January 4, 2018


Installing IRAF on Fedora 26

This is the second time I have done this this week. On this second install I am going to try some things differently to see if some of the steps I took the first time are really needed.

I decided to tackle this in January of 2018. I will be installing IRAF 2.16.1 onto a 64 bit linux system running Fedora 26. The claim is that the installation process is now much easier, and I have to agree that it is, although it could certainly be better documented, and there are still wrinkles that I try to figure out -- see below.

Fedora packages

For better or worse, the iraf world loves the csh, so you will need to install it:
dnf install -y tcsh
If you fail to do this, the first time you try to start the iraf cl, you will get the error:
[tom@cholla tom]$ cl
/usr/local/bin/cl: /iraf/iraf//unix/hlib/irafarch.csh: /bin/csh: bad interpreter: No such file or directory
ERROR:  No /iraf/iraf//bin./vocl.e binary found.
Also, I have gotten errors from the cl when it tries to start and the 32 bit ncurses library is missing, so install these. Install the 64 bit versions also if you have not already.
dnf install -y ncurses-libs.i686
dnf install -y ncurses-compat-libs.i686

Disk layout

My machine has a big disk mounted as /u1, so I intend to put all my iraf stuff into the directory /u1/iraf. I also want to set up some links so my iraf install appears as /iraf/iraf. This latter maybe silly, but that is what we are going to do.
cd /u1
mkdir iraf
cd iraf
mkdir iraf_2.16.1
mkdir /iraf
cd /iraf
ln -s /u1/iraf/iraf_2.16.1 iraf
I download the file (359M) iraf-linux.tar.gz and untar it:
cd /u1/iraf/iraf_2.16.1
tar xpvf ../iraf-linux.tar.gz
cd /iraf/iraf
./install --system
So, the iraf install believes that the "iraf root" is /iraf/iraf. It creates globally writeable directories /iraf/cache and /iraf/imdirs.

ximtool and xgterm

No telling why the install script doesn't take care of this, but it doesn't -- so do the following:
cd /usr/local/bin
ln -s /iraf/iraf/vendor/x11iraf/bin.linux/xgterm
ln -s /iraf/iraf/vendor/x11iraf/bin.linux/ximtool
ln -s /iraf/iraf/vendor/x11iraf/bin.linux/ism_wcspix.e

What about DS9 ?

This is not part of IRAF, but almost everyone uses it for image display these days. From the download page at the above, I download the centos 7 tar file (the closest thing they offer to my Fedora system). The tar file contains just one file, which is the ds9 executable.
cd /u1/iraf
download ds9.centos7.7.5.tar.gz here
tar xvf ds9.centos7.7.5.tar.gz
mv ds9 /usr/local/bin

Have any comments? Questions? Drop me a line!