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Lima toolbox

Project description

Lima tool box

A set of command line tools which hopefully ease the configuration and development of Lima cameras.

Lima toolbox in action



From within your favorite python environment, type:

pip install lima-toolbox[all]

The toolbox is composed of a core library and plug-ins for diverse set of cameras.

The core can be installed with:

pip install lima-toolbox

To install support for specific camera(s) use (example):

pip install lima-toolbox[basler,eiger]

At the end you can find a mini-catalog of the available cameras.

PRs which implement new cameras (or improve, or fix existing ones) are most welcome.


Probably the most useful tool is the CLI. You can use it to discover cameras on the network, display information about a specfic camera and even perform acquisitions.

The lima CLI provides global commands like scan which are not camera specific. In addtition, each camera provides its own set of sub-commands. They are accessible by typing lima <camera> <sub-command> (ex: lima eiger --host=bl99eiger info).

Typing lima --help will display help. Help is context sensitive, so typing lima basler --help will display help for the basler subset of commands.

camera discovery

camera toolbox plug-ins which provide scan capability allow you to discover them by using the scan command:

$ lima scan --table-style=box_rounded

│    Class     │        Friendly name         │       Full name       │   Name    │ Serial Nb. │ User name │ Vendor │
│ BaslerCamEmu │ Basler Emulation (0815-0000) │ Emulation (0815-0000) │ Emulation │ 0815-0000  │           │ Basler │
│ BaslerCamEmu │ Basler Emulation (0815-0001) │ Emulation (0815-0001) │ Emulation │ 0815-0001  │           │ Basler │
│ BaslerCamEmu │ Basler Emulation (0815-0002) │ Emulation (0815-0002) │ Emulation │ 0815-0002  │           │ Basler │

│   Host    │ Alias(es) │ Address(es) │ Port │  API  │
│ bl04eiger │           │ │ 8000 │ 1.6.0 │

│    Host    │     IP      │ Port │  Type  │ #Modules │ Settings │ Threshold │ Dyn. Range │
│ bl04mythen │ │ 1952 │ MYTHEN │    6     │ STANDARD │   9071    │     32     │

Here you can see 3 simulated Basler cameras, an Eiger camera and a Mythen SLS camera are available.

Common camera commands

As mentioned above, each camera provides its own set of specific sub-commands. The sub-commands info and acquire are common to all cameras (altough the specific sub-command options could vary).

The set of options which identify a camera are specific to each camera. For example, to identify an eiger you must provide the --url=<hostname> option.

Note that there is nothing enforcing a specific camera to implement any of the common sub-commands. But it is considered good taste if a plugin does it (for the sake of coherency).

A camera plugin may optionally implement the scan command. It should provide the same result as the global scan with results restricted to the camera type.

Camera information

Basic information about a camera can be retrieved with the info sub-command.


$ lima eiger --url=bl04eiger info
    CurrImageType: 10
     DefImageType: 10
DetectorImageSize: <3110x3269>
    DetectorModel: Dectris Eiger 9M
     DetectorType: E-18-0102
   InstrumentName: instrument
     MaxImageSize: <3110x3269>
        PixelSize: (7.5e-05, 7.5e-05)
 UserDetectorName: E-18-0102

$ lima mythensls --url bl04mythen info
      CurrImageType   10
       DefImageType   10
  DetectorImageSize   <7680x1>
      DetectorModel   Mythen-II
       DetectorType   MythenSLS
     InstrumentName   instrument
       MaxImageSize   <7680x1>
          PixelSize   (1.0, 1.0)
   UserDetectorName   MythenSLS

      Detector type   MYTHEN
      Serial number   1719109785
   Software version   1867412
             Status   IDLE
      Dynamic range   32
   Energy threshold   9071
      Exposure time   1.0
   Number of frames   0
   Number of cycles   0
    Number of gates   0
             Master   NO_MASTER
    Synchronization   NONE
             Timing   AUTO_TIMING
 Delay after triger   0.0
            Readout   NORMAL_READOUT
           Settings   STANDARD

Camera acquisition

Aquisitions can be made with the acquire sub-command.

The common options include -nb-frames, --exposure-time, --latency-time. You can see the complete list of options with lima <camera> acquire --help.

Here is an example performing an acquisition on an eiger camera:

eiger acquisition

How to write a plug-in for your camera

You have two options:

1. Add a plug-in extension to Lima-toolbox

Write a PR to this repo with the camera you intend to add. This should always be possible independently of the type of camera you are writing the plug-in for.

Let's say you want to create a plugin for the Simulator camera.

First,create a new file in src/limatb/camera called The lima toolbox CLI uses the click library to help create a powerful command line interface.

To create a simulator sub-command you can simply use the lima toolbox camera decorator (a helper) and write a function which should return a Lima.Interface object:

# src/limatb/camera/

from limatb.cli import camera
from Lima.Simulator import Camera, Interface

def simulator():
    camera = Simulator.Camera()
    interface = Interface(camera)
    return interface

The second and last thing to do is to register the new command in the lima toolbox like this:

extras_require = {
    "simulator": []  #  add any extra python dependencies if necessary

        "": [
            "Simulator = [simulator]"

That's it. Next time you install lima-toolbox there should be a simulator camera available with the default info and acquire sub-commands available out of the box.

Congratulations! You are now ready to make a PR to this repo with your new camera.

Read further to find how to implement camera options, details about the camera decorator and how to implement your own camera specific sub-commands.

Examples of existing cameras can be found in the src/limatb/camera directory.

Custom options

If you need to add any option to the command line to identify or configure your camera you can do it using click.option. Here is an example extending the previous one:

import click

   click.Choice(['gauss', 'diffraction'],
def simulator(fill_type):
    camera = Simulator.Camera()
    interface = Interface(camera)
    fill_type = getattr(Lima.Simulator.FrameBuilder, fill_type.capitalize())
    frame_getter = camera.getFrameGetter()
    return interface

The camera decorator

The @camera decorator helper provides a decorator enhanced with the info and acquire sub-commands by default and the facility that the returned interface gets inserted into the click context object ctx.obj['interface'] which can be accessed by any camera sub-commands you decide to implement.

Here is an example on how to implement a specific sub-command:

def initialize(self):
    # Initialization code here

scan command

The lima toolbox CLI implements global scan command which has the purpose of discovering all the cameras in the system.

To make the specific scan command of your system visible to the global scan command you need to register a scan function with the signature:

[async] def scan(timeout: float = None) -> beautifultable.BeautifulTable

and register the entry point in with:

        "": [
            "Simulator = [simulator]"

The scan function can have any name you which. If you provide a coroutine (with async keyword) the lima t

If now you type lima scan on the command line, the cameras

2. Write a Lima-toolbox entry point in an external project

Another option, if your camera plugin is installable via a, is to apply the same recipes above, where the only difference resides in implementing the code in your own python detector package and modifying your instead.

An example of a project which following this phylosophy is the SLS Mythen.

Supported cameras

Provided inside lima toolbox

Known third party cameras

Feel free to make a PR adding your own camera to this list. They are most welcome!

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