March 19, 2013

What is IRAF?

If you are asking this, you really should pay a visit to the iraf home page at: iraf.noao.edu. IRAF stands for Image Reduction and Analysis Facility. It is a software package widely used in the astonomical community for data reduction and display.

For your enjoyment, here are some ancient iraf notes (circa 2000).

I actually try to have as little to do with it as possible, but I have had to install it now and used to use the iraf/graph package before I discovered gnuplot.

We used to install it from a set of RPM's set up by Tim Pickering (and probably still available on the MMT repository). This is/was iraf 2.14.1.

Now we have a true IRAF expert on staff at the MMT, and as of IRAF 2.16, we use the NOAO iraf distribution system in lieu of our own rpms. Note that several items that most people would consider a part of IRAF (namely x11iraf) are not included as part of the iraf distribution. I have no clue why this is.

Since our expert, Skip Schaller, has installed iraf on a disk which I can mount via NFS, all I have to do to switch to the new release is:

su
yum erase iraf\*
rmdir /iraf
ln -s /mmt/iraf /iraf
/iraf/iraf/unix/hlib/install -noedit
# at each prompt, press return to accept default,
# EXCEPT for post-install where you reply no.
After this, as myself, not root, I type:
mkiraf
cl
This gives me:
ERROR:  No /iraf/iraf//bin.redhat/vocl.e binary found.
ERROR:  IRAFARCH set to 'redhat', should be 'linux64'

And indeed I see this setting in my environment.
I exit my session and log back in ...

This does fix it, now there is no IRAFARCH setting in the environment and the "cl" command works. The only difference I notice so far is that the prompt is now:

vocl>

Have any comments? Questions? Drop me a line!