IRAF is the Image Reduction and Analysis Facility, a general purpose software system for the reduction and analysis of astronomical data. IRAF is written and supported by the IRAF programming group at NOAO.
Notre Dame has a centrally maintained install of IRAF 2.12.2-EXPORT available. It currently supports Redhat machines and Sun workstations running Solaris. Support for SGI workstations running IRIX has been discontinued. If you need it, just request it.
The workstation setup process should be done once on each workstation that needs to run IRAF. This procedure must be done by the superuser (i.e., root). The setup script will create two FIFO pipes in the /dev directory (imt1i and imt1o) and a link in the /usr/include directory (iraf.h). Installation of IRAF in the Neiuwland cluster requires the help of the OIT. In the past, James Rogers, Milind Saraph, and Dale Southern have been the contact points for this at Notre Dame.
To setup a workstation for running IRAF:
A linux installation also presently requires the existence of
/usr/lib/libncurses.so.4. A renamed copy of
/usr/lib/libncurses.so.5 will work just fine.
First, it is highly recommended that you use "tcsh" instead of "csh" as your default the unix shell. To make "tcsh" the default, you must contact the OIT or use the "chsh" command. There are some problems with the backspace keys that apparently cannot be resolved using csh.
Users must make an "IRAF login directory" before running IRAF for the first time. This need not be the same as your home directory. In fact, it's best if it is not your home directory. But you will need to be in this directory whenever they start IRAF. If necessary, users can have several such directories configured. The configuration only needs to be done once.
To setup an IRAF login directory:
|If you use...||...put this line...||... in this file.|
mkirafcommand to create the necessary files for starting IRAF.
cp /afs/nd.edu/user34/iraf/iraf/dev/imtoolrc $HOME/.imtoolrc
After setting up an IRAF login directory, users can access IRAF by:
clcommand to login to IRAF.
If this does not work, you did not properly "setup an IRAF login directory" as described in the above section.
IRAF is almost always ran in conjection with another program, called an image server, to display the data. There are several popular image servers from which to choose included Ximtool and DS9. Ximtool is the more standard but only works when the desktop is ran in pseudo-color mode. DS9 is more modern and has some nifty features but can be dreadfully slow. IMPORTANT NOTE: On the RedHat machines, you must use DS9. Ximtool has too many color problems on RH9. Solaris users may use Ximtool.
IMPORTANT XIMTOOL NOTE! The GUI must be run in 8-bit pseudo-color mode for Ximtool to run
properly. This is to allow for quick contrast adjustments. Running in 8-bit mode on a Solaris machine can usually
be accomplished by running "
ffbconfig -deflinear false"
from the console of the machine before the GUI is started.
I repeat: do this from the console BEFORE the GUI is started! Do not use Ximtool with Redhat; use DS9 instead.
External packages can be installed upon request but ample notice is required. Currently the ND IRAF installation has the following external packages installed:
If you start up some applications, e.g., Netscape, before you start Ximtool you'll run into trouble with the color pallettes conflicting with each other. In Netscape's case, the solution is to give it its own color palette. Start Netscape with the command "netscape -install &". However switching color palletes every time the mouse focuses and unfocuces on Netscape is annoying. It might just be better to run Ximtool from another machine, which is often easier said than done.
"BadMatch" error from Ximtool on startup
One often encounters a "BadMatch" error when attempting to start Ximtool. This is caused by a conflict with how the GUI handles colors and the way Ximtool wants to handle them. To fix this, run the GUI in 8-bit pseudocolor mode by executing the command:
ffbconfig -deflinear false
from the console BEFORE starting the GUI. This permanently sets the machine in 8-bit color mode. Be nice to other people and set it back to the high color mode after you are done using it by ffbconfig -deflinear true.
Ximtool on startup gives error n=125
When you start ximtool or ximtool-alt from a remote machine to the display on a local machine, you usually get the error, "ximtool: cannot open socket on port 5137, errno=125", and then when you quit ximtool, it says "No match". This error means multiple users are using the same FIFO pipes for Ximtool. Usually no conflicts occur and you can safely ignore this. But it is possible that one user will influence another's display. Turn off the FIFO pipes and start ximtool with:
% ximtool -xrm "*input_fifo:none" -xrm "*port:0"
to use only the UNIX domain sockets. It's a good idea to alias this command. Also, you can create private FIFO pipes for Ximtool but I've never gotten this to work. This is explained on the IRAF web page's trouble-shooting guide. Read these sections: http://iraf.noao.edu/iraf/web/faq/FAQsec14.html#14003, http://iraf.noao.edu/iraf/web/faq/FAQsec14.html#14004
The frame buffer won't change correctly
If running Ximtool from a remote machine and you try to change the frame buffer (e.g., by typing in the CL `set stdimage=imt4096') and the images will not display properly afterwards, the problem is most likely that on the remote machine there isn't a /usr/local/lib/imtoolrc link (pointing to $iraf/dev/imtoolrc). This link is created when the iraf install script is run but only if the /usr/local/lib directory already exists. Normally you would also see a bunch of "attempt to write out of bounds on framebuffer" errors in this case. The solution is to either rerun the install script or make the link by hand. If you don't have the permissions to do this you can also copy the dev$imtoolrc file to your unix login directory as ".imtoolrc" and restart ximtool to pick it up.
Ximtool stopped accepting some mouse input
Check to make sure the Caps Lock and Number Locks keys are off.
The backspace keys are all missed up!
If this is a "real" problem, i.e., not caused by funny stty settings in your login files, try making tcsh your default shell. Symptoms of this in the past have included the backspace keys working different on different machines with identical login files! Weird.
My images display on another computer!
Make sure there's an ximtool displayed on your local computer before you display image from an IRAF session running on another machine. Also note Common Problem Number 3.
The IRAF developers maintain an extensive web site at http://iraf.noao.edu with documentation and other information.
All the IRAF documents and tutorials have been put in the IRAF account Public directory in the event that the IRAF site is down or slow.
Users at Notre Dame with questions or problems related to the central install of IRAF on AFS should get in touch with Jason Quinn.