Category:Cumulus MX

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Cumulus MX

Cumulus MX is offered on the same terms as Cumulus 1 - if you use it, please make a donation according to what you think it is worth and what you can afford.


Note: The graphs used in Cumulus MX are drawn using Highcharts and they are free for non-commercial use only, i.e. you may not use them on a company web site, see for clarification. For this reason, and others, use of Cumulus MX in a commercial environment is expressly forbidden. Please include a link to the Highcharts web site (as the supplied web page does) if you use the charts under the terms of the non-commercial licence.

There's quite a lot to read before you start - please do read it all, most of it is very important. Thank you for volunteering to test Cumulus MX. There are likely to be a lot of issues to sort out, and some of those may not be easy, particularly on the new platforms. When posting problems, please give as much information as possible. It is likely that I will need to produce new versions with extra debugging code as we hit new issues. Please remember that the only purpose of providing you with this software is for you to test it for me and provide feedback. Note that most of the Cumulus 1 documentation also applies to Cumulus MX. If you are trying MX having never used Cumulus 1 before, you will be at a disadvantage regarding documentation of many of the features, some settings may not be obvious. Looking at the FAQ and the wiki will help, as will looking at the Cumulus 1 help file (available on the Cumulus downloads page, or as part of a Cumulus 1 installation).

Cumulus MX aims to be as close to 100% compatible with Cumulus 1 as possible. Aside from a very few places where it is not fully compatible, it is different in two main ways. Firstly, it consists of a stand-alone 'engine' which performs the reading and logging of data, uploading to a web site etc. This 'engine' is a command-line/console application which has no user interface. The user interface is provided by virtue of the engine acting as a web server. Once the engine is running, you can view the user interface by typing the URL of the built-in web server into your browser, either on the same machine, or on a separate machine. The default URL if the browser is on the same machine as MX is http://localhost:8998/ - substitute the machine's IP address for 'localhost' if the browser is on a different machine.

The second way in which it is different is that in addition to running on Windows, it also runs on Linux and Mac OS X. To run on Windows, you need .NET 4.5 installed. To run on the additional platforms, it requires the Mono runtime, and you will need to install this, as described below.

Note that I cannot guarantee backwards compatibility of Cumulus data once it has been updated by MX, are unlikely to be able to use the data from Cumulus MX with Cumulus 1.9.4 without some manual editing of some of the files.

Installing Cumulus MX

There is no automatic installer (this may change). If you want to start a completely new installation, create a directory and unzip the contents into it. I've assumed that zip files are not a problem on Linux or OS X, please let me know if that's not the case. If you want to run Cumulus MX with your existing Cumulus data, take a copy of your existing Cumulus directory, and then unzip Cumulus MX into it. Alternatively, you can unzip Cumulus MX into new directory first, and then copy over your existing data files and your Cumulus.ini file, and any other configuration files that you may have created (e.g. strings.ini, twitter.txt etc). If your Cumulus.ini is actually called "cumulus.ini" you should rename it to start with a capital letter.

On Linux and OS X you will need to install the Mono runtime. For OS X, you can download this here - How you install on Linux depends on the flavour of Linux you are running. There are download links for Linux at the same URL, but it is often easier to use a package manager, which will download and install it automatically. For example, in 'Raspbian' on the Raspberry Pi, you can install mono with these commands:

sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install mono-complete

Make sure that you have the mono-complete package installed.

If you have a Raspberry Pi 2, there is a later version of Mono available, which you may find works better that the one in the standard distribution, particularly if you use decimal commas. Mono 3.2.8 (which is the default in some Linux distributions) will not work if you use commas for decimals, as in some countries.

On Linux you will need library which may not be installed by default. Installing package libudev0 may resolve this. There may be issues if you are using a 64-bit version of Linux. I'm not sure what the resolution is at the moment, if this is the case.

Running Cumulus MX

Cumulus MX needs to run as an administrator on Windows and under Superuser (root) on Linux and OS X. Make sure your station is connected to the device on which you have installed Cumulus MX, before you try to run Cumulus MX.


Either right click on CumulusMX.exe and click 'Run as administrator', or open an administrator command prompt (right click on Command Prompt and click 'Run as administrator'), change to the Cumulus MX directory, and then type CumulusMX and enter. You will probably need to accept a security prompt the first time you run it, to allow it act as a web server. You can avoid having to run it as an administrator by running the following command once from an administrator command window:

netsh http add urlacl url=http://*:8998/ user=\users

This command allows all users to bind to port 8998 (used for the Cumulus interface). Note that if you change the interface port as described below, you should change the 8998 to whatever port you are using. Note that while this allows Cumulus MX to run and act as a web server, there may be other operations which require it to run as an administrator.

Linux and OS X

Open a terminal window, change to the Cumulus MX directory, and then type:

sudo mono CumulusMX.exe

When Cumulus starts, it will display the URL of the user interface. It runs on port 8998 by default; if this is not suitable for some reason you can over-ride it using the '-port' parameter on the command line, e.g. to use port 9999 instead:

sudo mono CumulusMX.exe -port 9999

Note that you may need to supply your administrator password after typing the 'sudo ...' command line. The system will prompt you for this.

Type the URL which is displayed (when MX starts running) into your browser (replace the * with the IP address, or use localhost) and the interface should appear. If this is a 'clean' installation, the first thing you will need to do is to go to the settings and set the station type and units, and any other configuration settings you want to make. Having set the station type, you will need stop Cumulus MX and start it again. Note that this also applies to some other settings - you will need to restart Cumulus MX to get the new setting picked up.

