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Installing Starlink

Installing and running Starlink is pretty much straightforward. Firstly, get the latest release (Namaka, when this post was written) and extract the file wherever you want. Then select which shell you want to use and follow the post-installation run-up or the info given below (supposing it was downloaded and extracted in /home/user/soft/star-namaka/).

Bash case:

Open the .bashrc file (found at the /home/user/ directory) and add these lines:

export STARLINK_DIR=/home/user/soft/star-namaka/
. $STARLINK_DIR/etc/profile

In this case the Starlink programs are available with the start of the bash shell.

If you don’t want this to happen (don’t ask me why…) then you should define an alias, so type instead:

export STARLINK_DIR=/home/user/soft/star-namaka/
alias star='. $STARLINK_DIR/etc/profile'

Now, in order to start Starlink after the start of the shell type “star” (or whatever you have chosen to name it).

Tcsh case:

The case of a tcsh shell (or csh) is more or less similar by defining the environment and sourcing the necessary files ( login and cshrc under star-namac/etc/). Open the .tcshrc (or .cshrc, at the home directory as previously)  and type:

setenv STARLINK_DIR /home/user/soft/star-namaka/
source $STARLINK_DIR/etc/login
source $STARLINK_DIR/etc/cshrc

So, starting a tcsh shell will automatically initialize the Starlink programs.

Happy processing !!

Installing WCSTools

WCSTools is a package of programs and a library of utility subroutines for setting and using the world coordinate systems (WCS) in the headers of the most common astronomical image formats, FITS and IRAF .imh, to relate image pixels to sky coordinates. This software is all written in very portable C, so it should compile and run on any computer with a C compiler. ”

Apart from the main purpose that WCSTools has, there are some useful utilities for FITS header (like edhead, gethead, imhead). That’s why I decided to install it after all…(installation process based on this ubuntu thread)

First download the latest verion (currently 3.8.1) from the anonymous FTP: ftp://cfa-ftp.harvard.edu/pub/gsc/WCSTools/.

From the directory that tarball was downloaded, go to a tcsh (or any c-shell), if you are not, and untar:
tar -xvf wcstools-3.8.1.tar.gz

Go to the created directory and set the environment for the c compiler:
cd wcstools-3.8.1
setenv CC gcc
setenv CFLAGS "-O2 -pipe -fomit-frame-pointer"


Create and move the binaries created to the desired path
mkdir -p /desiredpath/wcstools/
mv bin /desiredpath/wcstools

Edit you .tcshrc (or .cshrc) file (back to the home directory, if different) and add the path of the binaries created:

# wcstools path
set path=($path /home/user/desiredpath/wcstools/bin)

Then source the .tcshrc file:
source .tcshrc
or restart the terminal to activate the new commands!

~ ~ ~

UPDATE (28/01/2015): For Debian the installation is even simpler [1] … just:
sudo apt-get install wcstools

[1]: “How to install wcstools package in Debian Wheezy”, accessed on 28/01/2015, http://www.howtoinstall.co/en/debian/wheezy/main/wcstools/