Posted: Sat May 26, 2007 7:35 am Post subject: IRAF on KNOPPIX CD
For 3 years, I'am using IRAF for astronomical image reduction at the computer lab at the Ege University Astronomy Department. It is very difficult to make IRAF exercises with more than 40 students connecting to a server. Because, too many connections to a server using X-window make high network traffic. To solve this problem, I have installed IRAF on KNOPPIX (ver 5.1.1) live CD so that every student now can boot this CD on individual computer and use IRAF personally. They also can use the same CD at home for IRAF exercises.
Because KNOPPIX live CD is limited, I have removed some software from CD in order to have enough space for IRAF. I obtained IRAF rpm packages for Fedora Core 6 prepared by Tim Pickering (Thanks Tim ). These rpm packages can be obtained from
This KNOPPIX-IRAF CD is not perfect but it is very useful for IRAF users. It can be used on any computer which can boot from CD. In fact, it is possible to install this CD on bootable USB stick but I have not try this alternative solution yet.
I hope this helps for IRAF users.
Ege University Observatory
Thanks very much for your posting, this is indeed the type of community involvement we like to see. I was finally able to download the ISO and have just a few comments:
- The ECL wouldn't start due to a missing libtermcap.so.2 reference. To fix this I simply did a "ln -s /usr/lib/libtermcap.so /usr/lib/libtermcap.so.2" as root.
- The external packages are normally installed in a separate /iraf/extern directory. I realize this may be an artifact of the RPM installation.
- You can recover >60Mb of disk space by stripping the binaries and removing the core system and package sources. I can send you more information about this if you like.
- The /iraf/irafbin/lib*_p.a libraries are unneeded and can be removed as well.
- If you use the v2.13 release several of the external packages can also be eliminated since they (and the ECL) are part of the core system. Specifically packages like: ARED, CRUTIL, IMMATCHX, SPPTOOLS, XCCDRED, and you only need either DIMSUM or XDIMSUM (I forget which is more recent).
Otherwise I was able to boot the ISO using Parallels on a MBP and run IRAF with no problems. A Knoppix CD has been on the to-do list for a while but I never got around to it.
If you don't object, I've copied the file to http://iraf.net/ftp/iraf/contrib/KNOPPIX-IRAF-2007.ISO to provide a faster download for some users (it took me >2hrs to get it from your site). I'd be happy to host any updated versions of this you make available as well, just drop me a line. Good luck on this project and let us know if we can help.
I'll consider your comments for the next release. I am waiting for KNOPPIX 5.2.1 version which will be released (maybe) at mid-2007.
It was so easy to convert RPM packages to DEB and install, so, I have used the latest RPM packages of Tim without any modification on iraf files. I think, it will not too hard to install IRAF V2.13 on KNOPPIX. Please send me information about stripping the binaries and removing the core system and package sources.
I have prepared this CD originally for computer lab application but due to the portability of KNOPPIX, several professional astronomers are using this CD for their reductions. So, I will continue to develop this CD.
It is very good idea to put the ISO file to iraf.net so people can find alternative site to download.
Again, thank you very much for your comments and suggestions.
i've just downloaded this image bunrt it and started it. I've encountered two problemens:
1. In Iraf itself the "special keys" like backspace, tab, erase, up, down, etc. don't work. I think its due to a configuration lack. because login.cl calls "stty xterm" which is a wrong agrument.
Can you please tell me what argument is needed here, for getting special keys to work?
2. if you are using for example nao, im, kpnoslit -> splot to plot a .fits file. Then saving is not in .fits but in .imh with an segment violation and iraf can't read in .imh.
How do I tell iraf to save in .fits?
There are some other problems with iraf config. For example, user do not have write permission with the current config due to the read-only CD file system. You should change the path in login.cl file for gaining write access.
There are equivalent keys for "special keys" and you can find them with a little practice.
If you prepare a convenient login.cl file and load this file (for example, from your personal web page or from local hard disk) whenever you start the CD, you will have much less problem with iraf.
I could not find enough time to publish a corrected version of this CD. Sorry for these problems.
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