about Grigoris Maravelias
Installing IRAF on Ubuntu

Installing IRAF on Ubuntu

Installing IRAF can always be a huge problem. Many pages exist explaining all the necessary steps to install it but I have never tried to follow these (like Rubab’s tutorials for 32 and 64 bit Ubuntu/Debian, Michael Hutchinson’s tutorial for 64 bit Ubuntu – these tutorials explain how to install 32 bit IRAF in 64 bit machines). Instead there is a great work done by Fernando Ávila, who provides files to install everything in a couple of minutes!

So, someone can use either the iso file (worked great with Ubuntu 8.10, 32bit) or use the bash script along with the associate files (download the files in folder deb/ and the iraf.tar.gz). The last procedure (running the script) worked great with Ubuntu 10.10, 64bit, and now I …enjoy IRAF!

UPDATE (28/Jan/2013): the separate directory containing the above files does not exist any more – but the iso files are updated including all necessary material (universe and multiverse repositories should be enabled to correctly handle the needed dependencies and if not the installation cannot proceed).

UPDATE (25/Jan/2017): The previous link to Fernando Avila’s page is not correct any more, but there is a new link that includes all necessary files (found under “Linux+Astronomia”).

UPDATE (21/Aug/2018): The update we were expecting! Finally IRAF can be installed as a native package, simply as “apt install iraf”.
Thanks to Ole for this!


  1. C. David Laney

    Tried installing iraf in Ubuntu 18.04. It appeared to install, but doesn’t seem to launch and doesn’t appear under installed software.

  2. grigoris

    Hi David.

    I just installed iraf from the debian’s repository and it worked fine (for Debian 4.19.16-1 – buster distro). When In pressed the IRAF star icon it started an ecl prompt (xterm was installed directly with iraf) and I tried a few basic commands (not any serious processing).
    Did you check if another terminal (such as xterm or gterm) was installed to start the cl environment? I believe that you many not need a login.cl file but check if this is really needed.

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