CUCC Expedition Handbook - Bulk Update laptop

Cave data - Bulk Update Laptop

You will already have explored what your laptop can do in the basic Expo laptop guide, and you probably will also have installed the survey tools survex, tunnel, therion etc. in configuring a survey laptop.

This is an attempt at describing how to configure your laptop to do bulk file transfers to and from the server. If you are only managing one or two files at a time, you don't need this.

If you want to do software development instead, go to configuring a troggle development machine.

Windows and Linux

Chromebooks and Macs


You need three kinds of software

  1. Encrypted keys to access the server (ssh). None of the rest works without this.
  2. Version control software (git) for the loser survex data files, drawings (tunnel, therion) files, website and handbook (expoweb) files.
  3. File-transfer tools scp, rsync and sftp (Filezilla) for the files not under version control: photos, documents, scanned logbooks, scanned raw survey notes (surveyscans), scanned cave centre-line plots and everything else. [Never use these on the version-controlled folders.]

If you are only managing photos, GPS tracks or documents then you don't need the version control stuff.

If you are only managing survey data then you probably don't need the file-transfer stuff.

You need to register a key with the expo server to get upload (i.e. read/write) access. Do this first, Without it none of git, scp, ftp or rsync will work. You can do this entirely on your own if you have access to the expo laptop to upload and install the public key generated by your laptop.

Your own Bulk Update laptop

To set up your own laptop for bulk cave data maintenance you need to do this:

  1. Register an SSH key with an expo nerd i.e 'get a login'. (see "Key Configuration" below)
  2. Install git version control software to download ("clone"), view and edit caving data.
  3. Clone two expo repositories loser and drawings so you have the files on your machine. (Use the git reminder for how to do this, e.g. git clone ssh:// .
  4. If you are also planning on extensive work rewriting parts of the handbook, then you will also need the expo repository expoweb.

For Linux users only:

Note that on a Debian or Ubuntu machine you should normally install the versions that come with the specific distro (e.g. v11 Bulleye for Debian, or Jammy Jellyfish 22.04 for Ubuntu) i.e. install using 'sudo apt install xxx', not by downloading things from the above sites. So installing everything you need should be as simple as:

For Windows users only:

None of this works until you set up the key-pair setup using PuTty/Pageant.

To install and configure Filezilla on your machine see FileZilla install instructions which will set you up pointing at the correct folder automatically.

Read the Detailed Windows Configuration Instructions for foconfiguring a Windows Bulk Update machine.

QMs and scripts

You may not need a full troggle software development machine if you are only fixing a small script. If you are, you need

The Expo Laptop(s)

[These notes are to remind nerds when configuring or updating a replacement expo laptop.]

The expo laptop is configured as a "Bulk Update" laptop (including al the "Survey laptop" tools), but has a few extras.

Configuring git

On a new machine you need to configure your git identity:

git config --global ""
git config --global "Your Name"
git config --global pull.rebase true

Cheat lists and quick reminders

Complementary tools

When maintaining the HTML files in the expo handbook (the :expoweb: git repository) a link-checker is useful to report bad URLs (links to external sites go bad regularly) and to find orphaned pages with no in-links. The website has about 2,000 internal URLs in just the Tunnel wiki section alone.

Go back to: Basic laptop
Go back to: Survey laptop
Go on to: Windows Bulk Update laptop