A major part of my final year project depends on using IRAF, the Image Reduction and Analysis Facility from NOAO. Although it’s installed on the university’s UNIX Service, the servers it’s on are not particularly fast and have quite a few users, so the interactive bits like DS9 are barely usable over SSH X11 forwarding. Anyway, I thought I’d install it on my own machine to make things easier.
I’m using Ubuntu Edgy (6.10) AMD64, but IRAF is not 64-bit safe, so I can’t compile it. Also it has no recent Debian/Ubuntu packages, partially due to licence issues as far as I can tell, and the most recent ones I tried didn’t work when I installed them. I’ve therefore decided to document the process of installing the latest IRAF.NET Red Hat binaries on Edgy. It should work fine on i386 and AMD64.
History of this Document
- 14 Nov 06
- Added X11IRAF installation instructions and updated launch script.
- 19 Nov 06
- Changed installation directory from /usr/local/iraf to /iraf, removed need for a chroot on amd64, changed architecture to name “linux” though still using “redhat” binaries, tidied up commands.
- 20 Nov 06
- Added additional 32-bit dependencies, fixed typo in an untar command, and corrected launch script. Thanks to Mihály Váradi for this.
- 26 Dec 06
- Fixed typo in launch script.
- 18 May 07
- Updated DS9 download location to new version.
- 7 Jun 07
- Another typo; missed a ‘mkdir’.
- 12 Oct 2008
- Added a note about using xlibs-static-dev instead of xlibs-dev on Hardy.
Install the prequisites
First you’ll need the tcsh or csh shell:
sudo apt-get install tcsh
Next you’ll need to install the 32-bit termcap-compat, because the enhanced CL needs it. It’s not in the Edgy repositories, so you’ll need to download it and its dependencies from the Breezy repos.
Install them with
wget http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/t/termcap-compat/termcap-compat_1.2.3_i386.deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/libc/libc/libc5_5.4.46-15_i386.deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/l/ld.so/ldso_1.9.11-15_i386.deb sudo dpkg -i ldso_1.9.11-15_i386.deb sudo dpkg -i libc5_5.4.46-15_i386.deb sudo dpkg -i termcap-compat_1.2.3_i386.deb
If you’re on amd64, you’ll need to add the “–force-architecture” switch after each “dpkg”. You’ll also need to install the 32-bit compatibility libraries:
sudo apt-get install ia32-libs ia32-libs-gtk linux32
NOTE: a reader has informed me that the xlibs-dev package is no longer available on Hardy, and so users will needed to install xlibs-static-dev instead. Presumably 64-bit users not using a chroot will have to force-install the i386 version.
Notes for a 32-bit chroot on amd64
If you are using the amd64 version of Edgy, this guide will work fine as-is if you heed the occasional amd64-specific notes. However, if you ever want to build code that links against 32-bit libraries, or is not 64-bit safe, you will need to install a 32-bit chroot and install IRAF inside that. To set up a chroot, start with this but add the extra fstab entries from here. You will need to install a lot of other libraries into the chroot, including xlibs, but I don’t recall the exact list right now. You can switch into the chroot with “dchroot -d”.
It’s possible to install the same binaries both in the chroot and outside it, by mounting “/iraf” into the same point in the chroot, with a /etc/fstab entry similar to
/iraf /chroot/iraf none bind 0 0
You will need to run all the install tasks in the chroot as well. To compile C code, you’ll need to use GCC-3.4 as your C compiler, not the default GCC-4.1. Once the binaries are built in the chroot, they should hopefully work directly from amd64.
As using a chroot is not necessary in most cases, I will not document it further.
Create the IRAF user
Use System>Administration>Users and Groups to create an account with username “iraf”, real name “IRAF Maintenance”, home directory “/iraf/iraf/local”, shell “/bin/tcsh”, and a secure password. Give it administration privileges for the duration of the installation, so that you can use “sudo” from the IRAF account, but don’t forget to remove them later.
Open a new terminal, create the base IRAF directory and assign ownership to the IRAF maintenance user:
sudo mkdir /iraf sudo chown -R iraf:iraf /iraf
Everything else should now be done from the IRAF maintenance user account, unless specified otherwise. You can do this by switching user from a terminal
or by switching into a virtual terminal with Ctrl+Alt+F2 and logging in as the IRAF user.
