Q0. How do I always access the latest version of the archive?
A0. If you launch the archive from the CSA website, you will always access the latest version of the archive. However, if you have saved the java web start file csa-x.jnlp and made a shortcut to this file, you will access the version corresponding to the time you have downloaded it. Learn below how to create a shortcut on a Mac or Windows that will always access the latest version of the archive.

Mac users 

Firefox: learn how to create a permanent shortcut to the latest version of CSA and start it with Firefox, please download the video here 


Safari: learn how to create a permanent shortcut to the latest version of CSA and start it with Safari, please download the video here

If dragging the link directly does not work, try logging out and try again.

Chrome: this is not a recommended browser as Java needs to be downgraded to Java 6 as described by the following FAQ pages of Google and Apple.


Windows users

Simply create a new shortcut by right clicking in your deskstop and selecting new shortcut. Windows will then ask you to enter the location. Please enter the following URL:


Q1. On Mac: I can't launch the CSA Graphical User Interface
A1. In the latest OSX releases (e.g. El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks), Apple has changed its security settings. By default, it only supports applications from the Mac App Store and identified developers. And this is not the case for the Cluster Science Archive, at least not yet. This security model change prohibits, in most cases, jnlp/java-web-start applications from launching. And what you will see this

There are two workarounds:

  • You may override these settings by updating your system settings as follows: System Preferences -> Security & Privacy (top icon under Personal) -> (Unlock Window by clicking on the bottom left icon) -> Allow apps downloaded from: (Select Anywhere)

  • Alternatively, clicking in your link of the Cluster Science Archive will always download a file named "csa-X.jnlp" (X can be any number, corresponding to the number of times you have clicked on the link "Start the CSA Graphical Interface" on the CSA website). This file will not be executed due to the restrictions, but it will be stored in your "Downloads" folder. Go to your "Downloads" folder, look for that file and press Ctrl+Click on it (simply click will not work the first time). Go to "Open" or to "Open With"->"Java Web Start" and you will be offered the choice of executing it.

After you have opened csa.jnlp once in this way, you can just double-click it the next time you want to open it.

Q2. How can I open the CSA.jnlp file extension?
A2. The Cluster Science Archive User Interface is a Java Desktop Application. To run it, you must have Java Web Start installed on your computer.The Java Web Start software is a component of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), which can be downloaded here.


Q3. How can I stay logged in on the CSA GUI?
A3. Since CSA version 1.2., CSA GUI enables to automatically login. The first time you login with your CSA credentials just tick the option in the settings of the GUI as shown below. The next time you open the GUI, you will be automatically logged in. CSA stores the credentials locally on your computer.


Q4. Possible Proxy issue
A4. Java Web Start should automatically retrieve the web browser proxy configuration in order to allow http connections from the Java WebStart application. However, sometimes the configuration of the proxy is handled centrally by for instance a network division through the use of proxy.pac automatic configuration script.

In this case, the normal WebStart process of determining the proxy information may not work.

To solve this problem, start the "Java Control Panel" included as part of the JRE and select the "Network Settings" option. This then provides a similar set of proxy configuration options as that found in the browser. Specifying the proxy.pac script there can solve the connection problem. If it doesn't, contact your IT support.

Q5. On my Mac, why CSA Java web start works correctly with Firefox but not with Safari?
 This is a relatively recent feature of Safari, it now stores the web start as a file in the Downloads folder. In this case, click on the Show downloads icon in your Safari browser (usually located in the top right corner). This should unfold a listing of the recent files downloaded by Safari. In this list, please click on csa.jnlp. This web start access has been tested successfully since Firefox version 25 and Safari 6.0.5 on MacOS 10.8.5.

Q6. On Windows: trouble with Java WebStart and comodo firewall
 When trying to launch the archive interface, Java WebStart may return the error "splash recv failed". Solution: add Java WebStart to the list of authorized applications in the Comodo Firewall.

Q7. On Windows: WinZip may truncate filenames or corrupt files, please use 7zip 
A7. 7zip is an open source software able to open the CSA files:

WinZip version 17.0 on Windows  64 bits is known to truncate filenames with extension .ce or .cd instead of .cef and .cdf

Possible file corruption has also been reported in the past. A default setting must be changed on the WinZip compression utility. The default setting may corrupt data, while data is being unzipped. Solution: Open WinZip Classic. Select Options > Configuration, and click the Miscellaneous tab. Uncheck the 'TAR file smart CR/LF conversion' box. The box will remain unchecked until it is checked again, or WinZip is reinstalled. Unzip and import the data. 

