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IRAF Community Distribution

IRAF maintained by the community

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GitHub release

Binary packages

On some systems (Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Mageia), IRAF can be directly installed from the package repositories. Packages for Fedora are available from the RPM Sphere third-party repository. Please contact us if you want to help packaging for macOS or other Linux versions.

Installation from source

Distribution Files

IRAF v2.17 is available from github at

To download the sources, choose the tar.gz file. The zip file does not keep the symbolic links and will not work.

System Requirements and Dependencies

Additionally to the tar file, a C compiler, the “make” program, flex, and some development packages are required.

On Debian and its derivatives (Ubuntu, Mint, Devuan, Raspbian etc.):

$ sudo apt install gcc make flex
$ sudo apt install libcurl4-openssl-dev libexpat-dev libreadline-dev

On Fedora and its derivatives (Redhat, Scientific Linux etc.)

$ sudo dnf install gcc make perl flex
$ sudo dnf install libcurl-devel expat-devel readline-devel

On MacOS X, you need to have the XCode tools installed to build from source. If you haven’t, you can install them with:

$ xcode-select --install

Click “Install” to download and install Xcode Command Line Tools.

Compile the Sources

The source distribution file is built as a tarball with the package name and version as base directory. Thus, distribution files can be unpacked with the command

$ tar zxf /<path>/iraf-2.17.tar.gz
$ cd iraf-2.17/

In the source directory, execute the install script to create needed links:

$ ./install 		# execute the install script

The script will prompt you for the path to the default image directory, the cache directory and the binary files directory. Usually, you can everywhere use the default settings when asked from the install script. You will need to include the binary files directory in your PATH before proceeding to the <make> step. In BASH this can be done with the command:

$ export PATH=/path/to/iraf/bin/:$PATH

where </path/to/iraf/bin/> is the binary files path specified to the install script.

Now you can configure the system for the proper architecture and build:

$ make <arch>
$ make sysgen 2>&1 | tee build.log

For <arch>, use the proper IRAF architecture name:

<arch> Operating system Supported CPU types
linux64 Linux 64 bit x86_64, arm64, mips64, ppc64, riscv64, alpha
linux Linux 32 bit i386, x32, arm, mips
macos64 macOS 64 bit arm64
macintel macOS 64 bit x86_64
macosx macOS 32 bit i386
freebsd64 FreeBSD 64 bit x86_64
freebsd FreeBSD 32 bit i386, arm
hurd GNU HURD 32 bit i386

Note that Cygwin and big endian architectures like macosx/ppc are not supported anymore.

Test the Build

IRAF comes with a small set of basic tests to ensure that the build works fine. To execute the tests, run:

$ ./test/run_tests

The details of the tests are described here