Create the directory structure
Create the default folder structure and recursively assign ownership to the IRAF user:
mkdir /iraf mkdir /iraf/iraf/local mkdir /iraf/irafbin mkdir /iraf/irafbin/bin.linux mkdir /iraf/irafbin/noao.bin.linux mkdir /iraf/x11iraf mkdir /iraf/extern
Download and extract the packages
We’ll be using the latest 2.13b2 packages, because they come with the enhanced command line, ecl. I’ve combined downloading and extracting them into a single script.
#download and extract the source cd /iraf/iraf wget http://iraf.net/ftp/iraf/V2.13-BETA/as.pcix.gen.gz tar -zxf as.pcix.gen.gz rm as.pcix.gen.gz #move the redhat binaries to the linux directory cd /iraf/iraf/unix/bin.redhat/ mv * ../bin.linux/ #download and extract the redhat IRAF binaries cd /iraf/irafbin/bin.linux wget http://iraf.net/ftp/iraf/V2.13-BETA/ib.rhux.x86.gz tar -zxpf ib.rhux.x86.gz rm ib.rhux.x86.gz #download and extract the redhat NOAO binaries cd /iraf/irafbin/noao.bin.linux wget http://iraf.net/ftp/iraf/V2.13-BETA/nb.rhux.x86.gz tar -zxpf nb.rhux.x86.gz rm nb.rhux.x86.gz
Install the packages
Initialise the environment for installation
setenv iraf /iraf/iraf/ cd $iraf/unix/hlib source irafuser.csh
Test the install script
Walk through the installer and check that everything works. The defaults should be fine except that you’ll probably want to disable the tape drive and networking.
Now run it as root for the real install
XGTerm is essential for using IRAF’s graphical plotting features. It comes as part of the X11IRAF package, whih also includes other useful things like images servers and ximtool (though ximtool won’t work on Edgy due to a binary incompatibility).
First you’ll need to install the right version of the ncurses library. This varies depending whether you’re on i386 or amd64:
#on 32-bit it's easy sudo apt-get install libncurses4 #on amd64 we have to download the package directly wget http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/n/ncurses4.2/libncurses4_4.2-10_i386.deb sudo dpkg --force-architecture -i libncurses4_4.2-10_i386.deb
Download the Red Hat binaries for X11IRAF and extract them, then run the installer.
#download and extract x11iraf cd /iraf/x11iraf/ wget http://iraf.noao.edu/iraf/ftp/iraf/x11iraf/x11iraf-v1.3.1-bin.redhat.tar.gz tar -zxf x11iraf-v1.3.1-bin.redhat.tar.gz rm x11iraf-v1.3.1-bin.redhat.tar.gz #move redhat binaries to linux directory mv lib.redhat lib.linux mv bin.redhat bin.linux #run the install script as root sudo ./install
Follow through the install script, accepting all the default options except for the app-defaults directory, which should be “/etc/X11/app-defaults”. You probably won’t need CDL either.
DS9 is important for viewing and manipulating images, but the version that comes
with Ubuntu Edgy segfaults when communicating with IRAF. Install the latest
Linux version from
copying it to
#EITHER for amd64 wget http://hea-www.harvard.edu/saord/download/ds9/linux64/ds9.linux64.4.12.tar.gz tar -zxf ds9.linux64.4.12.tar.gz rm ds9.linux64.4.12.tar.gz #OR for i386 wget http://hea-www.harvard.edu/saord/download/ds9/linux/ds9.linux.4.12.tar.gz tar -zxf ds9.linux.4.12.tar.gz rm ds9.linux.4.12.tar.gz #copy to the local bin directory sudo mv ds9 /usr/local/bin/
Log into IRAF
Any user on the machine can now use IRAF. Before using IRAF for the first time, you must run mkiraf in your personal iraf directory:
mkdir ~/iraf cd ~/iraf mkiraf
Select “xgterm” as your IRAF shell when prompted.
To use IRAF, run xgterm, and from there
cd ~/iraf ds9& ecl
Create a file in /usr/local/bin/irafshell and make it executable. It should contain
#!/bin/bash PID=`pidof ds9` if [ ! $PID ]; then ds9 & fi pushd ~/iraf > /dev/null xgterm -iconic -geometry 80x24 -sb -title "IRAF" -bg "lemon chiffon" -fg "black" -e "ecl" & popd > /dev/null
irafshell will then launch a complete IRAF session containing DS9,
xgterm and ecl, based in