline_configuration

It is also a good idea to fix the bliss configuration server port number (otherwise, by default, Beacon will just choose the first free port it finds):

$ beacon-server --db_path=~/local/beamline_configuration --port=25000

Clients will then need to setup the BEACON_HOST environment variable to point to <machine>:<port> (example: id31:25000).

The web configuration UI has to be enabled, by specifying the web application port number using --webapp_port:

$ beacon-server --db_path=~/local/beamline_configuration --port=25000 --webapp_port=9030

BLISS Beacon server is also able to provide a full TANGO database server service that integrates nicely with the BLISS configuration. To start this service it is just needed to provide the TANGO port that you want the TANGO database server to serve:

$ beacon-server --db_path=~/local/beamline_configuration --port=25000 --webapp_port=9030 --tango_port=20000