THE HENSA UNIX ARCHIVE
at the University of Kent
HENSA (Higher Education National Software Archive) is a new NRS domain
established to provide access to various software archives for the
academic community at large. Currently it supports two archives,
based at the University of Kent, providing mainly UNIX software, and
based at Lancaster University, providing software mainly for PC's
(formerly pdsoft at uk.ac.lancs.pdsoft).
This document describes the HENSA UNIX Archive only.
The new HENSA UNIX Archive provides mostly UNIX software and is
accessible via an interactive browsing facility, called fbr as well
e-mail, DARPA ftp and NI-FTP (Blue Book) services. This archive
currently makes available a large part of the uunet software archive
including usenet's comp.sources and the gnu sources as well as all the
existing Netlib software and an archive of miscellaneous UNIX items.
The archive is updated daily and is rapidly increasing its software
Accessing the HENSA UNIX Archive Using The Interactive File Browser FBR
Why use fbr?
When you login to Archive you are put into a restricted shell sitting
at the top of three separate databases. Using the shells UNIX-like
commands you are able to traverse the databases, searching for and
viewing files at will. You can then initiate the transfer of a file
via e-mail simply by using the sendme command. This means you can
examine files before committing yourself to the transfer.
How easy is it to use fbr?
Very easy! Once you have logged in the following commands are available
pwd : print current directory
cd : change current directory
ls : list files
find : find file or directory by name
du : show space in kilobytes used by files or directories
cat : display files on the terminal
grep : search for a pattern in a file
ftp : show how to get files via ftp
sendme : transfer a file via e-mail to the user
help : give help (general or on a specific command)
how : give a brief description of a command
echo : print arguments
version : print fbr version number
quit : quit fbr
For a brief overview of fbr use `help intro' and for more information
on a command, `help <command>'. The shell supports pattern matching
too, allowing you to find all the files containing a common string. For
will return the paths of all files which contain the string "gnu" in
Having located the file you require you can transfer it via e-mail by
when sat in the library the file resides in, or
otherwise. (Replace file by the actual filename). For example, if you
want to transfer the file lagrange from the library
netlib/matlab/approximation use the request:
You can e-mail software from any of the three databases. Binary files
are automatically uuencoded for transmission via e-mail. Large files
are sent in separate 64K pieces. A special header is included to
assist in re-assembling the pieces correctly.
The misc library contains compressed (non-ASCII) files which are more
efficiently transferred via ftp. Saying ftp will give you all the
information necessary to perform an ftp transfer (using NI-FTP or DARPA
ftp). If you use NI-FTP it must be executed remotely, you cannot
NI-FTP transfer files from within fbr.
How do I login to the HENSA archive?
The interactive browser is available 24 hours a day. It is accessible
over the JANET X.25 network with the address:
archive at unix.hensa.ac.uk
(or 000049200900 if you do not have NRS)
Once connected, you are greeted with the banner and request:
Welcome to HENSA - the Higher Education National Software Archive
at the University of Kent at Canterbury
Use the login name `archive' to access the Unix archive.
Welcome to the UK Source Archive at the University
of Kent at Canterbury.
Please enter your email address:<your e-mail address>
After responding with your e-mail address you will be placed inside the
fbr restricted shell. Use the help command for up to date details of
what commands are available.
What software is available?
There are currently three databases available for you to browse:
netlib, misc and uunet.
The netlib database contains mostly Fortran software aimed at the
science and engineering community, along with a growing amount of C
software. For previous Netlib users, this is the archive which is
accessed when you e-mail requests to Netlib. It is kept in step with
the original Netlib at AT&T Bell Labs.
The most popular software available from Netlib includes
matlab : the MATLAB User Group software library
f2c : the FORTRAN to C translator from AT&T
toms : the ACM algorithms
lapack, linpack, eispack : linear algebra libraries
The misc database contains an archive of miscellaneous UNIX software,
some complete Netlib libraries and a small amount of VMS software. The
DIRT : Design In Real Time. An X User Interface Builder by
UPS : Mark Russell's graphical debugger for C and Fortran
GSPreview: An X interface to the Ghostscript interpreter by
SGML : A UNIX port (by James Clark) of the SGML Users'
Group SGML Parser Materials, ARCSGML 1.0.
RALTEX : The TEX software formerly distributed by UMIST
RAL-CGM : Tools for generating, converting, viewing and plotting
Computer Graphics Metafiles (CGMs)
eispack, linpack: Complete Netlib libraries
apt, decs, pol, port: Toolpack tools for FORTRAN software
-- compiled for a Sun4
The uunet database is a `shadow' copy of the uunet software archive.
It contains approximately 700 Mb of freely available UNIX software.
USNET's comp.sources archive
networking and protocols
mail : including PP, MMDF and sendmail
X11R5 and X applications
Other Access Methods
HENSA supports DARPA ftp and is available to users on the internet.
Users can access both Archive and Netlib software this way.
Using ftp you will gain access to HENSA
password: <your e-mail address>
The NI-FTP (Blue Book) request
<ARCHIVE>path-of-file from uk.ac.hensa.unix
Password: <your e-mail address>
will retrieve the requested file.
Users can access the HENSA Archive via e-mail. To obtain a specific
file e-mail a message to
archive at unix.hensa.ac.uk
containing the single line
For example, if you require the index from the lapack directory use the
The archive server only understands HENSA commands so don't include any
extraneous text in the message body. Users can transfer software,
amend the size of a mail transfer and choose a particular method of
encoding. A list of HENSA commands can be obtained by mailing
archive at unix.hensa.ac.uk with the message
Any queries/problems/suggestions concerning the HENSA Archive should be
e-mailed to the Archive server administrator at
archive-admin at unix.hensa.ac.uk
Users can access the Netlib database via e-mail.
A new e-mail user should e-mail:
netlib at unix.hensa.ac.uk
with a message containing the single line
The Netlib index will be e-mailed back detailing all the information
needed to find and retrieve software. The commands recognised by the
Netlib server are different to the commands recognised by the Archive
server allowing much more flexibility and access to extra features.
For existing Netlib users, use all the Netlib commands you have been
using previously. The command language for this sever has not changed
(only its e-mail address).
Any queries/problems/suggestions concerning Netlib should be e-mailed
to the Netlib server administrator at
netlib-admin at unix.hensa.ac.uk
~ Rob Harper ~ E-mail: harper at convex.csc.fi
~ Finnish State Computer Cent