Ansvr-0.12 - add advanced config options

Based on a request from Scott in this thread I just uploaded a new version of ansvr, ansvr-0.12. This version adds a number of advanced configuration options on the ansvr config web page.

ansvr-0.12 also has some logging changes. A new log file is created each time ansvr starts, and log files older that 30 days old are automatically removed. When ansvr is started with -d it will now send output to both the terminal window and the log file.

You probably do not need to upgrade from 0.11 unless you are interested in tweaking the advanced options. Another reason to upgrade would be if you are using the -d option to start ansvr and you would like to start getting a log file to have available for diagnosing problems.

Chris - maybe you could update your package to include 0.12 at some point? Thanks.

To upgrade to 0.12, download ansvr-0.12.tar.gz and save in the folder


Then, open cygwin terminal and paste in the following command:

tar xfz /tmp/ansvr-0.12.tar.gz -C /opt

Next, update your Windows shortcut to point to the new version: right click the shortcut, click Properties, then paste the following into the Target field:

C:\cygwin\bin\bash.exe -lc /opt/ansvr-0.12/ansvr

Finally, restart the server if it is currently running:

  1. go to and click “Terminate ansvr”
  2. open your ansvr shortcut to start ansvr


1 Like

Thanks for the update Andy. A related question to ansvr. On one of my computers when I start ansvr I get the following in the window:

Your group is currently “mkpasswd”. This indicates that your
gid is not in /etc/group and your uid is not in /etc/passwd.

The /etc/passwd (and possibly /etc/group) files should be rebuilt.
See the man pages for mkpasswd and mkgroup then, for example, run

mkpasswd -l [-d] > /etc/passwd
mkgroup -l [-d] > /etc/group

Note that the -d switch is necessary for domain users.

What does this mean, is it a problem, and how do I get rid of it?

And then on another computer when I start ansvr I get this message:

[2014-06-04 19:51:20] ansvr 0.12 start
[2014-06-04 19:51:20] loading config from /var/tmp/platesolve/config
[2014-06-04 19:51:20] using scale error override value 5 percent
[2014-06-04 19:51:20] using downsample 2
[2014-06-04 19:51:20] saving config to /var/tmp/platesolve/config
[2014-06-04 19:51:20] [Server /opt/ansvr-0.12/ansvr accepting clients on port 80
[2014-06-04 19:51:26] [Connect from]
[2014-06-04 19:51:26] GET /api/config HTTP/1.1
[2014-06-04 19:51:26] [Connect from]
[2014-06-04 19:51:26] GET /favicon.ico HTTP/1.1
[2014-06-04 19:51:26] serve notfound uri = /favicon.ico

Same questions…


The mkpasswd messages have to do with the cygwin installation. You can safely ignore them if you want. Or, you can easily make them go away by opening cygwin terminal and pasting in the following two commands:

  mkpasswd -l > /etc/passwd
  mkgroup -l > /etc/group

Next time you open a cygwin terminal (or ansvr window in your case) the mkpasswd messages will be gone.

That ansvr log excerpt is completely normal. When you opened the config page in your web browser, the browser asked ansvr for the icon (favicon.ico) to display on the browser tab or window icon. That icon does not exist and the log is indicating that. Not a problem at all.


Thanks Andy.

Thanks for update and instructions. I recently upgraded from ansvr 0.6 to 0.11 and just a few minutes ago to 0.12. Blind solves are working great. Where can I find documentation of the new options available on the config page? It might be nice to add a link to the documentation at the bottom of the config page, or better yet add those to the config page directly if its not too much trouble.


Hi Ajay,

ansvr is just a glue layer between SGP and the actual plate solving
software, There is some documentation on the site but I do not see anything
there that describes solve-field options. There is also a google group page
for the project!forum/astrometry.

If you open a cygwin terminal window and run the command

solve-field --help

you will get a list of all the available command-line arguments. As far as
I know you would have to read the source code or ask on the astrometry
google group for more information about those options than what is shown (I
copied the solve-field --help output verbatim to the ansvr config page for
the specific options added in 0.12.)

Fortunately, the ansvr default options seem to work quite well for many of
us (downsample 2 and scale error estimate 5%). Scott (scodavis) requested
adding the additional options
to ansvr to pass through to solve-field which improved solving in his case.
I tried Scott’s suggested values (re-sort, no downsample, sigma, limit 100
objs) on some of my images and did not get any improvement in solve speed
over the default settings. It would seem that the advanced settings might
be helpful in special situations, like Scott’s case of solving Ha images.


Thank you. I am quite comfortable with the command line in unix. So that will do. I do find the solves are fairly fast.

I haven’t done a before and after test, but it seems like not directing the output to terminal has speeded up the process. We used to do this in the old days - ie direct output to a file rather than display on the terminal. I didn’t think it would make much of a difference these days.


following the instructions for the reinstalling everything went well until i get ti untaring ansvr-0.12 from inside cygwin window.
Q…am i not suppose to be inside c:/cygwin/tmp went i type, tar xfz /tmp/ansvr-0.12.tar.gz -C /opt
so far no joy, i wish Chris had his drag and drop files/directory prremade like the last time, it was so ez
where can i post screen pics of the cygwin cmd box?

It should not matter where you are at with that command as all the paths are absolute. You will have needed to download ansvr-0.12 and placed it in your tmp directory. I find that it’s easiest to do something like this:

cd /tmp
tar xfz /tmp/ansvr-0.12.tar.gz -C /opt

The wget command will pull the tar down for you. I can’t recall if this is included in the package that Chris maintains. So this may or may not work.


let me try that right now…

Another way to do this the windows way:
Install 7zip: which can extract .gz files
Use 7zip to extract ansvr folder to the /opt folder under cygwin in the same way that you usually extract zip files under windows.


Totally forgot about updating this Andy, sorry bro.

I’ll have a new link in an hour or so.