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2. Installation

2.1 Hardware and software requirements

The fitsblink program will in principle run on a PC 486, 8 MB of RAM, 1024x768 pixel graphics card and 15'' color monitor. It will be rather slow, however, and the amount of images loaded at one time will be limited. The recommended minimal configuration is Pentium 200 MHz, 32 MB RAM, 1280x1024 video card and 17'' monitor or better.

Other platforms: any equivalently powerful Unix workstations should be good enough. However, it is up to you to obtain appropriate libraries and compile the program. Fitsblink uses cfitsio 2.025, xforms 0.88 and clapack libraries. Please do not attempt to use any earlier version of the libraries because the program will most probably not work with them.

Fitsblink is also works under the OS/2 + XFREE86 operating system thanks to Duncan Munro from Canada.

Version 2.11 of fitsblink was successfully compiled on SUNOS 4.3 but some modifications of the makefile and commenting out some #include statements were necessary. Unfortunately, binaries are not available on the fitsblink home page.

To do astrometry, you also need CD-ROMs with GSC 1.1 star catalog and/or USNO SA 1.0 catalog. In principle you can also have exact copies of these catalogs on hard disk, if you wish to avoid mounting and unmounting of CD-ROM drives and your hard disk is big enough. It is advisable to copy both Norh and South GSC to hard disk and the compress the files using gzip. This will save a lot of space and is automatically supported because of the cfitsio library. The ACT (Tycho + proper motions) catalog is also supported, however you will need to obtain the catalog and then make a shortened binary version used by fitsblink. The URL where you can get ACT, is

2.2 Getting executables

You can get the compiled program for the Linux system on

2.3 Compiling

Sources of fitsblink are available at You can find the latest version of the cfitsio library at and the xforms 0.88 library at The CLAPACK library can be obtained from If you really want to compile \verbfitsblink= by yourself, make sure that you install these libraries properly. Then edit the makefile and enter proper paths for include files and libraries. You also need to change C compiler switches if you don't use GNU C. Then type make and hope for the best. If you succeed in compiling fitsblink for some other platform and you wish to share the binary code with other people, you are welcome to send it to me and I will add it to the fitsblink home page.

2.4 Installation

2.4.1 Binary distribution

The easiest way to install fitsblink is to get the binary distribution which is conveniently packed in the RPM format. If your Linux system supports RPM, than all you need to do is:

This is all. After that you will be able to run fitsblink and access the help file if you have some WWW browser installed. Make sure that the directory /usr/local/bin is in your path.

2.4.2 Source distribution

When you get a working binary by compiling a source code, you can install it to a directory which is listed in your path, for example /usr/local/bin. When you run fitsblink for the first time, it will complain about not finding a parameter file. Just proceed with the program and choose the Settings item in the Astrometry menu. Write in your default settings and press the Save button. A file which contains your settings is named .fitsblinkrc and is written to your home directory. For those less familiar with Unix, files starting with a dot are ``hidden'', i.e. normally not shown by the ls command.

The HTML-ized version of the user manual (this one) serves also as the help file. It is a good idea to put it to some known place, such as /usr/local/lib/fitsblink.

You can install the fitsblink program (default location /usr/local/bin) and user manual (default location /usr/local/lib/fitsblink by typing make install. You must be root for this.

2.5 Known bugs

next up previous contents
Next: 3. Quick start tutorial Up: Fitsblink 3.13 user manual Previous: 1. Introduction
Jure Skvarc