Q8. In case of problem, please clean your Java Web Start cache
How to clean your Java Web Start cache?

  • On Windows
    1. Click on the "Start" icon in the lower left hand corner of your screen, followed by clicking on the "Run" menu choice.
    2. In the run box, type "javaws -viewer" (w/o the quotes) and hit "Enter".
    3. Select all the entries and then click on the "Remove Selected Applications/Items/Entries" button/icon.
  • On Linux
    1. Find out what version of Java you are running by and typing in "java -version" at the command line (w/o the quotes).
    2. Type in the command "$JAVA_HOME/jre/javaws/javaws" or "$JAVA_HOME/jre/javaws/javaws -viewer" on the command line if your Java version is 1.5 or 1.6 respectively.
    3. Select all the entries and then click on the "Remove Selected Applications/Items/Entries" button/icon.
  • On Mac OS X
    1. Find out what version of Java you are using by running "Applications/Utilities/Terminal" and typing in "java -version" at the command line (w/o the quotes).
    2. Type in the command "javaws" or "javaws -viewer" on the command line if your Java version is 1.5 or 1.6 respectively.
    3. Select all the entries and then click on the "Remove Selected Applications/Items/Entries" button/icon.


Q9. On Mac: GUI crashes if Allow all applications from is selected
A9. When a popup window asks you to allow to access your computer, you need to press Allow to make the CSA starts on your machine. However, it has been reported on Mac, under non standard Java settings, that if "Allow all applications from with this signature" is ticked (see below), this will cause the application to crash. This issue is under investigation. Until then, please DO NOT tick the box "Allow all applications from with this signature".


  • Q10. Unable to launch the CSA GUI: please check your Java configuration

Please check the configuration of the javaws:

open the "Java Control Panel", to know how to open it, please go to:
Once you open it, please go to General-->Temporary internet files --> Settings (see image attached)
Then, please make sure that the checkbox "keep temporary files on my computer" is checked.
Q11. Mac (Yosemite): unable to enter my credentials within the CSA GUI

There is a bug in Java 8 update 40 with Yosemite (OS X 10.10.2) which disables the possibility to enter any input in text boxes. This is critical for the CSA GUi as no credentials (username/password) can be entered. The following workaround has been found by the CSA technical team (9 March 2015)

- User needs to open the Java Control panel (see how:
- At the "Java" tab, click on "View" button.
- Within the window displayed, write "-Xdebug" in the "Runtime Parameters" field.
- Click 'OK'.
Q12. Mac: how do I get rid of the Java console panel when starting CSA?
Launch the Java Control Panel on Mac OS X (10.7.3 and above)
  1. Click on Apple icon on upper left of screen.
  2. Go to System Preferences
  3. Click on the Java icon to access the Java Control Panel.
  4. Advanced
  5. Click on Disable Java console
Q13. Mac: why clicking on .tar.gz sometimes does not create a folder with the datasets requested?

Any bunch of files requested on the CSA GUI will be compacted and downloaded as one *.tar.gz file. By default, Mac is opening a *.tar.gz file with a native program called Archive Utility. This program will be called when clicking on such a file and will create a folder with a tree of folder(s) with each type of file inside each folder. If among the files you request, you request text files (*.txt) such as FGM calibration files. These files will be compacted as *.tar.gz files inside the overall single .tar.gz file delivered. This is not properly handled with Archive Utility which will only gunzip the file but will not create the overall folder. Either use another archive utility software or use a terminal window and untar it with the command: tar -xvf *.tar

