GNU Astronomy Utilities

1.1 Quick start

The latest official release tarball is always available as gnuastro-latest.tar.lz. The Lzip format is used for better compression (smaller output size, thus faster download), and robust archival features and standards. For historical reasons (those users that do not yet have Lzip), the Gzip’d tarball1 is available at the same URL (just change the .lz suffix above to .gz; however, the Lzip’d file is recommended). See Release tarball for more details on the tarball release.

Let’s assume the downloaded tarball is in the TOPGNUASTRO directory. You can follow the commands below to download and un-compress the Gnuastro source. You need to have the lzip program for the decompression (see Dependencies from package managers) If your Tar implementation does not recognize Lzip (the third command fails), run the fourth command. Note that lines starting with ## do not need to be typed (they are only a description of the following command):

## Go into the download directory.

## If you do not already have the tarball, you can download it:
$ wget

## If this fails, run the next command.
$ tar -xf gnuastro-latest.tar.lz

## Only when the previous command fails.
$ lzip -cd gnuastro-latest.tar.lz | tar -xf -

Gnuastro has three mandatory dependencies and some optional dependencies for extra functionality, see Dependencies for the full list. In Dependencies from package managers we have prepared the command to easily install Gnuastro’s dependencies using the package manager of some operating systems. When the mandatory dependencies are ready, you can configure, compile, check and install Gnuastro on your system with the following commands. See Known issues if you confront any complications.

$ cd gnuastro-X.X                  # Replace X.X with version number.
$ ./configure
$ make -j8                         # Replace 8 with no. CPU threads.
$ make check -j8                   # Replace 8 with no. CPU threads.
$ sudo make install

For each program there is an ‘Invoke ProgramName’ sub-section in this book which explains how the programs should be run on the command-line (for example, see Invoking Table).

In Tutorials, we have prepared some complete tutorials with common Gnuastro usage scenarios in astronomical research. They even contain links to download the necessary data, and thoroughly describe every step of the process (the science, statistics and optimal usage of the command-line). We therefore recommend to read (an run the commands in) the tutorials before starting to use Gnuastro.



The Gzip library and program are commonly available on most systems. However, Gnuastro recommends Lzip as described above and the beta-releases are also only distributed in tar.lz.