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CADC VOS Class Libraries

Project description

vos is a set of python modules and scripts that ease access to VOSpace.

The default installation of vos is tuned for accessing the VOSpace provided by the Canadian Advanced Network For Astronomical Research (CANFAR)

VOSpace is a Distributed Cloud storage service for use in Astronomy.

There are two ways to use vos:

  1. access VOSpace using the command-line script: eg. vcp
  2. use the vos module inside a Python script: import vos

Authentication to the CANFAR VOSpace service is performed using X509 security certificates, header tokens or username/password pairs. The authentication system is managed by the CADC Group Management Service (GMS).

To retrieve an X509 security certificate for use with the vos tools use the cadc-get-cert script included with this package.

Additional information is available in the CANFAR documentation

System Requirments

  • A CANFAR VOSpace account (required for WRITE access, READ access can be anonymous)
  • fuse OR OSX-FUSE (see additional documentation, only required for filesystem based access, not for command line or programmatic)
  • python2.6 or later


vos is distributed via PyPI/vos and PyPI is the most direct way to get the latest stable release:

pip install vos --upgrade --user

Or, you can retrieve the github distribution and use

python install --user


  1. Get a CANFAR account

  2. Install the vos package.

  3. Retrieve a X509/SSL certificate using the cadc-get-cert script installed as part of the cadcutils package that is automatically installed wiht vos.

  4. Example Usage.

    1. Commandline usage:

      • vls -l vos: [List a vospace]
      • vcp vos:jkavelaars/test.txt ./ [copies test.txt to the local directory from vospace]
      • vchmod g+q vos:VOSPACE/foo/bar.txt 'GROUP1, GROUP2, GROUP3' to give three user GROUPs permission to write to this file.
      • vmkdir --help [get a list of command line options and arguments]
      • vmkdir, vrm, vrmdir, vsync vcat, vchmod and vln
      • The complete list of vos commmand line tools can be found using pydoc vos.commands
    2. In a Python script (the example below provides a listing of a vospace container)

      import vos
      client = vos.Client()


A virtual environment (venv) is recommended to set up external dependencies without installing them system-wide. Following these instructions, install virtualenv:

$ pip install virtualenv

Next, create, and activate a local venv (this example uses bash):

$ virtualenv venv
$ source venv/bin/activate

Setup the new development environment for testing by installing the appropriate packages:

$ pip install -r dev_requirements.txt

The test environment is built into the so that conducting unit-tests can be achieved like so:

$ python test

If you would like versbose output formated as a web page, for example, you can add options to the test call:

$ python test --addopts '--cov-report html:cov_html --cov=vos'

The same option attribute can be used to pass other arguments to py.test that is executing the test. To run specific only tests for example:

$ python test --addopts 'vos/test/'

Each time you resume work on the project and want to use the venv (e.g., from a new shell), simply re-activate it:

$ source venv/bin/activate

When done, just issue a

$ deactivate

command to deactivate the virtual environment.

Integration Tests

The integration tests are, at present, designed to run only with the CADC VOSpace. Tests assume that vos and/or vofs packages have been installed.

Activate the venv and install vos

$ source venv/bin/activate.csh
$ pip install vos

Run the tests:

$ ./test/scripts/vospace-all.tcsh

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Files for vos, version 3.3.4
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