Q14. Mac: Version 1.18 of wget refuses to accept the certificate?
On installing GNU wget-1.18-0 on Mac OS X El Capitan using Rudix (as this gives an installable package), the CSA security certificate was no longer accepted and wget advised that the only way to allow the data transfer is to add the flag '--no-check-certificate' to the wget command. Re-installed wget from GNU using homebrew, installed using 
ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL”
then installing wget with
brew install wget --with-libressl
and the requests using wget now work as expected.
Q15. Cookie generation: issue found when the # sign is used in your password
If you use the # sign in your password, the generation of a new cookie for a command line request via http or wget may fail. Workaround solutions are the following: either replace the # sign by the code %23 in your wget requests or simply change your password. You can reset your password by following this link.
Q15a. The pipe character is reserved and cannot be used in passwords
Using the | (pipe) symbol in your password causes problems in the system and so cannot be used in passwords. If you need to, you can reset your password by following this link.
Q15b. The ampersand character (&) in your password may cause problems if you use a cookie file
Using the & (ampersand) symbol in your password causes problems in the system if you use a cookie file. The command to generate the cookie file will fail. To solve this, you can either change your password by following this link, or get in touch with us and we can generate the cookie file for you.
Q16. IDL command line scripts: bug and workaround found for IDL version less than 8.4 
Two IDL scripts are available to login and download data directly from IDL, please follow this link. If you have IDL with an older version than 8.4, these programs may not work and display an error message as follows
% Loaded DLM: URL.
% IDLNETURL::GET:  CCurlException:  Error: Http Get Request Failed. Error = SSL certificate problem: self signed certificate in certificate chain, Curl Error Code = 60..
% Execution halted at: CSA_LOGIN
To quickly solve this issue:     
in the login script (, please add
csa_login_obj->SetProperty, ssl_verify_peer = 0
in the product script (, please add
csa_product_obj->SetProperty, ssl_verify_peer = 0
Alternatively, please have a look here.
Q17. How do I look into the dataset content of a Cluster CDF file with Matlab? 
Let's assume, you have downloaded a 
DC magnetic field file recorded in 2004 May 16 between 22:30 and 22:34 by FGM on C1 with a time resolution of 0.2s (i.e. 5 Vectors Per Second or 5VPS),

dataset id: C1_CP_FGM_5VPS

Full filename: C1_CP_FGM_5VPS__20040516_223000_20040516_223400_V140304.cdf

Step 1: Open the FGM file just downloaded 
>> [filename, pathname]=uigetfile('*.cdf','Select Data');
>> full_filename=[pathname filename];
Step 2: create a structure containing the information of your CDF, let’s call it infocdf
>> infocdf=cdfinfo(full_filename)
infocdf = 
  struct with fields:
              Filename: 'C1_CP_FGM_5VPS__20040516_223000_20040516_223400_V140304.cdf'
           FileModDate: '18-Apr-2017 16:03:12'
              FileSize: 98999
                Format: 'CDF'
         FormatVersion: '3.3.1'
          FileSettings: [1×1 struct]
              Subfiles: {}
             Variables: {11×6 cell}
      GlobalAttributes: [1×1 struct]
    VariableAttributes: [1×1 struct]
Step 3: let’s look at the content of this file
>> infocdf.Variables
ans =
  11×6 cell array
    'time_tags__C1_CP_…'    [1×2 double]    [1200]    'epoch'     'T/'     'Full'
    'half_interval__C1…'    [1×2 double]    [1200]    'single'    'T/'     'Full'
    'B_vec_xyz_gse__C1…'    [1×2 double]    [1200]    'single'    'T/T'    'Full'
    'B_mag__C1_CP_FGM_…'    [1×2 double]    [1200]    'single'    'T/'     'Full'
    'sc_pos_xyz_gse__C…'    [1×2 double]    [1200]    'single'    'T/T'    'Full'
    'range__C1_CP_FGM_…'    [1×2 double]    [1200]    'int32'     'T/'     'Full'
    'tm__C1_CP_FGM_5VPS'     [1×2 double]    [1200]    'int32'     'T/'     'Full'
    'B_vec_xyz_gse__C1…'    [1×2 double]    [   1]    'char'      'F/T'    'Full'
    'B_vec_xyz_gse__C1…'    [1×2 double]    [   1]    'char'      'F/T'    'Full'
    'sc_pos_xyz_gse__C…'    [1×2 double]    [   1]    'char'      'F/T'    'Full'
    'sc_pos_xyz_gse__C…'    [1×2 double]    [   1]    'char'      'F/T'    ‘Full'
Step 4: let’s extract the variable names and their corresponding number of columns in the file (i.e. components)
>> nb_of_columns=cell2mat(infocdf.Variables(1:7,2));components=nb_of_columns(:,1);
>> reduced_infocdf=infocdf.Variables(1:7,1:2);
>> for i=1:7, reduced_infocdf(i,2)={components(i)};end
>> reduced_infocdf
reduced_infocdf =
  7×2 cell array
    'time_tags__C1_CP_FGM_5VPS'         [1]
    'half_interval__C1_CP_FGM_5VPS'     [1]
    'B_vec_xyz_gse__C1_CP_FGM_5VPS'     [3]
    'B_mag__C1_CP_FGM_5VPS'             [1]
    'sc_pos_xyz_gse__C1_CP_FGM_5VPS'    [3]
    'range__C1_CP_FGM_5VPS'             [1]
    'tm__C1_CP_FGM_5VPS'                [1]