As with Cumulus 1, if there are any settings which are not currently available via the user interface, you can change them by stopping Cumulus and editing Cumulus.ini. A description of the settings in this file is in the wiki, and most of what is in there also applies to MX.

If you want to operate the 'standard' web site, then just the same as with Cumulus 1, you will need to upload the contents of the webfiles folder from the zip file (don't upload the containing webfiles folder itself). Note that the MX webfiles are not the same as the ones for Cumulus 1, so make sure you upload the MX files if moving from Cumulus 1 to MX. The standard gauges are now the SteelSeries gauges.

Important note about locales

On Linux and (in particular) OS X, Cumulus MX may not be given the correct locale to use, and you may get the default US locale even if that is not your locale. It will output the local it is using when it starts; if it is not correct, close it down and start it again, this time specifying your locale on the command line, using the -lang parameter . For example, in the UK, type:

sudo mono CumulusMX.exe -lang en-GB

If you are not sure what value you need to supply for the -lang parameter, there is a list here - You need to supply the code in the first column ("Language Culture Name"). Note that this does not affect the language used by Cumulus MX (although it may in the future), it affects the decimal separator and the list separator.

On the subject of decimal and list separators, there are a couple of issues which users of decimal commas may encounter. The first is that there may be an issue with some of the user interface not working correctly. Please report these issues and I will fix them. There may be aspects of the displays that I cannot change (because the package used does not support decimal commas) but it should be possible to at least get it working.

The second issue with decimal separators only affects the Raspberry Pi (as far as I am aware). There is apparently an issue with the current version (3.2.8) of the Mono package on Raspbian 'hard float' where it cannot parse values using decimal commas. If this does turn out to be an issue, there are a number of possible workarounds until the Raspbian package gets updated. One workaround is to use the 'soft float' version of Debian instead. Obviously, this will have performance issues, but is probably the easiest. The second workaround is to build Mono from the latest sources, see I am told that this fixes the problem. Another possible workaround would be to find an already fixed binary package, but I don't know if one currently exists.

If you want to use your Cumulus 1 data with MX, and you use decimal commas in your Cumulus 1 data, you will need to edit the .ini files to change the decimal commas into periods/full stops, because Cumulus MX always expects periods/full stops in .ini files regardless of the locale in use. The other data files will be OK - assuming you are using the same decimal and list separators in MX as you used in Cumulus 1 (i.e. the same locale). If you try to switch to a different locale, then your data log files will of course no longer be in the correct format, so you would need to edit all of your files.

A note to Davis owners

I am experimenting with the use of the LOOP2 packet. The current code uses this for two purposes. First, it uses the 'peak 10-minute gust' value, to avoid the problem where a gust might be missed (although hopefully this will not be such an issue with Cumulus MX as it does not use the Davis DLL), and secondly it uses the 'absolute pressure' value to make calculation of 'altimeter pressure' easier and more accurate. This is mainly used if you upload to CWOP.

The LOOP2 packet is supported on the VP2 with firmware version 1.90 or later, and on the Vue. If you have a Vantage Pro (i.e. the original 'VP1'), or a VP2 with pre-1.90 firmware, or if you are using Virtual VP, none of these support the LOOP2 packet. In these cases, you should edit cumulus.ini and add a line to the [Station] section:


With this setting, Cumulus will revert to calculating the 10-minute gust value itself from the individual wind speed readings, but it will not currently attempt to calculate altimeter pressure correctly, it will simply use the sea-level pressure instead. This is likely to be an issue if you are at high altitude and you upload to CWOP using Cumulus MX.

Also for Davis stations, I have assumed that people using MM in Cumulus have a metric rain gauge (0.2 mm per tip), and those using inches have a 0.01" rain gauge. This can be over-ridden by adding a line to the [Station] section of Cumulus.ini:




Where 0 is a 0.2mm gauge and 1 is a 0.01" gauge. Note that changing this after MX has already read some data may cause your rainfall reading for today etc to change considerably, so you will need to correct that.

Web Tags

Almost all of the web tags from Cumulus 1 are supported in Cumulus MX. The differences are:

The individual 'record set' tags such as <#TempRecordSet> etc do not work (because the interface currently has no indicators for new records). The <#newrecord> tag does work, but works differently, it turns itself off automatically after 24 hours.

Some of the 'system status' web tags do not work: <#CpuName>, <#MemoryStatus>, <#DisplayMode>, <#DiskSize> and <#DiskFree>

The <#txbattery> web tag has no content currently. Using it with a 'channel' parameter causes a 'token error'.

The 'format' parameter on the date/time web tags is unfortunately different, because many of the characters used are different. Note that this also applies to the NOAA report file formats. The characters which can be used now are listed on the following two pages: - 'standard' strings - 'custom' strings

If the string contains only one character, it is regarded as a 'standard' string, otherwise it is a 'custom string'. See the Microsoft documentation for details of how to force the use of a single character as a custom string rather than a standard string (viz. use the '%' character before the format character).

Here is a table (based on the table in the wiki) comparing the old and new format strings. Note that there are now also additional format strings, see the Microsoft documentation. If you are having trouble converting a format string, please post it and I will try to help.

Web Tag Format Strings