Scisoft is a freely downloadable bundle of software for professional astronomers. It is meant to be a quick way to install many of the most used data reduction packages on a new Mac running Mac OS X. The core packages included are IRAF, Pyraf, MIDAS, Python and Python extensions.

  • Read the latest News to help figure out which version to install.
  • Download
  • After running the installer script, don't forget to source Setup file in tcshrc/cshrc/bashrc.

In previous versions of scisoft, certain pieces of software automatically got added to your path via the Setup file.  Later versions, however, seemed to be missing things such as SWarp (image manipulation software from Terapix) and the wcstools (which include useful commands such as imhead, sky2xy, etc.).  It turns out that scisoft installs them, but for some reason they are not linked symbolically to the directory that is placed in your path.*  To fix this, have a look in the packages directory that scisoft installs: /usr/local/scisoft/packages/ 

If you see something that you would like but which is not in your path (check with "which") then you can simply add the path directly to the location of the executable in your .bashrc/.cshrc/.tchsrc

e.g., I added to my .bashrc the following commnad: export PATH=/usr/local/scisoft/packages/swarp-2.16.4/src:$PATH 

(* I have alerted the scisoft people about this and it may be fixed in subsequent releases)


  • I don't think ./install needs to be run but I'm not sure
  • to run for the first time
    		% mkiraf
    % cl
  • modify .cshrc
    		setenv iraf /usr/local/scisoft/packages/iraf/iraf/
    source $iraf/unix/hlib/irafuser.csh
  • many extern packages downloaded to /extern but not "installed"

    • fitsutil, mscred, tables, etc.
  • extern.pkg needs to be modified for each external package

External Packages


  • update extern.pkg
    		reset fitsutil 		= /usr/local/scisoft/packages/iraf/extern/fitsutil/
    task  fitsutil.pkg 	= fitsutil$fitsutil.cl


  • update extern.pkg
    		reset mscred = /usr/local/scisoft/packages/iraf/extern/mscred/
    reset mscdb = /usr/local/scisoft/packages/iraf/extern/mscdb/
    task  mscred.pkg = mscred$mscred.cl
  • Build executables (bin link should point to bin.macintel)
    		% sudo cl
    cl> cd mscred
    cl> mkpkg generic
    cl> mkpkg macintel



  • Notes on Scisoft OSX 2007.11.1 at the Urania blog. Hilights a few small issues with the release.

Page last modified on Saturday 02 of June, 2012 16:06:03 EDT