Tethys uses freely available software and may be installed and modified freely. We rely on Microsoft ODBC technology for importing data from other sources and as such require the Windows operating system. Apart from ODBC there is nothing that in principal would prevent it from being installed on Linux or MacOS, but as most of our user community uses Windows we are currently concentrating our efforts on developing for Windows.

Windows Installation

What should I download?

In general, Tethys is provided as a small installer program (see links below) that downloads needed components from the Tethys web site. If you wish to ensure that you can always install Tethys, even if the Tethys web site is down, you can elect to download the installer and all of its components from here. The installer will always look for components in the current directory prior to attempting to download components.


As of version 2.3, Tethys requires a 64 bit Windows operating system. If you wish to add data to Tethys using ODBC technology which will allow imports from Microsoft Office documents (e.g. Excel, Access) or other databases, the machine running the server code must either have Microsoft Office installed or a freely available driver from Microsoft (details are in the Tethys manual). If a 32 bit version of Office is installed, the 64 bit server will not work and vice-versa. As Microsoft does not currently permit 32 and 64 bit Office drivers to be installed on the same machine, it is important that these match. Determining which architecture of Office is installed depends on the version of Office. For Office 2010, open an Office program (e.g. Word), then select File > Help, then look for About Microsoft Word (or other program). Next to the version line will be an indication of whether or not the program is 32 bit. Note that the clients and servers can work with one another even if the architecture versions do not match.

Download Installer

See markdown formatted notes on releases. The default method to install is to download a small Windows executable that is signed with a San Diego State University coding certificate (Windows will warn you as it is not distributed by the Microsoft Store). The installer asks what you need installed and then will install it either locally to your account without administrative privileges (as of version 2.4.2) or it can be installed with administrative privileges (not required, but it will protect the code from being accidentally modified). In a small number of cases, we have seen security policies set so tightly that installation is the installer is not possible. In these cases, you may download the zip file and simply unzip it. You will need to modify the database startup scripts (e.g. in tethys.bat in the metadata folder) so that they point to the installation.

  • v2.5
    • The server uses a package called requests to access remote environmental data.  Some of the certificates have recently expired, causing errors when accessing remote services such NASA JPL’s Horizons ephemeris service.  This can be fixed by updating the requests package.  Perform the following steps:
      • Open a command line window
      • If  %TethysRoot% represents the directory where you installed Tethys (e.g. C:\Users\YourLogin\Tethys or C:\Program Files\Tethys), type:   cd %TethyRoot%\python2.7\Scripts
      • Execute the following line to update the requests package:    pip install requests –upgrade
    • Downloading:  We have seen some problems with the web server blocking downloads of executables and are working on resolving the issue.  Please contact us if this affects you.
  • v2.4.2.
  • v2.3.2
  • Versions 1.0 through 2.2 may be found here, please download all needed components as the server was migrated and the older installers will not look in the new locations.

By default, only a small installer program is included. Once you have selected the components of Tethys you would like installed, they will be downloaded automatically.

Firewall rules: Tethys runs RESTful web services on port 9779 (default, can be changed) and clients must be allowed to connect. Ephemeris service (e.g. sunrise/sunset) requires the server to be able to open outgoing connections on port 6775. Standard outgoing web ports must be enabled to access other environmental data.

Importing data

Note that to import data, you will need an appropriate open database connectivity (ODBC) connector. Details can be found in the user manual. Some common connectors that people might need:

  • Microsoft’s Access Database Engine (ACE) for Access and Excel documents if Microsoft Office is not installed. Note that Microsoft does not allow mixing of 32 and 64 bit versions of Microsoft Office. For the recommended 64 bit version of the server, 64 bit Office is required.
  • MySQL relational database ODBC
  • PostgreSQL relational database ODBC
  • Oracle relational database ODBC

Tethys has been tested with the Microsoft ACE 2010 and MySQL drivers.

Release History

In July 2018, NASA JPL’s Horizons service which provides lunar and solar information for Tethys began requiring the use of https instead of http. Versions prior to 2.4.1 are not patched, but if you do not wish to upgrade to 2.4.1, you can edit the horizons.py server file, located in mediators/horizons.py of the server code directory.  At approximately line 278 (might depend on release) Horizon’s  URL address will contain:

URL = “http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons_batch.cgi?%s”%(join)

it should be changed to:

# JPL Horizons requires secure http effective July 2018
URL = “https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons_batch.cgi?%s”%(join)

Be sure to respect the indentation, proper indentation is part of the the server language’s (Python) syntax.

Brief notes on releases and links to zipped versions of current and older software.

  • 2019-07-11 v2.4.2 – Minor patch to include libraries deleted in Matlab’s Java 2018b and later.
  • 2018-07-25 v2.4.1 – Performance improvements, non administrative installs, and more, see release notes.
  • 2016-03-26 v2.3.2 – Patch, includes fixes from 2.3.1, and an updated demonstration database and examples (function dbDemo in the Matlab client).
  • 2016-02-09 v2.3.1 – Superseded by v2.3.2. Patch for v2.3, includes a fix for translating Excel files that include multiple rows of user-defined Detection parameters.
  • 2016-01-05 v2.3 – Superseded by 2.3.2. Multiple source & Performance release. Can now import from multiple data sources using the GUI. Greatly increased performance retrieving Detection and Effort records in Matlab. Extended Matlab query input options. ITIS expanded to all Animalia. Documentation updates. Various bug fixes.
  • 2015-04-28 v2.2 – Multiple source pre-release. Various bug fixes, implemented new server-side data parsing for imports. Visible changes: Import GUI restructuring and improvements, Quality Assurance schema elements added to Detections and Deployments, Ensembles container implemented.
  • 2014-12-31 v2.1 – Minor bug fix release. Visible changes: Imports now permit elements to not be generated when there is no data for them, improvements to the import user interface.
  • 2014-02-24 v2.0 – Major release. Visibile changes: Better ERDDAP support, release of 64 bit version that improves speed and removes problems seen with large ERDDAP transfers. Server now caches external queries, making development much faster. Improvements to XML parsing time for Matlab. Better graphical user interface for document submission. Server now supports a RESTful architecture.
  • 2013-05-10 v1.0 – Initial release

Source Code

Source code is available for Tethys on BitBucket. Please note that 3rd party products installed with Tethys are not part of the source code.